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Keith Haas joined Keypoint Intelligence last year as an analyst in our Office Group, focusing on software solutions as well as smart office. A new player in the office industry, Keith has quickly learned the ropes of the industry and is offering insight on a variety of subjects that office industry faces—such as cybersecurity and managed print services. We sit down with Keith and explore the effect artificial intelligence (AI) is having on the printing industry as well as how folks in the industry can integrate AI into their roles.
Sam Keller: You are currently working on a white paper on how artificial intelligence is going to affect the print industry. What would you say is increasing the need for companies to utilize AI in their workflows and where will companies be if they don’t adopt it soon enough?
Keith Haas: At the core of its adoption, many companies recognize that decision making today is very much driven by data. We live in a digital world where data is constantly being produced that is ripe for analysis. AI is designed to analyze and process a wide range of data—whether it’s numerical, categorical, or text-driven—identifying trends and making predictions for businesses in the process. As a result of being able to make better data-driven decisions, AI can help their efforts to save money, reduce their environmental impact, and improve their overall business efforts. And to boot, it’s all done at impressively fast speeds.
So, when you ask where companies will be if they don’t adopt it soon, they will basically fall behind as a result of not being able to efficiently run through their data and identify their own pain points. In the white paper, we go into how businesses should go about adopting AI if they haven’t done so already.
SK: Whenever the topic of AI comes up, concern is inevitable. Whether it’s replacing jobs or something else, people worry how the introduction of AI will affect them. Are these concerns warranted?
KH: I would say these concerns are warranted for individuals who don't know how to use AI themselves. When most people worry about AI and its relationship to the role it plays in the workplace…yes, their first thought might be something along the lines of “AI is going to replace me in the workforce and make me obsolete.” Based on how I described AI’s general capabilities before, who could blame them? It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by such concerns. However, they don’t have to feel that way if they take the initiative to learn about how this technology can be used to help them in their professional efforts.
That being said, my suggestion to anyone reading this is that they should educate themselves on how to use AI. For example, I find myself playing around with ChatGPT from time to time trying to get a better understanding of how to get the best responses from it. Admittedly, many of the prompts I wrote up were silly and, dare I say, questionably stupid. Still, I grew to better familiarize myself with how ChatGPT responds to the prompts users task it to respond to. It may be simple, but I’m giving myself a leg up on how to use this generative AI solution compared to many others that didn’t take the time to properly use it. Workers shouldn’t be worried as long as they realize they can use it to help them in their positions.
Yes, AI will disrupt jobs…potentially eliminating many positions. Jobs will still be available to people; especially as new job roles continue to emerge. At the end of the day, AI won’t replace people. Instead, individuals who know how to use AI to its fullest potential will fill job positions. So, readers, learn what tools are being used in your industry!
SK: In what ways can people’s roles be augmented by AI technology and how can they utilize AI in their work?
KH: As I emphasized, AI can be used to aid people in their work. Like all technology that’s been developed (going back to the wheel or a hammer), it essentially serves as a tool or an extension of ourselves to tackle tasks in an easier manner than before. Okay, those were archaic examples, but you get the point.
If we’re looking at today’s work, going through repetitive, data-oriented tasks suck up a lot of time. If only we had the tools to get through those tasks in a more efficient manner... Oh wait, we do! Between examples like the use of virtual assistants to provide workers with useful insights, RPA solutions to process and organize large amounts of data for organizations in industries like education, legal, and healthcare, using generative AI to assist in writing documents, AI can augment how we work by helping us complete tasks at a faster rate—improving our productivity in the process. Over time, these augmented AI processes will only continue to improve as the technology continues to advance.
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