Despite the significant benefits of generative AI, many association leaders are telling me that they are hesitant to embrace this cutting-edge technology due to various factors – including a history of having challenges using new tech.
When airplanes first took flight, some looked up in awe and were inspired to think big. Others looked away and were left with fear and reservations about what could go wrong. In many ways, the advent of this latest generation of AI marks a point in time where everything is about to change. It’s important to be rational and consider risks. However, don’t let that stop you from looking up at the sky with amazement and considering the possibilities.
As an association professional, you have the power to make change happen now. Start off by learning about this stuff!
The Value of Innovation
As an association leader, you can inspire your organization to explore new possibilities, unlock new sources of value and stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing world. This is even more critical for purpose-driven organizations, as emerging technologies help move your mission forward and increase the impact you make on the members, communities and professions you serve.
While the use cases and possibilities of generative AI are still being created, at a minimum, they’ll help associations engage in new and deeply personalized ways with their audiences and create better content than ever before. In addition, the efficiency gains from AI will be staggering and allow associations to reconsider how best to use staff resources when so many tasks are automated.
You Don’t Need to Know How to Fly to Benefit
Today, we’re at an inflection point where AI has the ability to revolutionize almost every aspect of our lives (yes, far more than it has already). But like the shift from ground transportation to air, understanding the magnitude of that impact can be challenging.
Before the Wright brother's inaugural flight in 1903 and more widely publicized flight in 1908, ground transportation dominated the world. The possibility of global travel was limited to ships with a five-day average required on transatlantic trips.
And while the first “commercial” flight (from St. Petersburg to Tampa) took flight in 1914, air travel didn’t go mainstream until 1955, when more Americans traveled by air than train for the first time ever.
Impact vs. Understanding
For most people, however, our understanding of the mechanics and science behind flight hasn’t evolved much since 1908. But here's the thing – you DON’T need to know how to build or fly the plane – you just need to know the plane now exists!
Knowing the capabilities of the tech means being smart about what it can and can't do. What it does well versus what it doesn't, and so on. It's like being a smart traveler rather than a pilot. If you want to be the pilot too, that’s cool. The point is you don't need to be the pilot to comprehend the possibilities and take advantage of them.
What Does AI Mean for Associations?
Just as those first airplanes opened up new horizons for exploration and discovery, generative AI opens up new horizons for associations to achieve their goals more effectively, enhance member engagement and create greater impact.
Get started today by experimenting small and learning. Don’t jump right in if you’re not comfortable with taking flight today, but make sure you are aware and learn as much as you can through a process of small experiments. That process will pay off over time and help you and your team adopt the technology when and where it will have the greatest payoff.
March 14, 2023