AI reduces costs in businesses by automating a range of tasks such as data processing, planning and customer service, which not only minimises the need for manual work, but also increases the efficiency and accuracy of these tasks.
"AI is a technology we should and must embrace. It is here and there is no way around it. If we do nothing, that is also a decision," says Netcompany CEO André Rogaczewski.
"We have a labour shortage and now is the opportunity to eliminate the boring administrative tasks. Many believe that we can save up to 40 per cent on repetitive administrative tasks in a modern society like ours. There are endless possibilities, and all companies are currently dealing with this at board and executive level. Half of the companies I visit are well underway with generative AI and are testing it in various administrative functions," he says.
Help with due diligence and contracts
In law, AI can help speed up legal processes. Today, it takes an assistant attorney hours to go through large amounts of documents and data that AI will be able to go through in a short amount of time. AI can analyse and organise these data much faster and more efficiently than humans. This reduces the time and cost of legal proceedings. In M&A transactions, this will mean fast help with due diligence and contracts. Mikkel Primdal Kæregaard sees great opportunities in letting AI take over the repetitive part of the lawyer's work:
"As part of an experiment, I took the last ten SPAs (sales and purchase agreements) that I have prepared, anonymised them and sent them to consultants who work with AI. In no time at all, they sent me qualified suggestions as to how to deal with the other party based on AI. In my view, it is not about whether we should use AI, but how we do it. It is about asking the right questions," he says.
André Rogaczewski replies that he agrees. But the counselling function cannot be replaced.
"The advice you give as a lawyer will not disappear; on the contrary, it will become more important. You still need to have well-trained employees who understand what an SPA is. But, more importantly, they need to understand why the individual client should choose you and not the other law firm that has the same algorithm. You are the best and they know they are not getting ripped off."
AI can facilitate and improve case management
AI can monitor and analyse data, enabling faster and more informed decisions. For example, in an HR department, AI can sort and analyse applications and process them efficiently.
"Let us take a practical example. If you're in an HR department and you receive an application that you need to reject, an algorithm can help you scan the application and the CV. It recognises which qualifications are needed and then generates three or four sentences of advice for the applicant to be rejected. The question is whether it can make us dumber so that we do not care about what the letters are stating. I do not think so; on the contrary, you will appear sympathetic and decent by giving a rejection that is qualified and better than what you could do before. You might do even better by training the algorithm more. You have created value, the algorithm is just repetitive," says André Rogaczewski and continues:
"I often hear the argument that people do not think their job function can be replaced by a computer. But the question is whether your experience is based on something that can be collected, and if it is, that part will be digitised. We humans like to have a factual basis for a decision, and this is where we can use technology to save countless amounts of time. But it still takes a human to move us mentally. The companies that have the best algorithm and employees who are good at advising you as a customer and making you feel safe will be very successful."
AI is not without risks
André Rogaczewski does not fear mass unemployment or other frightening scenarios:
"The discussion has gone off the rails because we have become a little too scared. You have to remember that we are in a hype cycle right now. We are very excited, amazed and a little bit scared about generative AI. It will settle down eventually. In a little while, people will realize that the technology is very valuable and can be used for a variety of things."
But while Netcompany's CEO is optimistic about AI's positive impact on our world, he is aware of potential problems. He does no share sceptics' belief that machines will take over the world in the near future, but we should not be slaves to technological possibilities.
"There is nothing wrong with using artificial intelligence to make decisions, but we probably should not use AI in highly ethical matters where it challenges our humanity. What do you need to know as a culturally empathetic and educated human being that you want to be with?"
"If someone asks me, for example, whether I should learn French, I may consider whether it is worth the while when a device for simultaneous interpretation will soon be available. It will be there in five to six years. Does that mean I should not learn French? No, it does not. An earpiece is very good for a business meeting or if you are sitting in the European Parliament, but if you are going to be telling a joke over a glass of wine at dinner with people you want to build relationships with, then it is a really good idea to know some French."
"We should use technology where it makes the most sense: for the boring, practical, repetitive tasks that take up so much of people's working lives, so we can get on with the things that matter to us instead," concludes André Rogaczewski.