Amid the world-changing advent of ChatGPT, conversations around the future of AI have been heating up. Fearful questions abound, such as, “Will AI steal our jobs? Will it steal our humanity?”
One root of this collective anxiety for workers is the knowledge of the potential ways AI can save businesses money. But there’s also evidence that AI can cost you and/or your business money.
With the assistance of experts, let’s unfurl eight ways AI could financially hurt you or your business.
Integrating AI technologies into existing systems can be a complex and expensive process.
“Business experts emphasize that organizations need to invest in specialized hardware, software and infrastructure, as well as training employees or hiring AI specialists,” said Sufyan Mughal fromGaming Tech Review. “Failure to plan and budget appropriately can result in significant financial setbacks.”
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Job Displacement and Reskilling
Though AI signifies a huge evolution in automation — which can lead to increased efficiency among organizations — it can, as a result of its powers, lead to job displacement and the need for workforce reskilling. This can be costly.
“Businesses must consider the costs associated with retraining employees or hiring new talent to adapt to changing job requirements,” Mughal said, “ensuring a smooth transition while minimizing financial disruptions.”
AI Investment Risks
AI startups were already around before ChatGPT; but, since its rise, they’ve flooded the marketplace. These companies can be risky bets for investors.
“Investing in AI startup firms can be a gamble,” said Billy Chan, founder of DataAnalystGuide.com. “The AI sector, especially those piggybacking off the popularity of technologies like ChatGPT, is saturated with new companies, some of which may not have a solid foundation in AI. This riskiness could translate into financial losses for investors.”
Intellectual Property Risks
Advancements in AI raise intellectual property (IP) concerns for artists and other professionals.
“Businesses investing in AI development may face legal battles over patent rights, copyrights or trade secrets,” Mughal said. “Protecting intellectual property and defending against infringement claims can involve significant legal expenses and potential financial losses.”
Data Collection and Storage
AI systems don’t come out of the blue — or stay there — they require vast amounts of data to learn and make accurate predictions. This can become quite the expense.
“Collecting and storing this data can be costly, especially if it involves processing and storing large volumes of information,” said Claudia Montes, senior tech expert at Technographx. “[You] must invest in data infrastructure and robust storage solutions to handle the requirements of AI applications.”
The Potential for Cybersecurity Data Breaches
A single data breach can cost a business millions of dollars. Unfortunately, AI opens the floodgates for malicious actors on the internet.
“Threat actors have been employing the latest technology to harm businesses in various ways for decades, but organizations have and must continue to find ways to use this same technology to their advantage and ultimately outsmart digital thieves, as AI is becoming more accessible and accepted,” said Simeio‘s Dr. James Quick, a cybersecurity thought leader and legal expert.
“Along with the benefits of generative AI within the realm of access to shared knowledge and efficiency, these systems also pose significant threats to the cyber strategies of many businesses,” he said. “The ability of generative AI to create realistic and convincing content, coupled with its capacity to learn from vast amounts of data, introduces new challenges and vulnerabilities that can be exploited by an array of malicious actors.”
Impersonating a Financial Entity
In the opinion of Jack E. Gold, president and principal analyst at J.Gold Associates, LLC, the single biggest way AI could cost you money is “by doing a masterful job of making you think it is your bank or other financial institution and that it can therefore make you do something that could easily jeopardize your savings, 401(k), etc.
“With so much available knowledge about you in the public realm and so many ‘hacks’ of financial information, it’s certainly possible to put together a very targeted and informed interaction with you that would be hard to distinguish from a genuine interaction with your financial institution.”
Unnecessary Medical Expenses
One very outside-the-box way that AI can cost you money (and cause you great stress, potentially) is by producing false positive test results in healthcare settings.
“False positives in AI-generated medical screenings result in unnecessary tests and expenses,” said Normand Chevrette, president and CEO of CME Corp. “This requires patients to undergo further imaging, biopsies and invasive treatments, resulting in fees for consultations that could have been avoided. False positives also cause emotional distress and anxiety for patients, leading to additional costs for psychological support.
“In healthcare, validating and monitoring AI algorithms used in medical screenings is paramount,” Chevrette said. “To achieve this, medical facilities must regularly feed the system with real-world data. Collaboration between AI experts and healthcare professionals is crucial to balance sensitivity and specificity, which reduces false positives and lessens the financial impact.”
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