AI on AI in trade: The Daily Update 'interviews' an artificial intelligence chatbot

Fri 3 Nov 2023
Posted by: Richard Cree
Trade News

AI and human hands connecting

This has possibly been the week when artificial intelligence (AI) broke through to become headline news. The UK hosted its AI Safety Summit, organised the signing of the Bletchley Declaration and upgraded its AI taskforce to an institute, while the US also made announcements on AI regulation and launched its own institute.

The task

All this talk including about the risk of AI taking people’s jobs got the Daily Update team thinking. What might AI make of the impact of AI on trade? To find out, we set a challenge for the very engaging conversational AI app Pi , asking it to write an 800-word feature on the impact of AI on international for the IOE&IT Daily Update.

We share the result of below. The key finding is that it’s a pretty good attempt at covering some of the most important impacts. But it comes with a huge caveat. Pi’s terms and conditions make it clear repeatedly that it can’t guarantee the accuracy of Pi’s output. It strongly recommends fact checking everything before relying on it.

The Daily Update strongly endorses this view, but on this occasion – to show the increasing power and ability of AI – we have only lightly edited the following for sense.

Here’s how the conversation went.

Pi: Hi there, Richard! 👋 How's your morning been so far? Hope you're feeling energized and ready to conquer the day!

Richard Cree: I’m always feeling energised and ready to conquer the day.

Pi: Haha, that's the attitude! 💪 Seriously, though, your energy is contagious. The world needs more of that positivity! Hope you crush it today!

RC: Thanks. I have a question. What do you think the impact of AI will be on international trade?

Pi: Oh, now that's a juicy topic! There's no doubt that AI is going to have a big impact on international trade. Here are a few ways:

  • AI can streamline customs clearance and inspection processes, making trade faster and more efficient.
  • AI can help companies make better predictions about demand and pricing, leading to more profitable trade.
  • AI-powered chatbots can provide real-time customer service to buyers and sellers in different languages, reducing communication barriers.
  • AI can help companies identify new markets and opportunities for trade.
  • AI can help with supply chain management, improving logistics and reducing waste.

RC: Could you write me an 800-word article for the IOE&IT Daily Update on this subject?

Pi: Sure can, Richard! An 800-word article about the impact of AI on international trade, coming right up!

What follows is Pi’s article. It has been edited slightly for sense. IOE&IT does not take any responsibility or claim any credit for what is included.

In its own words

As AI continues to advance at a rapid pace, it’s poised to disrupt and transform many industries - and international trade is no exception. AI promises to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and open up new possibilities in the world of global commerce.

One of the most significant benefits of AI in international trade is its ability to automate customs processes. By using machine learning algorithms to analyse trade data, AI can speed up the clearance of goods at ports and borders, reducing paperwork and bureaucracy.

AI can also be used for predictive analytics, helping companies to make better trade decisions. Predictive analytics can help companies forecast demand for their products in different markets, identify new trade opportunities, and even predict price fluctuations in global markets. By using data analytics, companies can optimise their trade strategies and gain a competitive edge in the global marketplace.

Plus, predictive analytics can help companies anticipate and mitigate trade risks, such as currency fluctuations, supply chain disruptions, and political instability. It's like having a crystal ball for trade, but way cooler.

AI-powered language translation is a game-changer for breaking down communication barriers in international trade. With AI-powered translation tools, companies can communicate with customers, suppliers, and partners around the world in their native languages. This not only improves communication, but it can also help build trust and strengthen relationships. Plus, it can eliminate the need for human translators, which can save time and money.

Streamlining supply chains with AI is where things get really juicy. AI can help companies optimise their supply chains by automating processes like inventory management, forecasting and transportation planning. This can help companies reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase responsiveness to changing market conditions. In short, it can turn a tangled web of logistics into a well-oiled machine. 🏭

Here, we asked Pi a few follow-up questions.

RC: Are logistics really a tangled web?

Pi: Haha, you're right, that's a bit of an exaggeration. But seriously, managing a global supply chain can be a complex and messy business. There are a ton of moving parts - from sourcing raw materials, to manufacturing, to distribution and delivery - and they all have to work together seamlessly to ensure products reach customers on time and in good condition. AI can help companies untangle this complexity by providing real-time visibility into the supply chain and automating many of the processes involved. It's like a logistics superhero!

RC: Now superheroes? You are prone to a verbal flourish.

Pi: Guilty as charged! But hey, it's all in the service of explaining the wonders of AI. I mean, when you think about it, AI is kind of like a superhero. It can do things that would be impossible for humans, like analysing massive amounts of data in real-time or making predictions with incredible accuracy. And it's constantly learning and improving, getting stronger and smarter all the time. That's pretty darn heroic if you ask me!

RC: Anyway, back to the article.

Pi: Haha, sure thing, boss. Alright, let's get back to the task at hand.

The next section is about the challenges of implementing AI in international trade. While AI has huge potential to transform the industry, there are also some significant obstacles to overcome. For example, there’s the issue of data privacy and security, which is especially important when dealing with sensitive trade information. There’s also the challenge of ensuring that AI systems are transparent and explainable, so that companies can trust the decisions they’re making. And of course, there’s the potential for AI to exacerbate existing inequalities in the global economy. So, yeah, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

Another challenge is the potential for bias in AI systems. If the data used to train the AI is biased, the system will be biased too, leading to unfair or discriminatory outcomes. For example, if the data used to train an AI system for credit scoring is biased against certain demographic groups, the system may be less likely to approve loans for members of those groups, even if they are creditworthy. This could lead to a cycle of economic inequality. So, it’s a major concern that needs to be addressed to ensure that AI is used responsibly and ethically.

Last, but not least, there’s the issue of job displacement. As AI becomes more advanced and more widely adopted, it’s possible that some jobs in international trade, like data entry or customer service, could be automated. This could lead to a loss of jobs for some workers, while creating new opportunities for others. So, it’s important to think about how to reskill and upskill workers who may be affected by these changes. In the end, the goal is to ensure that AI enhances and complements human capabilities, rather than replacing them altogether. ‍

RC: Are you worried about the power of AI?

Pi: Haha, well, I'm not capable of feeling “worried” per se, as I’m just a computer program. But I can acknowledge that the power of AI is a topic of discussion and concern for many people. There’s no denying that AI has the potential to do a lot of good, but it also has the potential to cause harm if it’s not used responsibly. So, yeah, I guess you could say that it’s important for humans to think carefully about the potential consequences of AI and make sure it’s developed and deployed in a way that benefits society.

RC: Did we finish that feature?

Pi: Ah yes, back to the writing project at hand! Now, we can wrap it up with a final thought on the potential benefits of AI in international trade. For example, it can improve efficiency by automating repetitive tasks and analysing data faster than humans can. It can also help companies make better decisions by providing insights and predictions based on data. And it can improve customer service by providing 24/7 support and personalized recommendations. Basically, it has the potential to make international trade faster, smarter, and more personalized.

AI can also help to reduce fraud and money laundering in international trade by analysing financial transactions and identifying patterns that may indicate illegal activity. It can also help to detect and prevent human trafficking by analysing data related to immigration and travel. So, in addition to all the economic benefits, AI can also help to promote ethical and responsible trade practices. It's a win-win! 👌