“AI” is one of those tech buzzwords that has the potential to mesmerize people.
Tech buzzwords like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Neural Networks attract attention, especially in board rooms.
Technology advancements have been the driving force for business and industry growth and profitability, and no business leader wants to miss the “next big tech thing.” We all know the tech sector will bring us a staggering number of “next big things” and there is no question, AI is one of those big things.
What is AI?
In non-tech terms, AI involves humans trying to make computers think/behave/learn like humans.
Computers hold huge advantages over humans:
- computers have “vastly” superior capacity for holding data,
- computers can retrieve data far more quickly and accurately, and
- computers can process data much more efficiently and effectively.
NOTE: Adjectives like “vastly” do not do justice to the advantage computers have tied to working with data. We need to acknowledge that computers process data “millions of times quicker than humans”.
Does your business need AI?
The first answer you may receive when you ask business leaders this question could be something like “I really don’t know but I am going to get some of it anyhow” or it could be something like “Yes, we have a well-thought-out business case that outlines our AI needs and plans.”
For small to mid-size businesses, chances are good the honest answer will be closer to “I really don’t know….”
Business leaders should review their business needs that involve large amounts of data, identifying potential areas where AI could deliver value to their business. They should talk to colleagues, friends, allies, suppliers, and clients to discuss their views on AI applications.
Directors of boards need to ask probing questions before approving large AI initiatives. They should seek input from unbiased advisors to gain at least a basic knowledge of AI applications and they value they can bring.