AI vs innovation:
What does innovation look like in today’s AI age?

Article - General
By Kelley Iuele|21st August 2023

In brief:

  • Mohan Nair challenges the belief that only a select few are innovators, asserting that AI can empower everyone to innovate.
  • AI transforms human data into machine-readable formats, allowing machines to assist with analytical tasks, freeing humans for insight-driven endeavors.
  • In healthcare, AI can address burnout and gaps in patient care, but the compassion of skilled professionals remains irreplaceable, emphasizing the partnership between AI and human innovation.

Did AI kill innovation?

Artificial Intelligence is making its way into more and more use cases (and more and more headlines) across every industry. Customer service chatbots. Medical imaging analysis. Drug discovery and development. Self-driving cars. With all the promise (and all the hype), will AI overshadow human ingenuity? If AI is everywhere– is there still room for innovators in this digital age?

Our most recent GDS Group Healthcare Summit kicked off with a keynote exploring AI and its relationship to innovation. The good news? AI can be used to bring out the inner innovator in all of us!

Here are six key themes we took away from Mohan Nair, the author, transformation expert, and former global Chief Innovation Officer who addressed our audience of healthcare and life science industry executives.

Anyone can be an innovator

Mohan Nair spends a lot of time thinking and writing about innovation. With a background in computer science and AI and multiple executive leadership roles under his belt, Nair is now focused on transformation and innovation within organizations. And he firmly challenges the notion that innovation is the exclusive domain of a select few. Instead, he highlights the ways AI serves as an augmentation tool, “to uplift executives who don’t believe they’re innovators to become innovators.” And for those who already consider themselves innovators, AI serves as a catalyst to elevate their capabilities.

Humans are becoming the data

Nair delves into some profound transformations AI is sparking. Previously, humans created data.

“We are becoming the data ourselves. Our thoughts, our writings, our enablements, even our impressions, are becoming the source data for machines that are thinking beyond us.”

So, is this a bad thing? Becoming the source material for machines? This is actually ok, asserts Nair. Let the machines do some of the work, and we can save ourselves for innovation.

AI is for analysis, humans are for insight

AI is not a rival, but rather an ally to human creativity. Nair’s perspective underscores the distinction between analytical tasks and insight-driven endeavors. While machines excel at processing intricate data sets, human ingenuity remains paramount in generating profound insights. He says, “dealing with complexity can be left to machines if it’s analytical. But dealing with insight, and the ability to see beyond the clouds, is up to you. And that is a practiced art.”

The evolution of ‘status’ mindset to ‘innovatory’ mindset

Embracing technologies like ChatGPT, GPT-4, and beyond, requires a pivotal mindset shift, Nair asserts. Leaders today must transition from a status quo-oriented mindset to one that embraces innovation as a guiding principle. He describes a bold evolution that entails “challenging the process. Not just preserving it. You have to make history.”

Mohan taking a question from the audience at our GDS Healthcare Digital Summit.

AI can help healthcare burnout

In the healthcare sector, AI’s potential for transformative impact is especially pronounced. Nair shared some research he’d been involved in, which found that amongst overburdened nurses and doctors, “40% will quit in the next 3 to 4 years because of the factors associated with burnout.”

Machines can help here, says Nair. “Especially in remote regions where the availability of nurses is now becoming a national crisis.” He says AI is helping diagnose patients, helping patients understand their diagnoses, and addressing critical gaps in healthcare delivery.

But Nair also makes a crucial assertion: while AI can augment medical processes and patient interactions, the intrinsic compassion that emanates from skilled healthcare professionals remains irreplaceable. “AI will not replace the compassion that’s created with competence. It will not.”

It’s not either/or

In conclusion, we can say that it’s not about ‘either/or.’ That is, we don’t have to look through a lens of ‘either humans or machines.’ Instead, we can view this digital age as a ‘both/and’ landscape, where both AI and human innovation are partners in progress.

And far from overshadowing human ingenuity, emerging technologies can be a catalyst for our limitless potential. The digital era beckons us to celebrate our roles as creators, transforming our world through innovation powered by AI while cherishing the irreplaceable spark of human insight and compassion.

Looking for ways to accelerate your sales cycles, engage in industry conversations, and achieve better outcomes? Look no further than our digital summits – our unique 3-day digital event experiences that bring together senior executives and solution providers.

Our recent Healthcare North America digital summit had Mohan as a speaker and ended with an impressive average content attendance of 93% and meeting completion rate of 126% against target.

Partnering with GDS Group can help you get in front of the right people at the right time.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend one of our unforgettable event experiences that promise to leave you feeling inspired and empowered.

Check our calendar now and join us. We can’t wait to see you there!


Back to insights

Related content


You’re hired! How technology is revolutionizing recruitment

Join us as we learn from the Co-Founder and CTO at AppyHere, John Sarvari, on how technology is supporting organizations with recruitment.
Find out more

Top 5 CMO predictions for 2024

Join CMO Evelyn Truter as she unveils the top predictions for 2024 in marketing and explore the transformative journey ahead.
Evelyn Truter
Find out more

Islands in the stream: Who will survive the streaming bubble burst

Join film and stage producer Tripp Hornick, as he takes a deep dive into the abyss known to viewers as streaming services.
Find out more

Simplifying for a cure: How M&M’s could help scientists cure cancer

An innovative physician shares his research—and optimism—about curing blinding diseases and cancer.
Kelley Iuele
Find out more

Unveiling 2024: Business trends unpacked

Join us for a special episode with members of our GDS Group, as we unravel the lessons from 2023 and forecast the business landscape of 2024.
Find out more

Move over, AI – Digital transformation is still tops in banking

Insights from the GDS Banking Summit.
Colin Cosell
Find out more

A year in review by blog – The most popular articles of 2023

Explore our most popular articles of 2023! From CMO priorities to the ROI of event strategies. Discover impactful revelations shaping the future.
Verena Fiebelmann
Find out more

The future of automation in the warehouse: A revolution in supply chain management

Discover how the intersection of technology and operation is redefining the way warehouses operate, improving efficiency, safety, and productivity.
Sarah Tijou
Find out more

Generative AI: Healthcare’s new promise

Read about the opportunities AI is creating in healthcare, from drug discovery, remote patient monitoring, and reducing manual tasks.
Tim Cassidy
Find out more