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This Week in AI: Regulatory Ramp Up and Industry Innovations 

AI, artificial intelligence, technology

Another week, another explosion of news generated by generative artificial intelligence (AI).

Technological innovations form the core of cultural transformations that have immediate and startling implications and impacts across nearly every facet of daily life, from politics to education to business and media.

And we are witnessing that sea change happen right now, in real time, with AI.

As governments, businesses, academics and private sector leaders work to strike the balance between AI’s risks and its unfolding possibilities, these are the key stories PYMNTS has been tracking this week.

AI Gives the Commerce Landscape a Shot in the Arm 

On Thursday (Nov. 2), Elon Musk told U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in a discussion about the implications of generative AI and its future evolutions that there will come a time when “you can have a job if you want a job . . . but AI will be able to do everything.”

“It’s hard to say exactly what that moment is, but there will come a point where no job is needed,” Musk added.

The tech entrepreneur also announced that his own AI startup, xAIwill debut its technology Saturday (Nov. 4), according to a CNBC report

But while AI isn’t quite ready to start punching in timesheets at jobs around the globe, its various applications are already helping businesses across sectors reap new and important efficiencies.

PYMNTS found that the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) is not only adding flexibility to traditional business dynamics but also having a profound impact on the broader B2B landscape. The automation of administrative tasks like autofill and reconciliation reduces the potential for human error, leading to smoother and more trustworthy transactions.

And according to Shopify Chief Financial Officer Jeff Hoffmeister, the company’s AI tools are like a “superpower” for sellers, he said Wednesday (Nov. 1).

Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are also doubling down on digital innovations, increasingly including AI, to better serve their customers and gain more by offering seamless and personalized experiences.

In just one example in the food and beverage space, Flavrs on Thursday added new AI features to its app.

Read alsoLarge Language Models Take Generative AI Beyond Text

Matt Madrigal, Google’s vice president and general manager for merchant shopping, shared insights on Wednesday with PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster regarding the company’s newest AI features, which have been launched in time for the holiday season, and how they’re helping small businesses and merchants create an impact. 

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said that AI will help turn AirBnB into the “ultimate travel agent” and “unlock opportunities we’ve never seen” during his company’s latest earnings call on Wednesday.

Instagram is reportedly working on a new feature that would let users create a customized AI powered chatbot. The feature from the social media platform aims to provide users with a personalized AI chatbot that can engage in conversations, answer questions and offer support.

Before AI fully replaces everyone’s jobs, LinkedIn is tapping the technology to help its users find new ones – launching a job seeker tool that leverages AI.

“Whether you’re navigating career changes, building a business, learning a new skill or crafting your voice, your new AI-powered LinkedIn experience — your trusted coach, advisor, co-pilot, assistant and colleague combined — is your partner in staying ahead,” said Tomer Cohen, the company’s chief product officer.

According to a recent report by PYMNTS Intelligence, many organizations are already leveraging AI for fraud detection, and a majority of businesses plan to implement the technology in the next two to five years.

Separate research from PYMNTS found that nearly 60% of FIs plan to initiate or increase their use of machine learning/AI models to improve existing fraud solutions in 2023, whereas only 36% had these plans in 2022.

And Google, also on Wednesday, officially began the rollout of Product Studio, a set of AI tools that help merchants create and manage product imagery.

Global Governments Ramp Up Regulation Efforts 

While things ramp up in the private sector, the public sphere is looking to calm things down and establish some guardrails and guidelines.

The U.S. is set to unveil several new proposals to govern AI, after President Joe Biden signed an executive order designed to promote safe AI development on Monday (Oct. 30).

Monday’s executive order came as the United States looked to place itself at the center of AI governance in advance of the United Kingdom’s own multinational AI Safety Summit, held Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

“From AI-enabled cyberattacks at a scale beyond anything we have seen before to AI-formulated bio-weapons that could endanger the lives of millions, these threats are often referred to as the ‘existential threats of AI’ because, of course, they could endanger the very existence of humanity,” said U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris during a speech at the U.S. embassy in London. “These threats, without question, are profound, and they demand global action.”

“Only governments, not companies, can keep people safe from AI’s dangers,” Sunak said.

On Wednesday, China, the U.S., and the European Union all agreed to work together to chart a safe way forward on AI, signing the “Bletchley Declaration” along with over 25 nations.

What the Experts Have to Say 

Kalle Conneryd-Lundgren, COO at healthtech firm Kry, said to PYMNTS in an interview posted Friday (Nov. 3) that a significant portion of the tasks being performed by clinicians are a “complete waste” of their time and add little to no value to patient care, which is why there’s a long runway for AI to take off in healthcare.

But as hospitals contemplate adding AI-driven solutions to their systems, it’s critical they keep in mind the applicability of the AI, as well as ethical, compliance and data security realities, Tom O’Neil, and former chief compliance officer at Cigna, told PYMNTS for the new expert series, “The AI Effect.”

Ryan Abbott, professor of law and health sciences at the University of Surrey, talked with PYMNTS about the challenges of Intellectual Property Rights as they relate to AI in an interview posted Monday. The top three issues surrounding AI and IPRs, according to Abbott, are the current state of the law, and the potential ramifications for businesses, and for society.

 Kit Ulrich, general manager of creator shopping at LTK, chatted with PYMNTS about how AI and payments turn creators into shoppable stores, in an interview posted Monday.

Meanwhile, Vinod Khosla, whose Khosla Ventures invested $50 million in OpenAI in early 2019, said the investing frenzy that has followed the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT may not translate into similar successes. “Most investments in AI today, venture investments, will lose money,” Khosla said on Sunday, drawing a parallel between this year’s AI hype and last year’s flurry of cryptocurrency investment activity.

Still, that hasn’t stopped Google from reportedly mulling over investing another $2 billion in AI startup firm Anthropic.

And it hasn’t impacted the news that Microsoft could see more than $10 billion in annualized revenue by 2026, all thanks to its AI copilot product and the tool’s subscription business model.