The Truth about AI

Indisputable Potential

Shane Gallwey, Head of Ventures at Guinness Asset Management, talks about the indisputable potential AI has and how it will make or break a business. 

Shane Gallwey
Shane Gallwey
Head of Ventures | Guinness Asset Management

It was Matt Clifford, Rishi Sunak’s adviser on Artificial Intelligence, who was quoted on TalkTV in June saying AI was “scary and could create cyber and biological weapons to kill many humans.”
As a venture investor I am pre-disposed to be more optimistic. We focus on investing in software, business services, healthcare, education amongst other sectors, and the founders we support are fizzing with the opportunities that AI unlocks.

I’ve read about how AI can find cures for all our ailments and enhance our lives, and the potential is indisputable, but even at its most prosaic, AI will enhance our lives. For many of the businesses we invest in this comes down to one thing – efficiency. AI can take on time intensive tasks and complete them in milliseconds. Take a care worker who is looking after an elderly patient. Discussing issues with the patient, taking notes and then having to type these into a report to be uploaded can take precious time at the end of an exhausting day.

How much simpler to record a conversation, have it transcribed and the relevant information arranged into ordered bullet points. This is not AI stealing a carer’s job, this is AI freeing a carer up to spend more time with patients or family. Furthermore, those notes produced by thousands of carers each day can be analysed and issues prioritised at lightning speed, driving better outcomes for patients.
Investors are confronted with the thousands of ways that AI can enhance the businesses we invest in. Smaller businesses tend to be nimble and adapt quickly to innovation, and this bodes well for driving these efficiencies through.
There is of course the flip side to this - AI can make some businesses obsolete and not all the businesses we back will be on the right side of this. My glass is definitely half full though.

“AI can make some businesses obsolete and not all the businesses we back will be on the right side of this”

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