Making business has always been about facing and overcoming tensions.
Tensions because of the financial aspects, tensions because of the competition, tensions because of social and societal issues. And there is something business leaders know by heart: if one want to succeed in its market, there is a need to differentiate themselves. There is a need to have products and services that make a difference compare to others. This search for the ultimate differentiation, this obsession to find out the secret sauce in designing things that will meet its market, that will fit a well-targeted audience and that we may have learn at school or on-the-job, shape the way we see the world and the way we behave, most of our time.
Definitely, this mindset is in tension with inclusivity and diversity.
The more we are good at designing products and services that will very much fit a specific audience that we target on purpose, and the more we are becoming good at discriminating other audiences that are not targeted, on purpose.
Since the beginning of the human history we have always been very good at building products that fit the specific needs of some people, hence excluding some others.
We have been keeping learning, and learning and learning to do this, as best as we could. With the exponential power of AI, the temptation is and will be high to use it to the service of establishing unprecedented ways of differentiating, unparalleled ways of targeting, for the sake of gaining more economic growth and competitiveness.
This tension - between the necessity of having organizations and individuals being able to embrace diversity while understanding the stake of inclusivity to build more social equality in society, and the global economic system which perpetuates behaviors that put ourselves in the same shoes, driving ourselves in this form of competitions where differentiating, hence discriminating is a rule of the game - is one of the greatest challenge of our time.
Either we plan to use AI to augment our ability to remove visible and invisible inequality up to levels never reached before, either we plan to augment them at the same scale. In the AI age we are living, there will be fewer and fewer in-betweens.