Tallinn University of Technology

Opinion story by TalTech MBA graduate Andrei Hirvi.

TalTech MBA graduate Andrei Hirvi
TalTech MBA graduate Andrei Hirvi

If you are like me, then you've dreamt of having a magic ball that knows all the answers and guides your every decision. With such a ball, life would be so easy, and you would never make any mistakes, and probably be the best version of yourself. What if I tell you that we are almost there, and it could become a reality soon? Artificial Intelligence already changes how we work and study, and our day-to-day lives, but I believe that this is just the beginning, and something new and big is coming. I think that in 5 to 10 years it will change the landscape of many jobs, and how businesses operate by making them more efficient; existing business models will become outdated and replaced with new ones. 

Estonian entrepreneurs know how to value AI

As part of my MBA studies at TalTech University, I conducted research on the experiences of Estonian companies with AI, and now I would like to share my conclusions. The overall mood of the interviewed companies about AI is very positive, and some Estonian companies already benefit from AI. Over the past year, we've seen a significant increase in AI usage thanks to tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney, which are becoming integral to companies’ operations. For instance, the front cover of the spring 2023 edition of Kaubamaja’s magazine Hooaeg was created with the help of AI. Also, AI has found a valuable place in product development and e-commerce. Estonian leaders use AI tools for brainstorming new ideas, and to create visualizations to illustrate them. Also, to generate product descriptions, names, and translations. Others use AI tools for market analysis and even for creating a long-term strategy for the company. Almost every leader I have discussed with also said that they are not on Google anymore, they ask ChatGPT. 

The fastest gain more

But still, only a very limited number of companies in Estonia use AI compared to other countries. From my research, I concluded that the lack of leadership support, high costs, and the exclusion of company data are the main obstacles to implementing AI. Also, I have found that the notion of 'no data, no AI' is not necessarily true. Latest breakthroughs in the AI field give alternative new ways of creating AI solutions that could help to overcome these challenges by making AI solutions more accessible and affordable, and those who move first will gain the most. But, of course, everything has its flip side, and AI is not an exception. It is likely that AI will make some jobs and roles redundant since businesses will become more efficient. It’s inevitable, but I think I’m just optimistically considering that we are incredibly creative, and we will find new things to do. Country leaders and companies should already be thinking about how our society and economy will cope with such significant changes. 

In the coming years, I believe we'll see a flurry of success stories from businesses that have harnessed the power of AI; and AI is going to be the most impactful and beneficial tool that humanity has created in the recent years. And, if there is an opportunity to create something amazing at the beginning of the new platform shift, this is probably the best moment since the launch of the Internet. I really hope that some of these stories will be created here in Estonia, and to make it happen, we as company leaders and a society, must be more open to innovations like AI.