Empirical’s BHAPs (Big Hairy Audacious Predictions) about AI

Today, the Empirical team shares BHAPs (Big Hairy Audacious Predictions) about AI.

ChatGPT, Bing, and Google Bard – which all use AI language models – have made the world sit up and take notice in recent months. Yes, AI has been around for many years, but when ChatGPT was launched as a prototype in November of last year artificial intelligence technology became a household phrase and became the topic of many conversations.

What everyone wants to know: what does the accelerated adoption of AI mean for all of us?  How will our world change? And what will this mean for our businesses and business operations?

Our HR and Talent Acquisition team has thoughts on what AI means.

Generative AI platforms like ChatGPT and Google Bard have been all the rage in recent months, with businesses across the world using the technology to perform tasks like coding and content creation. While the tech is obviously helpful, studies hadn’t yet been conducted to measure its effectiveness in helping employees get their jobs done.  AI in business will be used for analytics & research, customer service entry level, bookings/travel, etc.; however, it will not be able to predict future outcomes and cannot account for human emotion in execution.
– Jason Fisher, Managing Partner

In three years I predict that sourcing, baseline screening, and interview scheduling will continue to become mainstream for employers. Providing candidates with a high-touch human interaction experience is the key to successful talent acquisition and believe this will be true in the future. AI needs to be trained and I believe it is far from understanding candidate sentiment from freeform text. AI will assist talent acquisition teams but not replace them anytime soon. Besides, the cost of AI is prohibitive for many employers.
– Laura Schlessinger, Partner, Talent Acquisition

I predict organizations will start using AI to replace “people” for lower complexity tasks such as creating interview questions specific to a job, creating job descriptions, standardizing training needs, and collecting and analyzing data.
I don’t believe AI should ever fully replace human interaction – especially in the area of human resources – as morale, authentic engagement, and so much more will suffer if that is the case.
– Laurie Beasley – Director, Human Resources

As much as AI is a time saver with applicants and aids in working smartly, in the recruiting world it does miss the “Human Touch” and “Interaction”.   In recruiting, the human voice and interaction relay much about the individual.  However, I do believe that personal interviews (phone or video) will be eventually replaced with testing and online question-based interviews.
– Jerri Lynn Cech, Director, Talent Acquisition

AI will have an impact within the area of supply chain.
Within supply chain, AI will be able to predict and simulate supply chain visibility across multiple geographies and multiple tiers, such as which supplier will have what products available (and how many). AI will link this information to product planning, demand planning, forecasting, and manufacturing, which is almost non-existent today in both large and SMB (small and midsize business) sectors. AI will also assist in the optimization of delivery routes, distribution costs, transit times, and fleet maintenance.

There are some caveats to this prediction. We collectively must create trust in AI, and trust it to support our organizations. We must ensure that AI is well-trained and tested with a continuous learning model.
– Shubho Chatterjee, Partner, Digital Transformation & Supply Chain

 There will be applications within customer service.
My prediction: Advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) will revolutionize the Customer Service function. Over the next 3-5 years, I expect AI chatbots to be deployed in over 50% of B2B and B2C websites and will become the primary customer service channel. While I don’t believe they will replace human agents, they will assist them in providing a superior omnichannel customer experience. I am intrigued by generative AI-based solutions being introduced by Intercom and Ada – expect to see a lot more in the coming months!
– Ajay Joshi, Partner, Sales Operations

AI will be used increasingly in tech support/call centers, both with the use of even more chatbots and offering information to live agents. In the next three years, it will be very hard to speak to a live agent without going via an AI interaction.
Simon Dukes, Associate, Marketing

There has been much shared about the potential impact of AI in the world of marketing and sales. Our team weighs in with thoughts on this area.

Sales and marketing are often early adopters of new technologies and I believe you’ll see the same with AI.  AI has already played an important role in revenue generation, but I believe it will take a giant leap forward with AI becoming more accepted and built into the processes.  BDR (Business Development Rep) role has already had options in the AI space, but I’d expect in the next few years, you’ll see AI take over more and more of those functions – to the point that a truly automated front end of the process to the handoff to the AE (Account Executive).
– Bill Morrow, Managing Partner

From a marketing point of view, I see AI as the “shiny new toy” that’s taken about 5 years to finally become mainstream. However, I predict that, like so many “hot trends” (augmented reality is an example), AI will be a fad that will eventually shift and become something much more tactical for marketers, while potentially having much more strategic applications elsewhere.
AI will replace areas where automation makes sense, but it will not replace the areas where intellectual property plays a powerful role. No matter how hard we try, it’s very difficult to replace the power of human innovation, invention, and intellect. And to that point, as far as brands go, the strongest brands are built around powerful stories which cannot be engineered. Years from now, when it comes to search, research, and discovery in all forms, that is perhaps where AI will play a significant role. But for intellectual property, ideas, and insight? I don’t believe we’ll even be talking about AI in that regard by then.
– Michelle Cheney, Director, Marketing

AI will be the go-to tool in a marketer’s content development arsenal but will not be able to replace the unique perspective and tone that a human can add. It will be a valuable supplement that is only as strong as the person using it.
– Erin Dalton, Associate, Marketing

AI has come into our business lives fast and furious, and it is here to stay. As business people, we must learn how to tap into the technology in ways that will best support business goals and objectives. Over time, how we use AI will settle into a rhythm and it will become a natural part of our ongoing lives. Right now, it is new and many of us are testing it to see what it can do and how we can best use it. We will figure this out over time.
On the marketing front, I predict AI will be a driver to help us better personalize our marketing. This is a need and desire now, but it can be difficult and expensive for companies to execute. I expect AI will help marketers of companies in the mid-market customize and personalize communications in a way that we have never seen before, not only on the B2C side but also on the B2B side.
– Laurel Cavalluzzo, Partner, Marketing

I expect AI will revolutionize the entire world of digital marketing. SEO as a whole will need to be streamlined as AI is already generating entire blog posts and even sites with content that’s geared towards what a user is and will be searching. It already has the capability to crawl the Web and build its neural network. Eventually, someone (SEMrush or some other technology) will be able to tap into this and create ways to deliver even more focused messaging with SEOed landing pages and blogs that are AI-generated, dynamic, and tailored specifically per user. Not even at the audience level, but per user. And of course, we can expect to see that be really specific, down to the device, location, history, income, interests, relationship status, family makeup, etc.
On the paid front, expect to see everything above but also throw in ads and copy using your past history and intent and maybe even relevant images. On top of that, expect to see more dynamic landing pages, relative to what AI has learned from your past experience, purchase history, etc. to determine what you’re looking for, what you want to see and/or should be looking for, and of course, add-ons.
– Joseph Craig, Director, Marketing

Our team continues to closely watch the development of AI, and importantly will work to understand the implications across various industries and within functional areas.  Want to talk to us about this?  We’d love to connect! 
Reach our team via email (hello@thinkempirical.com) or give us a call (610) 994-1139.