AI as a catalyst for change in business

L'IA comme catalyseur de changement dans le monde des affaires

In a fascinating article by Scott Galloway on Medium, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on business is compared to that of GLP-1 drugs, like Ozempic, on weight loss. Galloway highlights how these two innovations reduce “wants” in their respective fields and exacerbate existing inequalities before generating broader prosperity. The article explores how AI, much like Ozempic, is reshaping the business landscape in unexpected ways, particularly in the technology sector.

Suppressing Cravings Using AI

The analogy between Ozempic and artificial intelligence (AI) lies in their shared ability to suppress cravings, but in different areas. For Ozempic, it's about reducing the appetite for food, while for AI, it's about decreasing the need for businesses to increase their staff to grow. AI allows businesses to optimize operations, improve efficiency and reduce costs without having to hire more staff. This ability to grow “without additional calories” offers businesses the opportunity to expand while maintaining, or even reducing, their operational expenses. AI acts as a lever enabling businesses to achieve more with less, revolutionizing traditional business models that associated growth with increased headcount.

Existing Inequalities Exacerbated by AI

Just as early access to GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic primarily benefits those who can afford to spend considerable sums on weight loss, early adoption of AI tends to favor already successful companies. These companies have the resources to invest in AI technologies, allowing them to increase their competitive advantage in the market. This dynamic risks exacerbating existing inequalities, as small businesses and startups may struggle to compete without access to similar AI tools. However, as AI becomes more accessible and its cost falls, there is hope that it will benefit a wider range of businesses, contributing to more equitably distributed prosperity.

Impact of AI on Employment

The impact of AI on employment is complex and multifaceted. Scott Galloway points out that, contrary to popular belief, AI does not simply replace existing jobs with machines. Instead, it transforms the nature of work by automating certain tasks and augmenting the capabilities of existing teams. This transformation may lead to layoffs, not because jobs disappear in their entirety, but because increased efficiency makes some roles redundant. However, AI also has the potential to create new jobs and areas of expertise, requiring reassessment of skills and continued training of workers. Companies adopting AI must navigate carefully, balancing efficiency gains with the social responsibility of ensuring a fair transition for their workforce.

These key points illustrate the duality of AI as a force for change in business: it offers unprecedented opportunities for innovation and growth, but also raises important questions about equity, inequality and the future of work.