Forward Fortnightly Archive: Why is AI is such a strong bet for investors?

February 3, 2022

In this article, we’re digging into AI.

And yes, I know, it’s a big ask. And a HUGE topic that touches almost every part of our lives in some way.

So let me break it down for you a little further. We’re going to look specifically at why AI is such a strong bet for investors. Why they like it. Why it makes so much sense for growing tech businesses to apply these techniques. And crucially, for those starting out and building - how to apply the lessons from big players in your business strategy and growth model.

AI + EQ = wins.

Artificial Intelligence in all its forms is here to stay. It's being adopted at an ever-increasing rate, across sectors and geographies. It’s solving problems humans couldn’t have imagined tackling 50 years ago. It's keeping up with the evolving requirements of the next generation of consumers. And the companies behind the trends are breaking fundraising records.

At Forward, we believe that the real magic happens when combined with the human characteristics that a machine can’t simulate: emotional intelligence, sophisticated reasoning, creativity and imagination.

So why are investors so hot on AI?

It's industry agnostic. It's solving big, complex problems in industries that have often lagged behind in technological innovation. Many are plagued with unstructured and siloed data, admin heavy processes and teams performing monotonous tasks that could be alleviated by AI. 

It can meet the demands of a new generation of customers. Modern consumers are demanding more. Gen Z is now the largest population cohort globally. 2.5 billion people who are digitally native and mobile-first. Who expect tailored recommendations and slick customer service. All of which AI can help deliver, at speed.

It's scalable. AI’s capability goes far beyond a human’s physical ability. The technology is trained on huge datasets, that would be impossible for one or even a team of humans to process at the same speed. It can solve increasingly complex problems with ease and at pace. 

Apply the learning.

Here are three recommendations to help you start thinking about whether AI is right for your product.

📍 Find the problem. Any great business looks to solve customer problems or create great experiences. AI can really help, but you have to start at the start. Think about your target personas, and your lean canvas before the technology. Once you've found the potential for product-market-fit, consider how you might solve the problem and whether AI might be a good fit. Investors look for thoughtful and meaningful applications of technology rather than hot-tech buzzwords.

🏋️‍♀️ Pre-trained models create instant wins. You don't necessarily have to build AI features from scratch. There are lots of pre-trained and pre-built solutions on the market, many of which you can white-label (GTP-3, for example). Before investing the time and money developing proprietary code or training an algorithm, consider this approach for speed, economy and efficiency, especially important in the first stages of growth as you find product-market-fit.

🦸‍♀️ Don't forget the people. The most effective applications of AI are those with robust and well-nurtured data set. Building and maintaining these is a highly-specialised job. If you are looking to explore AI then stop to think about the experts you need to help you make it happen, which may stretch beyond the capabilities of your current team.

If you’re building a startup, insights like this can help you stay ahead of the pack. Subscribe today to our Forward Fortnightly. 

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February 3, 2022