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Demystifying AI

13 November 2023

A recent breakfast briefing held at Cardiff Business School shed light on the top-level business applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in the rapidly evolving technological landscape.

Professor Joe O'Mahoney, an expert on growth in the consulting industry, led the session.

Beginning with an overview of the various types of AI, Professor O'Mahoney highlighted AI models such as Chat GPT and expert systems that replicate human decision-making through rules and heuristics.

To demonstrate the capabilities of AI, he showcased Chat GPT in action by asking it to generate presentation slides and even add a joke. He emphasised the exponential speed at which AI is evolving and improving.

The session delved into AI's creative aspects, showcasing its ability to generate art and even insert hidden words into images for advertising purposes. A compelling part of the presentation was AI's ability to recreate images based on MRI scans.

Moving on, Professor O’Mahoney, who is currently writing a book on AI in the consulting industry, went through insights from research about AI. Key findings included:

  • AI is more accurate than doctors
  • AI is more than 9x more empathetic than doctors
  • AI beat 99% of students for creativity
  • AI makes stories more novel and interesting

Management consultants using AI:

  • finished 12% more tasks
  • completed tasks 25% faster
  • produced 40% higher quality

The potential business applications of AI were a focus of the session. Conversational assets, chatbot support, trend detection, and content creation, including idea generation and content checking, were among the discussed possibilities. Professor O'Mahoney recommended Fireflies for transcription and notes provision, and, an AI-powered spreadsheet plugin.

For more extensive AI integration, businesses could explore AI third-party plug-ins, chatbot development, and even creating bespoke AI software and Large Language Models (LLMs), similar to those developed by tech giants like Bloomberg, Microsoft, Google, and Apple.

Professor O’Mahoney went on to discuss AI agents, describing them as "mind-blowing." The agents are autonomous AI entities capable of interacting and coordinating with one another. He showcased a scenario where AI agents worked together to facilitate a pizza order, emphasising this as a recent and fascinating development in AI.

Turning his attention to the consulting industry, Professor O'Mahoney provided insights into how AI could be integrated into the sales process to reduce administrative tasks, allowing professionals to focus on the more human aspects of their roles.

Closing the session, the risks associated with AI were discussed, including privacy concerns, biases, transparency, accountability, potential job displacement, and over-dependency.

During a Q&A session with the audience, ethics and the implications of AI for universities were among the topics explored.

Watch the recording of the breakfast briefing:

Breakfast briefing.

Cardiff Business School's Breakfast Briefing Series is a network of events which enables business contacts to find out more about the latest research and key developments from industrial partners.

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