Why Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is variously seen as bringing about utopian or dystopian futures. Its relatively recent and sudden entry into the business consciousness has been brought about by breakthroughs such as object recognition, increasing usage by the biggest companies in the world and over optimistic predictions of “next year’s” self driving cars. This sudden flurry of activity has set the expectation that AI is going to irrevocably change all of our lives, and although there is a lot of AI hyperbole around, it’s not that far from the truth. In the business world AI and Machine Learning have made some unexpected and rapid technology advances, primarily via Deep Learning, in areas that were thought of as being restricted to human competency, such as object recognition and human language processing, however the translation of these vaunted abilities to business success has been haphazard.
AI is a complex subject. With AI we not only have the uncertainty that any new emerging technology has, understanding risks and opportunities etc, but we also have the broader issue that many people do not know what AI is.
Understanding what AI is, has been difficult for three main reasons. The first reason is that AI means a lot of different things to different people. The second reason as mentioned above, is that whatever people decide AI is, there is a lot of hype and hyperbole surrounding it and its likely effects on business and society. Finally the technical underpinnings are often complicated which overwhelms the strategic and managerial focus. Rather than focusing on higher level planing with AI, executives are stuck focusing on lower level details.
AI Strategy and Ideation
How can we determine what our AI Strategy is? If we look at (business) strategy in the simplest possible manner, it is about making longer term plans associated with the survival and prosperity of an organisation. The complicated part of these longer term plans (strategies) is to determine what specifically in an organisational context do we need to plan for, and how do we organise those plans such that they are most likely to be successful? For example, should you choose to enter a new market, what plans, policies and actions do you need to create to enter that market?
Thinking of AI from this viewpoint, we can ask the following relevant questions:
How will AI impact upon our longer term survival and prosperity?
What do we need to know about AI in order to make informed decisions about our long term survival and strategy?
How could we engage with AI to help with our longer term survival and prosperity?
We can expand these questions and ask:
- If our competitors use AI will that be a threat to our business?
- What are broadly the different ways that AI could improve our business?
- What do we need to know and do such that we can come up with a set of potential options that will improve our business using AI, and
- What – if any – capability in AI management or engineering do we need in order to undertake those options?
What can I do for you?
Given what we’ve explained above you can see we do three things that are very easy to explain. Firstly, I can advise you as to how AI may impact your longer term organisation’s plans (strategies). Secondly I can work with you to create options and ideas on how and what AI engagements you can undertake that support your longer term organisation’s plans. Finally I advise as to what sort capability and investments you need to take to innovate with any of those options.
Want to talk more about how I can help you? Email me here.