I recently had the opportunity to present my research on the impact of AI on organizations at the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) 2024 conference. Although I couldn’t attend in person, I was thrilled to deliver my talk virtually and engage with the anthropology community on this critical topic.

The AI Revolution and Its Implications

In my presentation, I explored the transformative potential of AI, particularly with the rise of natural language user interfaces. I discussed how these tools are revolutionizing the way we interact with software through natural language, democratizing access to specialized capabilities, and empowering users in unprecedented ways.

I delved into some of the research I’ve been conducting on AI and entrepreneurship, which combined digital anthropology, computational techniques, and traditional ethnographic practices to understand the complex interplay between AI and organizations. The findings revealed a mix of optimism, apprehension, and cognitive dissonance among entrepreneurs and the critical role of AI literacy in navigating this landscape.

Key Considerations for Organizations

In light of these findings, I highlighted several key considerations for organizations adopting AI:

  • Developing deep AI literacy and understanding
  • Fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing between AI creators and organizational stakeholders
  • Navigating the complexities of human-AI interaction and agency
  • Prioritizing ethical considerations and responsible AI innovation
  • Cultivating organizational readiness beyond technical literacy

The Role of Anthropology in Shaping the Future of AI

Throughout my talk, I emphasized the crucial role anthropology can play in shaping the future of AI. By contributing a holistic understanding of how culture influences and is influenced by AI across multiple dimensions of organizations, anthropologists can help decode implicit cultural models, surface subcultures and power dynamics, and shed light on the lived experiences of people engaging with AI in their daily work.

I invited fellow anthropologists to join me in rising to the challenge of actively shaping the AI revolution while maintaining a focus on the centrality of the human experience within this new paradigm.

Watch the Full Presentation

If you missed the live virtual presentation or would like to revisit the insights shared, I invite you to watch the full recording below:

I look forward to continuing the conversation and collaborating with the anthropology community as we navigate the transformational impact of AI on organizations and society as a whole. Together, we can work towards ensuring that AI augments and enriches human potential while mitigating unintended consequences.