In our last post, we introduced the topic of AI agents and explored possible use cases for associations. Today, we are going to dive deeper into the world of AI agents and AI companions, and what associations need to know to take advantage of these developments.
As a refresher, AI companions provide insights and assistance without autonomous action, while AI agents can take direct action on the user's behalf.
A great example of a companion comes from Zoom. While not a full agent, Zoom's AI Companion tool provides valuable real-time transcription, identifies key moments, analyzes engagement, and suggests action items from your Zoom meetings. If you are late to a meeting, no problem! Zoom's AI Companion will get you caught up with a summary of what you missed.
This, in itself, provides a major productivity boost, eliminating the work of notetaking and analysis, and allowing meeting participants to be more present. Imagine if Zoom could take this a step further and execute on follow-up tasks from the meeting. For example, it schedules your next meetings, sends reminder emails for action item due dates, and initiates new conversations based on decisions made in the meeting. Pretty revolutionary, right?
Well... we’re here to tell you, we aren’t far off from that reality!
AI is evolving quickly and we are beginning to see early iterations of commercially available AI agents. Inflection AI’s Pi is a great example. Pi acts as a personal assistant – it can schedule meetings based on your availability, make restaurant reservations fitting your preferences, and even make phone calls on your behalf. Soon, it will very likely be able to complete more complex, multi-step tasks.
So what happens as AI agents become more advanced? Could they take on leadership roles within an organization?
It’s very possible... but we aren’t too worried about it quite yet.
Even as AI agents are able to solve more complex problems and take on more involved actions, there are significant regulatory challenges that will make a full overthrow of leadership difficult. Think: who do we hold accountable if an AI agent makes a bad decision?!
The near future of work more likely holds a hybrid model that thoughtfully combines the strengths of humans and artificial intelligence in leadership roles. AI agents can aid human leaders by handling routine or data-heavy tasks, filling skill gaps, and providing unbiased analysis. This frees up valuable time and mental energy for leaders to focus on higher-level strategic thinking, creativity, relationship building, and fostering innovation. While AI will continue evolving rapidly, wise implementation that maximizes benefits while proactively addressing risks is key. Associations should stay informed on developments in AI agency to recognize how these technologies can augment leaders and transform operations for the better.
Are you a leader interested in learning more about how you can use AI in your organization? Consider checking out Sidecar’s CEO Mastermind Course, led by Amith Nagarajan, Chairman of Blue Cypress.
Not a CEO? Keep an eye out for our upcoming AI Bootcamp dropping soon!
Johanna Gundlach is Senior Advisor to the Sidecar team and the first employee of Blue Cypress. She is passionate about helping grow leaders in the association and not-for-profit space. Outside of her work with Sidecar, Johanna loves exploring the mountains with her dog Laci.
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