Over the next decade or so the most important investment for any company will be in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). AI in a simple way is doing a task in a much more efficient manner by learning, reasoning and avoiding external factors impacting the outcome. Though humans are good enough in the first two elements, the third element that is external factors impact the outcome especially when the task has to be repeated continuously over the long term.
This is already being recognised in the online world where AI is used to make ChatGPT a chat robot that is already changing the way we seek answers and learn. But even the offline world is incorporating AI into regular tasks.
In this large companies are taking lead such as Amazon, which is already introducing AI and robots to its warehousing operation on a full scale that would require no human involvement. The same process currently requires three humans at various stages. And this is involving only one package movement that the company handles.
Another pure AI example is Unilever using it to create efficiency in its ice cream segment. It has developed a freezer with a camera monitoring what’s inside. The software attached helps in tracking what inventories need to be replaced. And it also figures out the best route for the delivery van that is on distribution duty.
Though these examples are small-scale or at a trial stage they get more data on the difference between Human vs AI outcomes. There will be a large incentive for the switch to full scale.
Unilever has already deployed 7000 freezers and has seen 25% increases in sales as it becomes aware in real time of what sells and what does not. On large scale, it will benefit cost as well.
We might agree or disagree with the transformation but the Investor community needs to be aware that after ESG, Return on Artificial Intelligence ( ROAI) will be the most important parameter.