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AI gold rush


The Biggest Winners of GenAI

The Biggest Winners of GenAI

AI coming for your job? Truth is, for specific roles, generative technologies can be more godsend than threat.

The disruption wrought by generative AI (GenAI) has raised questions about who will truly benefit and who will be left behind. Unlike previous technological shifts that primarily displaced blue-collar workers, GenAI is shaking up white-collar professions. Consultants, researchers, lawyers and other knowledge workers are facing unprecedented change as GenAI both helps and hinders them. 

The impact is uneven even within professions, as INSEAD professors explain in this INSEAD Explains video series, with certain roles and skillsets proving more receptive to the power of GenAI than others.

1. Skilled professionals
Henning Piezunka, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise

Think back to the advent of chess computers. The technology disproportionately affected lower-ranked players, who found themselves outmatched but also gained access to powerful training tools. This mirrors the current emergence of GenAI.

While entry-level tasks appear most vulnerable to automation, skilled professionals may find themselves in a stronger position, as their ability to discern when and how to deploy AI tools becomes a differentiating factor. 

The full economic implications of this technological shift remain unclear, but it is evident that the ability to harness AI effectively will be crucial in navigating the evolving workplace.

2. Innovative exploiters
Philip M. Parker, Professor of Marketing 

The GenAI gold rush is set to ignite a dual boom in both software and hardware sectors. Initially, the “shovel sellers” – those providing essential infrastructure like graphics processing units (think Nvidia) and data centres – stand to reap disproportionate rewards compared to AI developers themselves. 

As the dust settles, a new wave of opportunity will emerge in the medium term for those who can creatively harness GenAI. Many businesses, lacking the necessary hardware, software and expertise, can be expected to hire vendors and specialised AI labs to deploy GenAI technology at scale.

In the long term, the winners will be those who devise innovative business models that fully exploit the potential of GenAI.

3. Humans who use computers
Anton S. Ovchinnikov, Visiting Professor of Decision Sciences

Remember those clunky programming languages that we once used to communicate with computers? Now we can just tell the computer what we want, in the language that we speak, like asking a friend for help.

This is huge for managers who aren’t tech-savvy. Just ask the MBA students at my Foundations of AI for Managers course at INSEAD. By simply telling GenAI what they want to do, students can write fairly powerful computer code.

Another group of people who reap GenAI gains are those who deal with large amounts of text. Take customer service: Instead of reading through a whole chat log, agents get a quick AI summary. Based on recent data from a large call centre, that's one minute saved per call – for the company and the customer. 

Now that’s one minute of our lives we can all get back.

Edited by:

Lee Seok Hwai

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Artificial intelligence

About the series

AI: Disruption and Adaptation
Delve deeper into how artificial intelligence is disrupting and enhancing sectors – including business consulting, education and the media – and learn more about the associated regulatory and ethical issues.
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