With 2024 around the corner, renowned tech visionary, Ben Canning, SVP of Product Experiences at Smartsheet, has developed his predictions for 2024 focusing on empowering individuals, fostering collaboration, and harnessing the untapped potential of artificial intelligence.
Work Needs To Revolve Around Humans, Not The Other Way Around
Productivity software used to be about creating, organizing, and archiving “documents,” but now it has evolved into tools that help teams, not just individuals, collaborate and manage workflows. We’re now seeing demand for platforms that can expand across organizations to organize work at scale, across thousands of people, teams, and projects. But, everyone works differently and many are working towards different goals.
Rather than forcing employees to conform to a top-down, rigid system, people need flexible technology that meets them where they are, while still allowing for standardization. Organizations need to understand what humans are doing and what they are trying to achieve so they can provide tools that can serve as the connective tissue and help people make an impact at a broader level.
AI is going to be a game-changer here because it’s able to understand human intent without needing explicit input from humans. The way we work is changing, and it’s going to be centered around people rather than deliverables.
We’ve Only Seen A Fraction Of The True Power Of AI In The Workplace
AI has already made a big impact, but what we’ve seen is only the tip of the iceberg. So far, AI applications have mostly centered on simple tasks like image manipulation and content generation, which are only a fraction of what AI is truly capable of.
In the next era of AI, we’ll start to see the technology get better at understanding human intent. It will understand what a person is trying to accomplish and surface insights that they otherwise would not have noticed. It will be able to make connections to things that someone may have missed to help them advance their work. It will be like having an assistant with infinite time who is solely focused on accomplishing the tasks that you don’t have time to do.
AI is also going to completely change the way we interface with software–user experience is going to evolve into something much different from what we are currently used to. The days of complex user interfaces will give way to more conversational ones. Rather than needing to understand how to navigate a system’s menus and buttons, people will be able to talk to their software, describing what they are trying to do, how it should look, and the technology will take it from there. People will no longer need to be experts on certain tools because the tools will meet them where they are, considerably lowering the barrier for harnessing powerful technology. This is going to unlock a massive amount of efficiency as things like workflow automation and data analysis become something that anyone can do.
As AI Is Applied To Content Creation, Curation Will Become Just As Important As The Content Itself
Traditionally, to develop content you need to invest in creative. That typically means a brief, working with a designer, going through rounds of edits–and all of this takes a lot of time and a lot of money. But with AI, creatives can streamline the content creation process, helping reduce costs and timelines.
AI is able to quickly generate and edit content based on conversational prompts, giving writers, editors and designers a jumpstart. It will also make it easy to generate brand images with specific parameters, and people will be able to ask for unlimited versions for review, all without additional cost or added time. For marketers especially, content creation is going to become a less complicated and more efficient process.
AI will completely change how we manage, create, and automate content. If we’re able to produce unlimited amounts of content, then the value of those pieces shifts to personalization, and ultimately, to curation. The brand itself is going to be much more important. Content may no longer be king– rather, brand identity and brand adherence will become more important because it’ll be more about where the brand is showing up and who is promoting it.