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Monday, January 20, 2020

Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Why Some AI Efforts Fail

From a former IBMer what we worked with on enterprise AI the first time around.   Also insightful for many kinds of emerging tech.  I have now followed up on this question for several major AI projects.   Reading the report mentioned below now.  More to follow.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger
A collection of observations, news and resources on the changing nature of innovation, technology, leadership, and other subjects.

Why Some AI Efforts Succeed While Many Fail
Winning with AI, - a 2019 report based on a survey jointly conducted by the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston Consulting Group, - found that 90% of respondents agree that AI represents a business opportunity for their company.  The global survey attracted over 2,500 respondents from 29 industries and 97 countries, and conducted interviews with 17 executives leaders of AI initiatives in large organizations.

The report classified the total survey population into four subgroups based on their understanding of AI tools and concepts and their levels of adoption of AI applications: Pioneers (20%) are leading-edge organizations that both understand and have widely adopted AI; Investigators (30%) understand AI but have not deployed applications beyond the pilot stage; Experimenters (18%) are learning by doing, conducting pilots without a deep understanding of AI; and Passives (32%) have not adopted AI and have little understanding of the technology.

“Many AI initiatives fail,” was the report’s overriding finding.  “Seven out of 10 companies surveyed report minimal or no impact from AI so far.  Among the 90% of companies that have made at least some investment in AI, fewer than 2 out of 5 report obtaining any business gains from AI in the past three years. This number improves to 3 out of 5 when we include companies that have made significant investments in AI.  Even so, this means 40% of organizations making significant investments do not report business gains from AI.”

Why is it so hard to realize value from AI?  Why do some efforts succeed while many more fail?  To help answer these questions, the study looked for patterns in the survey data and in the executive interviews to uncover what the companies that are succeeding with AI are doing.  It found that the companies generating the most value from AI exhibit a distinct set of organizational behaviors.  Let me summarize these findings.  .... " 

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