Real Word Solutions
By Jared Smith: Entrepreneur, Marketer, Disruptor and self-described Renaissance Man.
Practical AI. As an entrepreneur with a passion for helping businesses grow, I love that this issue of Disruption Canada focuses on practical AI. Practical, real applications of tech often get ignored in favor of vague ideas, future-talk and “potential” outcomes.
The companies profiled here prove that there are real uses right now – Canadian-based companies who are formulating straightforward, scalable plans to make our lives better and generate return on investment from all angles.
As an entrepreneur, public speaker and marketer, I think a lot about how businesses and leaders can use tech to generate returns on both investment AND lifestyle, and I’ve become increasingly aware of the positive impacts that disruptive technologies can play in our businesses, in the nature of our work AND in the everyday lives of our leaders and their teams.
While we may be focusing on the practical uses of AI in business, it is doing so much more than just smoothing out the issues of commerce. Unlike so many other innovations in our recent past, AI isn’t just about speeding up production or maximizing output on an assembly line – it is a technology that can make our total lives better, not just faster, not just producing more for the sake of being able to say we are producing more – honestly better.
AI may be the technology that allows us to get back to living in a way we have started to lose. For decades, we have seen technological advancements that failed in their promise to give us more free time for family, friends and adventure. Instead, we are suffocating with an impossible state of being forever connected. How many emails did you answer last weekend? How many hours a day do you spend staying in touch with your networks on social channels. “Work hours” are a thing of the past. We’re tuned in, plugged in, always networking and always connected. We lead lives where work can touch us at all times, where we measure not only our marketing reach, but our personal value on the number of likes and impressions we get with each status we post. It isn’t healthy. It isn’t sustainable.
But AI could let us be more human again by taking over the menial and tedious tasks we don’t want to do and making it easier to leverage our creative strengths and pursue the things we do WANT to do. We can already see great shifts with applications like the AI music transcription service, Frettable, which allows musicians to collaborate around the world and Tonit which connects motorcycle enthusiasts with a sophisticated digital network.
We also see it combining the interests of our professional and personal lives with companies like ASI and Acorn. ASI’s market research AI captures authentic consumer interactions which not only helps companies sell products more effectively, it can also help track overall health and others issues within a population. Similarly, Acorn’s cell preservation system will allow users to freeze healthy cells for later applications – which could have the potential to extend not only our physical lives, but also our cognitive abilities for more quality, productive years.
As Ryan Vestby touched on in his opening words, adaptability is key to a successful future. AI is the vehicle that can help us adapt and compete while also giving us the opportunity to create and not be lost in the pursuit of global competition. With so many Canadians leading increasingly stressed out lives and with that stress impacting the way we are able to do our jobs, this seems to be the most practical use of AI: what it can do for us inside AND outside of our offices, away from the sales reports and content schedules and quarterly presentations – Artificial intelligence’s most practical application is getting us back to real life.
Jared Smith has dedicated most of his career advising senior leaders in high-growth organizations, continues to be a sought-after moderator and facilitator, and appears as a key-note speaker at numerous businesses and conferences across North America.
A New Era for Entrepreneurs
A New Era for Entrepreneurs