Christopher Bader, a sociology professor at Chapman University and one of the authors of the study that found Americans find robots more terrifying than dying, said, "People tend to express the highest level of fear for things they're dependent on but that they don't have any control over, and that's almost a perfect definition of technology."
The great thing is that leaders don't necessarily need to know how the technology works to benefit from it. Take these four platforms, which are powered by artificial intelligence but do the work for businesses:
Spiro.ai is an AI-powered CRM that empowers salespeople to nurture leads and close sales without the distraction of data entry. Spiro uses AI to proactively build a to-do list for sales reps and is the only CRM with a built-in email assistant. The email assistant provides sales reps and managers all the information they need, without requiring them to log in to their CRM.
The biggest selling point for the tech-averse may be that the CRM relies on an algorithm built by salespeople for salespeople, with the aim of creating a CRM people will actually use.
Because the CRM cuts down on the need to organize between calls, it fuels sales productivity and pushes salespeople to follow up in the quick timeline needed to close sales. And it offers another tech advantage in the form of reporting: Because Spiro self-populates with data, the reports it sends to managers are eight times richer with data than many competing platforms' reports.
Pi is an AI-powered social marketing tool to help companies boost their social strategies by analyzing followers' interactions. After connecting with a company's Twitter or Facebook account, Pi evaluates followers' profiles, posts, and comments (through natural language processing and sentiment analysis) to develop a list of relevant topics and tones. The app can recommend when to publish an associated post and use performance to continually assess and adjust its suggestions.
For those who don't have the time to look at others' accounts, the AI's biggest benefit is that it can create a pool of links to consider posting, and it can predict how well a drafted post will perform once posted. It also offers a marketplace for sponsored posts.
3. Legal Robot
Legal issues are perhaps as terrifying for some as technology itself; enter Legal Robot, an AI-powered "legal advisor" that helps both lawyers and consumers build contracts. Built to overcome the difficulty of understanding legal language, the app uses deep learning and natural language processing to create models of contracts for various scenarios and uses. It can then translate the terminology into layman's terms, compare documents to create a language benchmark for consistency, and ensure compliance.
The app aims to help businesses identify risks and pinpoint their specific blind spots in creating contracts, and its ability to learn and transform its understanding boosts its likelihood of doing that.
4. Learn Chinese
Microsoft's Learn Chinese may specifically aim to teach users how to speak Chinese, but the AI-powered language app is a precursor of things to come. The app utilizes deep neural networks to use speech to help people learn to actually speak Chinese, not simply learn its grammar rules.
Learn Chinese uses speech clues to anticipate what a learner wants to say and then scores the speaker's attempt compared to native speakers and synthesized examples. This allows users to practice language skills they may need to use on business trips or with visiting companies without face-to-face teacher availability.
The AI shines when users consider that people can learn either language featured-- Chinese or English--through the app. Learn Chinese also identifies individual words needing more practice and offers audio samples of how the words should be pronounced for future reference, saving business leaders everywhere from the risk of dying of embarrassment.
Being dependent upon something without being comfortable with it is a scary prospect. Spending more time with AI-powered tools, however, can not only make leaders less scared of technology, but it can also improve their business--and the possibility of a stronger company should outweigh any fear.