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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Planning for AI

Do you plan for direct value delivery, people augmentation, to replace people, or to provide outright magic ?

Planning for AI
What you need know before committing to AI.

By Mike Loukides 

Do you have your AI strategy? If you don't, be prepared to lose. Or at least, so say the consultants, tech journalists, and pundits. You can't possibly be a competitive modern company without an AI strategy.

We are the last people to say that AI isn't important, or that having an AI strategy isn't a good thing—or even that, if you don’t start thinking about AI initiatives now, you’ll end up behind. Artificial intelligence is a game changer: it’s a revolutionary cluster of technologies that has the potential to make fundamental changes in how we live and work. However, much of what we read gets the cart before the horse. An AI strategy, if it's just an AI strategy, doesn't get you very much. An AI strategy that’s just an AI strategy is a weird managerial superstition: pour magic AI sauce over everything, and it will be awesome.

It needs to be said, though it should go without saying: don't build an AI strategy without first thinking about your business objectives. Better: incorporate AI into your business strategies rather than building an AI strategy. Think about how AI can help you achieve your goals; don’t make it a goal in itself. On her blog Quam Proxime, Kathryn Hume counsels established enterprises against the temptation to become “AI-first.” Instead, they should be “something-else-first-with-an-AI-twist.” Enterprises need AI systems to work smart, to take advantage of their data, to learn about and improve on their past performance. Enterprises don’t need AI to become something new that they don’t yet understand. They need AI to build on the strengths they already have, and become what they already are, but better. That’s how to be innovative and transformational; and if, along the way, you come up with ideas and products that disrupt your current practices (and your industry), so much the better. ... "

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