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AI Takeover: What Every Association Should Know About AI

THere's a lot of information out there about AI, let’s talk about the basics that every association needs to know about artificial intelligence.

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Ten years ago, if you mentioned the term artificial intelligence (AI) in a boardroom there’s a good chance you would have been laughed at. However, today AI is one of the hottest buzzwords in business and industry, and unlike ten years ago the companies and organizations not mentioning the term in the boardroom are actually the ones falling behind on technology trends.

But there’s a lot left to be said about AI. Exactly what is it? And how will affect your association in the future? With a plethora of AI information to uncover, let’s talk about the main points that every association needs to know about artificial intelligence.

Creating A Blueprint For AI

The concept of the term Artificial Intelligence has changed over time, but at its core it applies to the idea of building machines that are capable of thinking and performing tasks like human beings. Bernard Marr & Co., a group focused on the development of intelligent business performance, highlighted what artificial intelligence means and how exactly it will impact the future of the world we live in.

Specifically, Bernard Marr & Co. expressed that “human beings have proven uniquely capable of interpreting the world around us and using the information we pick up to effect change.” This suggests that there is no better blueprint for building machines capable of making us more efficient than ourselves! But with that power, there needs to be an equal balance of both responsibility and motive.

Without a proper goal behind artificial intelligence, its use is meaningless. So, let’s take a look at how to break down the AI blueprint in order to truly understand how this technology can work for your association.

Breaking Down The Blueprint

So, how does AI work? Here’s what to know about the logistics of artificial intelligence. The current research and development of AI is split between two branches: One being applied A.I. and the other being generalized AI. Applied artificial intelligence is said to use principles of stimulating human thought to ultimately carry out one specific task. This research on applied artificial intelligence has already begun to witness breakthroughs in various fields of study. For example, Applied AI is already affecting the consumer world as more and more of the technology we use on a day to day basis is becoming powered by artificial intelligence.

As a matter of fact, the smartphone you currently have in your pocket is likely powered by an AI assistant such as Apple’s Siri or Google’s Google Assistant. Conversely, generalized artificial intelligence seeks to develop machine technology that has the ability to complete any task. That’s right, any task. If you can conceive it, chances are generalized AI is trying to find a way to perform it. However, generalized AI isn’t quite ready to hit consumers just yet. According to Bernard Marr & Co., “generalized AI is a bit further off - to carry out a complete stimulation of the human brain would require both a more complete understanding of the organ than we currently have, and more computing power than is commonly available to researchers.”

IBM has developed its own system of Artificial Intelligence which the company has infamously named Watson. According to IBM, Watson is “Powered by the latest innovations in machine learning,” which leads many to believe that IBM has successfully created the closest system capable of performing high-levels of simulations of human neurological processes. This will help the system carry out an ever-growing range of tasks without even being specifically taught how to do so. So, what does this hold for the future of AI (and your association)?

The Future of A.I.

Currently, the power of and the future of artificial intelligence is uncertain, which is both exciting and a bit frightening to say the least. In other words, the future of artificial intelligence largely depends on who you ask. This level of uncertainty and concern has influenced many of the worlds tech giants such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon to join hands in creating the Partnership on AI. Partnership on AI was established in order to study and formulate the best practices on AI Technology moving forward. And Partnership on AI's tech giants are striving towards great advancements that can help their project thrive. Officials at IBM have already begun to discuss how AI can effectively be woven into an employees onboarding program, which was put on display in 2017 study of 6,000 HR Executives.

“To AI or not to AI” may still be the question, but many organizations have already jumped on the bandwagon. For example, who is a proud member of the Association Success family of brands, discussed how up until this moment in time an associations ability to engage with its members has been limited. The company went onto explain that “One-to-one communication has been impossible. Traditional engagement efforts centered on activities, like conferences or volunteering, that happen infrequently or require a high commitment of time and/or money on the members part.” However, thanks to AI, associations now have the ability to tap into and discover patterns and correlations in the associations data and then predict what a member would want to read each morning according to that data.

But don’t be alarmed, the power of AI doesn’t stop there. Artificial Intelligence also has the ability to look at a members past behavior and social graph to recommend webinars or conference sessions that a member may want to attend, suggest publications or online learning programs to purchase moving forward, and identify any members who may want to connect with one another for a mentoring program or peer discussion group. AI is not only artificial intelligence, it is now becoming association intelligence.

AI Put Into Practice

Let us envision a scenario to better understand how AI can improve the onboarding process of your association:For the good of the story let’s say Joe Smith has just agreed to come on board as a new member. Like I mentioned before, Joe is likely eager to meet other members to get a sense of the community and learn what it’s like to be apart of your association. But what if I told you that this process could be significantly improved and made easier for members with the implementation of AI technology?

Odds are that Joe Smith will have a variety of questions about your association, how it runs, what it’s mission is, and anything else they can think of. And you want all of these questions to be answered for them in order to keep them satisfied in their membership. Now let us consider what AI can do to avoid this confusion: “What if [Joe] had been welcomed with new hire information on his mobile device that was tailored to his first assignment?” IBM officials wrote. Rather than hiring an additional employee to walk Joe through his first few days on the job, why not just create an A.I. system that has the ability to provide new and future employees with the tools they need to instantly succeed on the job? How’s that for some food for thought!

This type of artificial technology doesn’t have to be limited. Your association can look into tools that will allow the same type of introduction and training for your members. Imagine an easy to use mobile app that answers all of your members questions at their own convenience. If you haven’t yet bought into the hype of AI and still fear a technological takeover, let this article be the first to convince you that AI isn’t all that bad if handled with care. And with the future of AI in mind, your association has a lot to look forward to in terms of membership perks.