April 20, 2024

Will AI replace consultants? This is what business owners say.

Of all the professions in the business world, consulting has a bad reputation. They come in, inspect the scene and make their recommendations. Whether their advice translates into growth or not, the consultant still gets paid. Some charge thousands of dollars a day, others take capital as a measure. Some are great and some need work.

The rise of AI tools in businesses throughout 2023 and beyond has started a debate about which roles will remain and which will be replaced. Coaches may be sure, but lawyers are not. Administrative assistants, call center workers, every job role requires a rethink. In this series of evaluations by entrepreneurs, AI experts and consultants, the consultants themselves are under scrutiny. Here’s what other professionals think will happen to these daily rate strategists.

Can artificial intelligence replace consultants? The debate.

Yes, AI will replace consultants

“Most consultants aren’t really that smart,” he said. Michael Greenberg of modern industrialists. “They’re just smarter than the average person.” But he believes the average machine is much smarter. “Consultants typically perform non-creative tasks based on systematic analysis, which is another thing machines are typically better at than humans.” Greenberg believes that some consultants, “who are in design or user experience, will survive,” but “the run-of-the-mill accounting degree turned business advisor won’t.”

Someone who has “replaced all [her] “We are already ChatGPT consultants and experiencing faster growth,” is Isabella Bedoya, founder of MarketingPros.ai. However, she believes that because “most people don’t know how to use AI, expert consultants must take advantage of it to be even more powerful, effective and efficient for their clients” and stay ahead. Heather Murray, director of Beesting Digital, believes the inevitable replacement of consultants is down to quality. “There are so many poor quality consultants who rely strictly on working with their clients through established frameworks, regardless of individual needs. AI could do it easily.” She agrees that “high-quality consultants will prevail, but they will only be able to remain competitive by arming themselves with AI.”

AI business consultant Damian Sebastian Think it’s a matter of time. “In the short and medium term, many consultants will be out of work,” and he has a theory as to why. “Demand for consulting work is growing, but this growth is accompanied by how artificial intelligence technology is accelerating common tasks such as report writing and analysis,” an imbalance that, in his opinion, “will result in job losses.” , because fewer consultants are needed to do the job.” the same amount of work.” Like Murray, Sebastian believes that “high-performing consultants will use AI tools as co-pilots, increasing their results exponentially, while large consulting firms will become infinitely more agile and profitable.”

Rob Da Costa, who helps agency owners make their agency less dependent on them, with personalized advice and AskRobAnythingAI, believes that “AI-powered virtual assistants could handle many routine consulting tasks, such as gathering information customer base, explain processes and options. , providing recommendations based on parameters and answering common questions”, a process that, in his opinion, would replace many consultants and at the same time be positive for its human counterpart. “This would allow human consultants to focus on high-level strategic work and develop personal relationships,” along with their “depth of understanding, empathy, and the ability to read between the lines, understand the nuances of human emotions and behavior, and offer Personalized advice based on years of experience and intuition.”

Tim Glowa He has worked in human resources consulting, including at the partner level, at global human resources, tax and accounting firms. Leading a human capital analytics solution, including employee surveys, he believes that “generating questions, scheduling a survey, sending email invitations, analyzing data, and writing a report can be easily replaced with AI,” as well as communication and some tax functions. She believes other areas, including strategy, pricing and auditing, will follow the same path, but not yet, because “they still require thought and experience and AI is not at that level.” Glowa believes AI can level the playing field between large and small consulting firms. “We were concerned about specialized boutique consultancies that can do something of equal quality faster and cheaper,” leveraging AI. “At least I hope they can!” she added.

No, AI will not replace consultants

“Good consultants bring human expertise and context-based guidance that AIs cannot offer,” said Heather Flanagan of Spherical Cow Consulting. She believes that “AI is a fantastic value-add as it can help a consultant expand their engagements and generate sales opportunities.” As a consultant, she believes that “it is more added value for us than what we offer to our clients.” Joffrey Berti, rapid transformation coach and strategy consultant, also believes that human experience is too important to be replaced by robots. “AI lacks the human consultant’s ability to understand nuanced business contexts and the complex dynamics of organizational culture. Human consultants bring a level of creativity and strategic insight informed by years of experience and personal judgment that AI cannot yet replicate , especially in complex multidimensional projects.

