Technology changes begin with the best of intentions.
We pour months and years into developing new, innovative products designed to make peoples’ lives easier, to help them work more productively, to stay better connected. We buy into them for the same reasons.
There’s just one issue: tech usually causes pain before it solves a problem.
What kind of pain? It demands change, not just from our devices and our systems but from us. We have to learn how to do things that we’ve been doing for years in a different way. That means breaking habits and deeply rooted behaviours. The end result may improve how we operate, but the journey there takes work, commitment and time.
It happened when we started typing. The first typewriters were wildly expensive for a company, costing between $60 and $100 (in comparison a clerk’s wage was $5 a week). Not to mention they required specially trained employees to operate.
Not only was there a learning curve, but a democratization of work, as they landed on the desks of executives and assistants alike. Jobs changed fundamentally, and everyone was expected to change with it.
It happened when we went from paper to digital. Travel back in time to the 1960s and you’d see designers and architects working at paper-strewn drafting tables, soon to be replaced with CAD programs and graphics editors. The software was complex at first and needed a specialized skillset to operate – much less program. It meant a large monetary investment, too.
It happened when we moved from desktop computing to the cloud. The development methodology that worked in the past just didn’t cut it in a world where software updates no longer arrived in the mail on disc once every three years. IT and security departments underwent a rapid change from an environment where they held control over both software and hardware to one where employees can individually set up their own devices and programs.
Why did it hurt so much before? Past technological shifts promised us that life would improve if we changed everything we were doing and followed a new way instead. The promise of AI tells a different story: quit changing practices and just keep doing what you’re already doing — better.
AI, the invisible enabler, integrating into a business and systems it already uses, instead of becoming yet another tool you need to roll out. It learns and adjusts to you; not the other way around.
In some cases, that story even becomes “do more of what you love doing.” That was a guiding goal behind the creation of Kiite. Sales teams report over and over again that they don’t spend as much time selling as they would like because other tasks get in the way. So we came up with a way to tap into a team’s knowledge seamlessly, without introducing new tasks or interrupting the flow of work, within the software they’re already using.
People talk to our bot the same way they were talking to their colleagues or manager, and we provide insights into questions, content and engagement. No changes in behaviour, but big changes in productivity and effectiveness.
You’ll see the same philosophy with other AI platforms. Conexiom takes the manual work out of processing orders by automatically reading orders from an inbox and feeding the information into an order management system. No behavioural changes required — customers can keep sending orders by email. Shinydocs helps companies automatically track and manage their content anywhere on their network, so it’s easy to find, classify, edit and share securely and in real-time. Gmail’s Smart Reply feature can automatically suggest replies to your emails, based on past conversation patterns. The list goes on.
AI solutions like these don’t add a learning curve to master; rather, they free up time to get back to doing what humans do best – and what they love doing most.
Easy implementation, no training, immediate results. That’s why it’s different this time.
The new generation of technology can deliver massive impact with zero change. If you’re buying an AI solution from someone who tells you otherwise, they’re doing it wrong.