Navigating the Uncertain Path of AI: Cautious Optimism and the Future of Insights Professionals

Change is inevitable. While human beings have experienced tremendous technical transformations throughout our history, the big question on everyone’s mind now is whether AI will be different.

That’s led to a lot of speculation about how AI will impact our day-to-day lives. Of course the reality, as with any new technology, is no one can predict exactly where AI is headed. On one hand, there’s excitement about new innovations but on the other hand, some healthy caution.

Looking at the GRIT data, it’s clear that insights professionals share this position; we’re cautiously optimistic about AI which reflects the uncertainty that comes with a new disruptive technology. However, while there is skepticism about whether AI will help humanity more than hurt, there is confidence that AI will have a positive impact and move our industry forward. That in turn is driving insight professionals to think about how AI can help us deliver research faster, cheaper and better.

One of the most obvious benefits is time saving. AI should aid us in identifying trends and patterns in data more quickly. It can provide a safety net by highlighting results that may have gone overlooked and enable researchers to quickly pivot their studies to drive better insights. Finally (and not least), AI promises to help us to significantly scale our research and expand how we engage with our target audiences to uncover deeper, more meaningful insights.

The downsides of course are equally disruptive: will the use of AI destroy our industry and our place as researchers? One concern we hear often is that individuals could use AI in a way that compromises the data; either by creating fake respondents or generating fake responses.  At Recollective, we’re developing features to mitigate those risks but it’s important to remember that as the researchers, we can’t remove ourselves from that process either.

We’re at the very beginning of this new, AI-powered research world. We can’t avoid technological progression, nor should we aim to. Let’s always remember though, that there is an inescapably human foundation to our industry and that we must all play a role in determining how technology, even one as transformative as AI, evolves it for the future.

So while it’s healthy to be cautious or skeptical when new technology is introduced, let’s continue to embrace the excitement. AI and how we use this astonishing new technology is in our hands.

Laura Pulito
Vice President Research Services

Let's research happy together