For Chantal Swainston, founder of The Heard, situational experience is too important. “The best consultants rely on their experiences to give the best advice,” he said. “Having access to someone who has been in your very specific situation before, who managed the process and outcomes, and who can spot the less obvious obstacles is invaluable.” He said he can see AI “providing a significant amount of assistance and speeding people through the first steps before speaking to a consultant, but it seems unlikely to me to completely replace them.”

Founder of Mashman Venture Isaac Masman He also believes that the demand will not be there. “Of course, AI can give general answers and be trained on a case-by-case basis, but it is unlikely to imagine people adopting it on a large scale. “Humans present a degree of connection that AI does not have,” he added.

senior strategist Jim Perry believes predictability and emotional intelligence play a role, stating that AI is “less effective at taking into account the unpredictable emotional and cultural factors that often shape successful strategy development and implementation.” Chief Financial Officer Fotis Chrysochos believes clients will continue to request consultants until AI reaches human levels of “compassion, empathy and behavioral understanding.”

Amy Lester, VA and VA mentor, said that “although AI can eliminate some menial and repetitive work, human involvement will always be necessary to add humanity or personality.” rich davidCEO of R Squared Group is questioning the capabilities of AI as a whole, saying that “half of what good consultants do is diagnose the problem by asking the right questions in the right order to the right audience,” a task that, According to him, “it would require fast and very robust engineering on the part of the AI ​​user to determine all the factors.”

HYPPA Coach founder and ADHD consultant Mark Cann, who has created an AI focus coach, believes that “a human consultant is more likely than an AI (which may lack prior context) to bring your attention to your attention.” BS to help you progress.” However, you can see the benefit of combining AI with consultants, in that “the client receives more attention on their high-priority problems and wastes less money on data collection and analysis, for which a consultant can use AI.”

“AI is not here to replace us, but to work alongside us. It cannot think for itself, it needs human beings! said trainer and consultant Cadi Jordan, “screaming from the four winds!” AI creator Anna Poplevina agrees, believing that “consultants will adapt by incorporating AI into their work to quickly analyze data for better, personalized advice,” meaning that “this change won’t replace them, but it will make their expertise more valuable as they grow.” navigate and apply AI insights to satisfy customers.” ‘ needs.”

Co-founder and CEO of Lately AI, Kate Bradley Chernis is convinced that AI will not replace consultants and has strong arguments to explain why. “Sensitive machine learning doesn’t exist,” he said. “Robots cannot think for themselves. The symbiosis between AI that needs humans and humans that need AI is a movie we have all seen before.”

AI creator lucas pimentel added a new dimension to the debate, explaining that “client expectations will be higher,” which he said will mean that “consultants who do not perform well will be replaced by AI, and those who can use AI to improve “Their impact will be replaced by AI.” “They will be in more demand than they can even imagine.” Finally, Chernis’ final words of wisdom ring true for all knowledge workers. “When we fight against it, we stagnate. When we embrace it, we rise.”

What is the middle ground? AI-powered consultants.

While it’s romantic to think that empathy, human connection, and genuine care are required to make a consulting relationship work, the only thing that matters is the results. Your dog can provide you with empathy and your friends can provide you with a human connection. Your consultant needs to grow your business.

Even if AI does not replace consultants entirely, it will eliminate the need for them to perform administrative and data processing tasks. They can shift their effort to work that only they can do, benefiting their clients in the process, who can now access high-level human knowledge without superfluous entries on the invoice.

If entrepreneurs can train an AI model to gather information, drill down, reject, detect patterns, give advice, and hold them accountable, would they prefer to interact with a human or a robot at a fraction of the cost? Great consultants versus great AI tools is a debate that needs to be had when they reach a level of competency that is unequivocally better. Until then, consultants compete with their clients to make the best use of AI, each proving that their side of the argument will ultimately be correct.

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