AI expected to be a bigger revolution than ‘the Internet was in the 1990s’ – 4Sight

1st September 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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As interest in artificial intelligence (AI) grows, there are expectations that it will be a bigger revolution than the Internet was during the 1990s, says 4Sight CEO Tertius Zitzke.

While the 2020s are emerging as the decade of AI in business, it is only the start of a steep learning curve as companies integrate AI into the way they do business.

4Sight, which is already delivering solutions incorporating AI to drive productivity, is seeing significant interest in AI from its customer base, Zitzke says, noting that AI’s business case centres on automation and efficiency, data analysis and insights, cost reduction and resource optimisation, predictive analytics and productivity.

“My prediction is that the next big thing is role-based AI, in which the technology will truly begin to complement humans,” he says, highlighting Microsoft’s $10-million investment in OpenAI, the company that developed and launched ChatGPT at the end of 2022, as a key development in paving the way for the integration of AI into the world’s most-used software.

ChatGPT brings artificial generative intelligence, where AI gets much more like human intelligence, closer, he says.

“Microsoft is already using the technology in Edge and Bing as an intelligent assistant. More ambitiously, it is previewing Copilot, which will integrate ChatGPT-4 technology into Microsoft 365 to assist in a variety of tasks, thus saving users significant amounts of time.”

Automation and efficiency of the processes around people are the drivers for business AI, he says, noting that, initially, the 2020s was the “automation decade”.

“Covid-19 changed this into the automation of processes around people in the hybrid workspace,” he says.

To realise the full benefits of AI now, and to prepare for the emergence of role-based AI in the near future, companies need to embark on a multifaceted approach that encompasses various aspects of technology, workforce and organisational strategy.

“Businesses need to begin with digitalising their data to make it accessible in a digital format, and then consider how best to apply this information to simplify specific operations.

“Only then can the company implement true digital transformation, which makes it possible to devise new business applications. AI plays a role at each stage, but the goal is for it to become an agent for delivering business solutions,” he continues.

4Sight, which is assisting companies in defining and executing a carefully planned digital transformation journey to realise the benefits of AI, has seen organisations saving at least one-and-a-half hours a day, which, when multiplied across all their employees, creates an extraordinarily powerful business case, Zitzke says.

However, security is a key challenge as AI is used to make businesses more competitive.

“Making the company’s data and processes digital is key, but it needs to be protected, especially given that the AI is likely to be supplied by a third party.”

For example, Microsoft’s Bing Chat Enterprise has commercial-grade security built into its design to ensure that sensitive corporate information is encrypted in transit and is invisible to Microsoft and, as such, sensitive information is not used to train the large language models.

“AI has huge productivity benefits for companies in all sectors, but it is very important to get the basics right, and that means choosing a trusted partner with the right skills and, above all, a proven methodology,” Zitzke says.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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