AI Doesn’t Mean Killer Robots

Self-driving cars, automated operators, facial recognition applications, virtual assistants, and more…the list of smart technology goes on and on.  We’re rapidly integrating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in every aspect of our lives – in some cases without even realizing it.

Those operating privately held family businesses might think the integration of AI and technology is not as applicable to them as it is to Fortune 500 giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Tesla and others, yet I suggest that it is just as applicable to you.

Acceptance of AI – and any other evolution in technology – may not necessarily mean the adoption of the most radical, cutting-edge concepts into your business, but embracing the inevitable evolution of commerce is critical to your family business’ success.

Perhaps your grocery chain is not ready to integrate Amazon Go’s vision and sensor technology – but you should be preparing for the possibility.  Maybe your emphasis of person-to-person customer service is what sets you apart in your industry, so automated operators or customer service channels may not be a part of your vision – but how could automation elsewhere in your business help?

It’s easy to justify the status quo with the old adage, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” – particularly when it comes to successful family business, yet breakage also occurs when systems are neglected.  As entrepreneurs, we need to break outside of the mental prison of the status quo and constantly think about “what’s next,” no matter how successful we are now.

It is hard to look beyond the known. Interruptions are uncomfortable, but they’re necessary if we’re going to evolve. Remember: concepts that push your thinking are where innovation thrives.

Encourage everyone to ask questions. Think beyond the given and look at the possible, the improbable, and even the impossible, because who’s to say what tomorrow’s technology will bring?

From a horse carriage to a car, to hyperloop, to even being beamed up – anything is possible.