As we move into the future, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, artificial intelligence will be the integral tool that controls how you do business. AI is already positioned to improve decision-making, increase operational efficiency, and propel new methods of work. The velocity of innovation in the field of AI has it moving faster than any other technology field.
But what’s this mean for you?
It doesn’t matter what sector you’re in. It doesn’t matter what size your organization is. You need to prepare for an AI-powered future.
The world of AI is a complex one, and it is riddled with predatory technology companies looking to confuse your business with jargon and hype. Fortunately, we’re here to help get you started.
Learn The Basics Of Artificial Intelligence
An uneducated owner is an owner easily parted from his money. You can’t just walk into an AI consulting firm or software development agency and ask them to optimize your business. That’s tantamount to writing a blank check.
A well informed business owner is the best defense against technology fraud.
To build an artificial intelligence, business owners must start at the organizational level. They must start at the top. It’s essential that you, as an organizational leader, educate yourself and your senior management about AI and the potential it has for your business.
Here’s some great free resources to get you started:
- Google’s “Introduction To Machine Learning Problem Framing”
- Udacity’s “Intro To Artificial Intelligence”
- Standford’s “Machine Learning”
- Caltech’s “Learning From Data”
You don’t need to be an expert. You won’t be called on to recite and debate the nuances of various deep learning algorithms. You will, however, need to be able to understand the basic concepts and mindset behind AI. You need to understand what artificial intelligence can do, and you need to understand what it can’t do.
Be the educated technology consumer your business deserves.
Find A Problem That Artificial Intelligence Can Realistically Solve
Go ahead and read that title again. “Realistically” is the keyword there. It’s important to remember: while AI can augment a wide range of needs, it cannot do everything. There are many times in which artificial intelligence is not the correct solution.
Your artificial intelligence project should be centered around a core business problem, opportunity, or challenge. The problem should be well-defined and have a discrete form of measurement. If the problem you’re trying to solve is too vague, it will be impractical (and likely impossible) to implement an AI solution.
Don’t get us wrong. The problem doesn’t need to be easy. It just needs to be easy to understand. It needs to have a clear goal. For instance, a bad objective for AI would be: “make my company more money”. That’s too vague, and there’s nothing to go on.
Here are some prompts to get you in the right mindset:
- What is my most pressing problem currently?
- Are there any aspects of my business that generate revenue but low profit?
- Where in my business am I looking to cut costs?
- Where in my business am I generating a high percentage of errors?
Artificial intelligence should be viewed just like any other technology you use. It’s a tool that can make your organization more efficient and profitable. It is a means to an end, but it is not a product.
Apply Some Human Cynicism
Let’s be 100% clear: artificial intelligence is not capable of mimicking human intuition or action. It is not capable of making decisions “off the cuff”. It does not have a mind or “gut feeling” to lean on.
In fact, that point is so incredibly important that we should probably cover it a second time.
Artificial intelligence is not capable of mimicking human intuition or action. It can not write, it can not draw, it can not create.
Steer clear of any software development or consulting firm that tells you otherwise. Also steer clear of any firm that oversimplifies the process of adopting AI or brings a “just leave it to us” attitude to the table.
The process is not easy, but there is a good next step you can take to make the process more palatable.
Get In The Data Cleaning Mood
Are you ready to start your AI engine? Relax, take a step back, and realize you’re not even in the car yet. Artificial intelligence is a beast, and it will only grow if you feed it. And what does AI eat? Data.
Data is the fuel that any AI solution needs, and it’s much harder to come by than you think. You need to ensure you have enough data to cover the problem you’re trying to solve. Don’t have enough data? You need to create, find, or buy data and put systems in place that capture every metric of your business.
You may also find that the simple act of searching your organization for data will encourage helpful practices that yield the data you need to finally get that artificial intelligence project off the ground.
Need a second opinion on anything technology? Drop me a line.