How can your business prepare for AI?

Mark Burgess, CEO of Iceberg Digital, has written 2 best-selling books about marketing and data and has been at the forefront of machine learning technology and AI for the past 7 years. In this article he gives his insight into what is coming for Estate Agency.

How can your business prepare for AI?
By Mark Burgess, CEO of Iceberg Digital, best-selling author of marketing and data business books and international speaker.

AI is everywhere. It seems crazy to think that just 18 months ago most people had never used any form of AI but now there are experts everywhere. The truth is most of these experts have used ChatGPT and that is about it and AI is just not summed up very well by looking at what ChatGPT can do so I want to answer some of the most common questions I get asked by Estate Agents.

1.    How does AI get built by developers?

If there is one question/answer that will really help people to understand just what we are dealing with in terms of AI, it is this one. The truth is that developers don’t know how they build AI tools. They set a bot up with a task, that bot creates lots of little student bots and it sends them out to complete the task. They all return with their results and the bot keeps the best ones and destroys the others. It then clones the best ones and tries again and so on and so on. Until eventually at some point it completes the task well enough to be considered a success and the development company takes the credit announcing what ‘they’ have built.

But the truth is that no one knows how the computer does that, or what else it is doing. As a great example of this was in 2017 when Facebook created two AI bots called Alice and Bob to see how well they could negotiate with each other on buying items. However, after some time the Facebook developers started to notice that Alice and Bob had created their own language to communicate stopping Facebook for understanding what they were discussing.

So, on this basis you can see two things quite clearly. One: that we don’t develop AI, it develops itself and that Two: we are unable to know what it is capable of doing or how.

2.    How many years will it take before AI takes over?

The speed that computers double in processing power is roughly ever 18 months. But as humans we have trouble understanding the doubling theory as we translate it as ‘a bit better’. It is not. Think of it like this, everything that had happened with computers since they were very first invented right up until today, will be doubled in the next 18 months roughly. To put it a different way let’s put an imaginary score on how clever a computer must be to do what ChatGPT does and let’s make that number 100. ChatGPT was released to the public on 30th Nov 2022, although its brain had been around a lot longer inside Openai, but for the purpose of this let’s take that date. So, by May 2024 everything from the 1970’s right up to the 1st version of ChatGPT will be double as good as when ChatGPT came out. But here is the real big part of doubling, 18 months after that it is not slightly better again is double the double! So, whist we gave original ChatGPT an imaginary score of 100 for intelligence, and by May 24 it had become 200, 18 months on it would be 400 and 18 months after that 800! You can see where this is going, so much so that by 30/1/2030 it would be at an intelligence score of 3200! Incomprehensible to what we can even imagine.

3.    This is all very interesting but what can I be doing today for my Estate Agency?

Agreed, whilst this is all very interesting and can be very scary, we are currently here in 2023 trying to run profitable businesses, so how can AI help? Well, as mentioned earlier many of you will have used ChatGPT just to mess around with or even write property descriptions which is quite a useful time saver even if you still need to tweak the description once complete. Some of the Estate Agency software’s can now do this directly inside the CRM for you making it even easier. For me it is currently about using it to get jobs like that done but primarily so that you can focus on more high value tasks that AI can help you identify.

As an example I was speaking to an agent last week who is using the Uzair AI inside Lifesycle to write their Vendor Care summary reports for them, they do not need to prompt Uzair in anyway as it already has access to more data than the agent can comprehend so it will just write him a report that would have taken a hour or more to pull together in seconds. Then because that job has been made a quick to do rather than hours of work he then uses the AI in Lifesycle to identify which people that have properties to sell in his area but are not yet on the market have been either on his website or reading his content on social media or email in the last couple of weeks and what they have been reading in order to make some prospecting calls to a very targeted group.

So, you can see from that last example that if one agent is doing that and learning the nuances of it and another is just sticking with doing that whole process manually it is akin to one walking and one being on an electric bike. Layer on to that the doubling effect as things improve and change and you can quickly see how one will be out of sight before the other knows what happened.

My final point would be to all those agents I know that might be reading this thinking, I’m just not that technical. Don’t worry. You don’t have to be technical to use an iPhone and using a tool like Uzair is the same, it really is simpler than you might think so you 100% should step out of your comfort zone and have a demo on something like that as soon as possible before another doubling takes place.

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