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  • Writer's pictureIttai Shiu

AI is an Equalizing Technology

Updated: Sep 11, 2023


The motivation to create LaunchPoint was the notion that not everyone starts off on equal footing upon graduation. Getting accepted into and completing a college program is a huge accomplishment, but it's also an inflection point where careers start. Unfortunately, despite talent, hard work and grit, socioeconomic and demographic circumstances create inequalities that can limit segments of the population.


Internships are a critical component of career preparation, yet almost half of internships at for-profit companies are unpaid. Some students don't have the option to work for free, which means a gap starts to open up between students from privileged and marginalized backgrounds. That’s why LaunchPoint sponsors students so that they can experience professionally-relevant internships and get paid for it.


At the same time, necessity breeds innovation and a student poised for success has the ability to get the most out of the resources available to them. This most certainly applies to tools like ChatGPT, Bard.io or the litany of AI applications being released every day. This technology’s capacity to save time, create content and solve problems has not yet failed to amaze me and it behooves educators and senior professionals like me, not only to take note, but find ways to incorporate them into our businesses.


Nowadays, when LaunchPoint vets internship candidates we've started asking what AI tools they've used and what projects they’ve used them on. Our recruiting team has incorporated this into our process because 1) we're all still learning and 2) we're curious how those who have access to fewer traditional resources are able to be more innovative with AI.


AI Removes Barriers


Despite all the controversy and unknowns regarding where and how AI fits into education, privacy, culture, etc., one thing is certain - AI is an equalizer. With new AI tools being released every day, young professionals, regardless of circumstance, can immediately tap into superhuman abilities supplemented by staggering volumes of knowledge. Access to either facilities or specialists and even a formal education are no longer barriers to being innovative and ambitious while solving difficult problems or creating something extraordinary.


In the wake of the AI revolution, I agree with many experts' predictions of a surge in entrepreneurship. More specifically, entrepreneurs will be able to pursue more opportunities because AI will greatly reduce the significance of typical barriers, which includes:


  • Human Bandwidth. Given that AI can help anyone accomplish remarkable feats, a “lack of time” is no longer an excuse to attempt anything from writing business plans, to creating multiple versions of a concept, to developing and debugging code.

  • Access to Experts. Learning starts with asking a question, getting answers, then asking more focused follow up questions. When applied to real life experts (ie. consultants, lawyers, etc) this process can get expensive, but tools like ChatGPT can mitigate these costs by being an entrepreneurs initial sounding board for challenging questions.

  • Business Capital - Combining the first two points reduces the initial capital required to fund a team, acquire resources and start a successful venture. Thus progress will be even more reliant on an entrepreneur’s creativity, vision & ambition.


Entrepreneurship and Competition


In the last decade, new business opportunities have emerged from all corners of the globe, according to many business publications, boosting economies in Africa, South America and Asia ushering in economic and social change as a result. We can expect young entrepreneurs with any background to be empowered by AI and build on this momentum. While it’s exciting to think about how countries around the world will contribute to this predicted surge in entrepreneurship, will this make the United States less competitive?


In my opinion, the answer is a flat no. AI has the potential to elevate entrepreneurship in underserved, marginalized and low-income communities within the U.S. as well. As the saying goes, the rising tide lifts all ships and one of the defining competitive advantages of the U.S. is its ability to find innovation in the face of new technologies and taking risks in the face of failure. Combined with a highly-skilled workforce, openness for business and access to capital the U.S. remains the most entrepreneurial country in the world. With the right mentorship and collaboration we can all do our part to ensure these values harness AI’s potential to retain this advantage. Simply put - you ain’t seen nothing yet!


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