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Are Businesses Doing Enough to Make AI a Game Changer?

DZone 's Guide to

Are Businesses Doing Enough to Make AI a Game Changer?

See whether or not businesses are doing enough to make AI a game changer.

· AI Zone ·
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There has been no shortage of hype attached to artificial intelligence in recent years, with many a breathless tome predicting that it would transform life as we know it. One could be forgiven for thinking the latest report into AI from consultancy firm Cognizant fits neatly into that box.

After all, it reveals that some 84 percent of business leaders believe that AI will be vital to their business in the next few years. Despite this, however, few executives had much in the way of planning in place to convert this optimism into tangible change.Image title

For instance, the survey revealed that while around 66 percent of executives were aware of AI work being done at their company, just 24 percent of that group were aware of work that had been fully implemented. Much of this lag was attributed to a lack of real board level buy-in, which seems odd given how many executives seemed enthusiastic about the potential for AI.

Perhaps more telling is that implementing AI requires a lot of nitty-gritty work that goes beyond announcing something that is currently very trendy. This unglamorous work, which includes things such as addressing ethical considerations, are not as attractive, and so remain undone in many organizations.

"The challenge today is less about understanding technical questions and technology capabilities and more about crafting a strategy and determining the governance structures and practices needed for responsible AI," Cognizant says.

"Companies need to pay more attention to the non-technical considerations of AI deployments, many of which are more critical and complex than those related to developing and running the technology itself. AI operates in the real world and this will not only help companies determine which technologies can be used to advance business objectives, but also which have the potential to irritate customers, alienate employees, drive up R&D and deployment costs, and undermine brand reputation," they continue.

Delivering Actionable Change

The report goes on to provide three main recommendations to help executives cross this gap and deliver actionable results:

  • Formulate AI strategies. These should focus on opportunities that promise measurable value — not only reduced costs and increased revenue, but also benefits such as improved customer service, entry to new lines of business and enhanced employee experiences. It is especially critical that strategies take a human-centric view of AI so that machines can work successfully alongside and for people.
  • Develop governance structures. Companies will need to work proactively to ensure that AI decision-making is transparent to those involved, that AI earns trust by avoiding errors and data-driven biases; and that AI is personalized and able to provide tailored, relevant, and context-aware support as it interacts with humans.
  • Create and maintain responsible AI applications. Because of AI's potential ubiquity and power, ethical concerns need to be interwoven into everything companies do with the technology. That means building AI systems ethically, and monitoring to ensure that those systems operate ethically over time, even as the AI applications learn and evolve. To be successful, companies will need to boost their ethics-related efforts upfront as AI touches more and more parts of business and society.

Whether this is enough to create meaningful change remains to be seen, but it should give executives some direction should they wish to realize their ambitions for AI to transform their business.

Topics:
artificial intelligence ,ai in businesses ,ai strategies ,governance structures ,ai applications

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