Rebel Technologist Recap: Steve Nouri on AI Adoption

Artificial intelligence is evolving faster than ever.

With the invention of applications like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, AI offers unmatched potential.

Yet, many companies struggle to fully understand and effectively utilise AI, leading to missed opportunities and wasted resources.

The journey towards effective AI adoption is fraught with challenges, but the rewards are immense for those who navigate it successfully.

The Current AI Landscape

In a recent interview with Brett St Clair on the Rebel Technologist Show, AI expert Steve Nouri shared his insights on the varied landscape of AI adoption.

(See the whole interview here)

Nouri’s experience provides a window into how different sectors and stakeholders are responding to AI. According to Nouri, the response to AI is a “mixture of all emotions together” depending on the industry and stakeholder involved. Technologists, for instance, are brimming with excitement, while CFOs often exhibit more caution due to the costs and ROI uncertainties.

“When you talk with practitioners and technologists, like yourself and myself, you’re all excited. But when you talk to CFOs, they might not be as excited since they need to pay the check and collect the returns,” Nouri observed.

This dichotomy is significant because it highlights the different lenses through which AI is viewed. For technologists, AI represents an exciting frontier of innovation and capability. For financial executives, however, AI can appear as another line item of significant expenditure with uncertain returns.

Challenges and Realities

The rapid pace of AI development adds another layer of complexity to this already challenging landscape. Nouri emphasised that long-term predictions in AI are increasingly difficult, contributing to the cautious stance of many executives. The speed at which AI is advancing creates a pressing need for businesses to keep up or risk falling behind. Yet, this very speed can make it hard for companies to make well-informed, strategic decisions.

Nouri pointed out that some industries are taking a back seat, watching early adopters and learning from their experiences. This strategy, while seemingly prudent, is not without its risks.

“A lot of them are not sure if they come late to the table, there would be still any food left. That’s a very big fear,” Nouri explained.

This fear of missing out (FOMO) is pervasive across industries. Companies are aware that delaying AI adoption might put them at a competitive disadvantage. However, the uncertainty and rapid evolution of AI technologies make it difficult to commit substantial resources without clear, immediate returns.

Industry-Specific Insights

Different industries experience AI’s impact in unique ways. The financial sector, for example, has heavily invested in technologies like cloud computing and Web 3.0. However, these investments often fail to meet the high expectations set by initial projections, leading to frustration and skepticism among financial executives.

“Financial teams must be feeling jaded, having invested quite heavily in all of these sexy technologies coming up. The ROI is kind of being miscalculated a bit,” Nouri noted.

In contrast, the legal industry, traditionally a digital laggard, faces substantial automation potential due to its heavy reliance on textual information and pattern recognition.

“The legal industry is one of those knowledge worker roles that is highly likely to be automated and replaced,” said Nouri.

The potential for AI to automate and optimize tasks in the legal sector is enormous. By leveraging AI for document review, contract analysis, and legal research, law firms can significantly reduce costs and improve efficiency. However, this shift also brings challenges, particularly in terms of job displacement and the need for new skill sets.

The Human Element in AI

Steve Nouri’s role as CEO and co-founder of Gen AI Works underscores the importance of community and reliable information in the AI landscape. Gen AI Works aims to be a reliable source of AI knowledge, cutting through the noise and providing curated, actionable insights to its community members.

“I love to explore new technologies and connect with people who are excited, share it with them, get feedback, and make discussions going,” Nouri said.

Nouri’s approach emphasizes the value of community feedback and collaboration in technological advancements. By sharing insights and learning from others, he helps to demystify AI and make it more accessible to a broader audience.

The Future of AI

Generative AI, a subset of artificial intelligence, is expected to have a significant impact on both productivity and innovation. Nouri highlighted two primary ways in which generative AI will be used: for innovation and for productivity.

“Generative AI will be used in two different ways: innovation, which is complex and difficult to predict, and productivity, where usage is more understandable,” Nouri explained.

While generative AI holds great promise for driving innovation, there are concerns about over-reliance on AI for mundane tasks. This could lead to a decline in traditional skills and the erosion of critical thinking abilities. However, when used appropriately, AI can free up human resources to focus on more strategic, value-added activities.

Nouri also pointed out the potential pitfalls of relying too heavily on AI for productivity. For instance, using AI to generate long documents or emails can lead to a loss of nuance and personal touch. It’s crucial for organizations to strike a balance between leveraging AI for efficiency and maintaining the human element in their interactions.

The Path Forward

As businesses navigate the complex landscape of AI adoption, it’s essential to approach the journey with a clear strategy and an open mind. Here are some key steps to consider:

  1. Educate and Train: Invest in education and training for your team to ensure they have the skills and knowledge needed to leverage AI effectively.
  2. Start Small: Begin with small, manageable AI projects to build confidence and demonstrate value before scaling up.
  3. Foster Collaboration: Encourage collaboration between technologists, executives, and other stakeholders to align AI initiatives with business goals.
  4. Focus on ROI: Develop clear metrics for measuring the ROI of AI projects to ensure they deliver tangible benefits.
  5. Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest AI developments and best practices to stay ahead of the curve.


AI is undeniably a catalyst for business transformation. By leveraging the latest advancements in AI and data analytics, businesses can automate and optimize a wide range of tasks, driving efficiency and innovation. However, it’s crucial to approach AI adoption thoughtfully and strategically to navigate the challenges and realize the full potential of this transformative technology.

Ready to harness the power of AI for your business? Get in touch with our experts today! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to transform your operations and stay ahead of the curve.

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