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A practical guide to managing the AI hype

29/05/2024 By Xander van der Westhuizen Head of Reporting & Analytics
AI contact centre technology
By Xander van der Westhuizen Head of Reporting & Analytics
AI contact centre technology

As conversations about artificial intelligence (AI) continue to dominate tech and business circles, it’s essential to keep our expectations grounded. While AI undoubtedly offers transformative possibilities, from streamlining operations to enabling new kinds of products and service, the current reality often falls short of the hype. There’s a significant gap between how AI is perceived by the public and the actual work needed to implement it effectively in our businesses. Understanding this disparity is important, not just for tempering our expectations but also for successfully navigating the complexities involved in bringing AI solutions from concept to reality.


Understanding AI’s true capabilities 

AI technology is still in its infancy. Rapid developments are frequent, with numerous AI models overtaken every few weeks by a new version or a new company. This constant evolution is something to consider when deciding to integrate AI into your operations. Are you prepared to keep up with the pace of change, or would it be wiser to wait and see how these technologies mature? 

Don’t forget, it’s not a plug-and-play solution either. AI is not a sentient thing; it needs to be trained. It’s only as smart as the data it receives, and implementation involves rigorous customisation and integration, from building interfaces, to creating extensive and personalised instructions. With incidents like AI-generated errors (often referred to as “AI hallucinations”) and notable issues such as those seen in Air Canada’s small claims court case, even the most advanced AI can come with risks.

Security and data concerns 

One of the most pressing issues with AI is ensuring data security and meeting compliance standards. As businesses, especially those in highly regulated industries, look to integrate AI, it’s crucial to think about where the data will end up. Many times, the use of third-party AI services is restricted because they store and process data outside of Australia, which can be a major hurdle. A lot of our clients face strict rules about where their data can be stored and whether it can be shared with third parties; for many, sending data overseas isn’t an option. However, as the demand for AI grows within Australia, we expect these challenges to lessen with the anticipated opening of local data centres, providing more flexibility in how we handle and secure our data. 

The cost of AI 

Adopting AI involves significant financial considerations, not only in terms of initial investment but also regarding ongoing operations and maintenance. Businesses will need to decide whether to build their own AI tools or use third-party services. Each option has its implications. Building in-house offers complete control over data and customisation but requires substantial resources in development and skilled personnel. On the other hand, third-party services, ensure they have the best tools available, continually updated with hyper-focused research. Whichever model you choose, weigh the substantial ongoing financial commitment against the potential return on investment. 

Address the skill gap 

When considering the integration of AI into business operations, make sure to realistically assess the capabilities of your workforce. The assumption that younger employees inherently possess advanced computer skills is misleading. As highlighted in the article, Examining the Decline of Computer Literacy Among Younger Generations,  “the intuitive nature of mobile apps simplifies many functions that would typically require deeper technical understanding on traditional computers. Consequently, younger generations may be less inclined to explore advanced computer concepts beyond basic usage.” Therefore, tread carefully when deciding whether to develop AI capabilities in-house or outsource them. 


AI is undeniably powerful and its potential to revolutionise our workplaces is immense. As it continues to evolve and become more accessible, it will undoubtedly become an integral part of how we operate. However, before jumping on the AI bandwagon, take a step back. Evaluate what AI can genuinely do for your business right now and in the future. Consider the skills your team has and what they’ll need to learn. Remember, getting AI right is more important than getting it fast. This technology isn’t going anywhere, so there’s still time to plan properly and ensure you’re really ready. 

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