Beginning the transition to using Artificial Intelligence in your business is like learning any new skill – it takes time, but ultimately it can be extremely rewarding. When most people try to learn a new skill, they don’t know where to start. So to help you and your business we have created a list of the top five tips to consider when adopting AI.
Identify the Reason for AI:
Are you looking to improve performance? Is there a problem you want to address? Perhaps your business needs to offer customer assistance 24/7, maybe you want to offer personalised service, or perhaps you want to identify high value incoming customers? The common element is that you cannot do these initiatives well at scale and at a reasonable cost by using traditional methods. However, with machine learning and AI it is possible to find a solution to these problems. Whit Andrews, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner Research, says “AI projects deliver what seem like human insights and actions but via velocity, volume and variety that humans cannot achieve” (Panetta, 2017). AI uses its’ high level processing abilities to solve a problem beyond human ability – taking a business to the next level.
Understand the Basics:
Research is vital when it comes to adopting AI – no informed decision can be made without information. One should gather knowledge on how AI works, its capabilities/potential, and current research and development areas. Use this knowledge to work out how to harness AI to grow and improve your company. Luke Tang, General Manager of TechCode’s Global AI+ Accelerator Program, recommends online workshops and courses to increase knowledge and understanding of predictive analytics and their application in a business setting, endorsing Udacity as a good place to source resources (Marvin, 2017).
Understanding the Trade-Off between Interpretability and Accuracy when Using AI:
Depending on how much trust your company is willing to put into AI technology, you have to balance the trade-off between interpretability and accuracy. Most state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms generate some of the most impressive scores in terms of accuracy and generalisation; however, it is important to note that they are inherently black boxes with little scopes of understanding how the algorithm make decisions. On the other hand, some simpler models may not result in the highest accuracy, but their interpretability makes it attractive to businesses operating in highly regulated environments.
Who to Work With:
Chances are your company will not have the resources or knowledge to kickstart the AI process you’re after, so you’ll need to find a company to work with. Choose a company based on:
- Experience and practice: Who has the company worked with in the past? Trust a company with a diverse portfolio and strong references.
- Proven tools and methods: See what support the company will offer as you implement your AI strategy. A successful company will have proven methods for implementation and tools to help the process.
- Fit with your company: Find a company aligned with your culture and goals. They’ll be working with you for a while, normally quite closely with multiple business functions. Being able to work efficiently and effectively together to achieve a common is critical.
Make the Connection (and Keep It in Perspective)
Ensure that you set up your AI adoption plan for success. If AI initiatives are done half-heartedly, not focused on business value, or are undertaken by people who don’t have a deep understanding of AI systems, there will be significant risks of failure. Also, you need to be realistic about how long it will take to build AI systems as even a proof-of-concept can take 2-3 months (Marvin 2017). You want to bring internal and external people together in a small team, maybe 4-5 people, and that tighter time frame will keep the team focused on straightforward goals. After the pilot is completed, you should be able to decide what the longer term, more elaborate project will be and whether the value proposition makes sense for your business.
Gordon, N 2017 ‘3 Important Things to Consider While Selecting Right Artificial Intelligence Company’ Century Soft https://www.centurysoft.com/blog/artificial-intelligence-company.html
Marvin, R 2017 ‘5 Steps to Adopt Artificial Intelligence in Your Business’ PC Mag Australia http://au.pcmag.com/feature/45947/5-steps-to-adopt-artificial-intelligence-in-your-business
Panetta, K 2017 ‘Analysts Answer: What Are the Top Client Concerns about AI?’ Gartner https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/analysts-answer-what-are-top-client-concerns-about-ai/