Artificial intelligence is not a faster horse.
Joseph Byrum makes that abundantly clear in this month’s cover story, “Taking advantage of the AI revolution.” Smart technology, which Byrum defines as a combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics and data analytics that accomplishes more with fewer inputs, will usher exponential change into the market, just like the three previous industrial revolutions. And in the distant future, yes, it is possible that the general intelligence of the machines surpasses the general intelligence of humans.
Long before Arnold Schwarzenegger uttered the catch phrase “I’ll be back” in “The Terminator” movies, popular culture has predicted an almost post-apocalyptic landscape of machines surpassing humans, taking over and hunting down mankind. And in the distant future, before the machines rise, humans will have to decide how we can retain control over AI and autonomous systems.
But that’s a long way away, Byrum writes. Instead, the immediate future calls for managers and leaders to assemble teams to gather data, define business problems and design algorithms to figure out what works. You’re going to need subject matter experts, engineers and mathematicians.
Sounds like hard stuff that requires a lot of patience. Is it worth it?
Well, remember industrial titan Henry Ford (apocryphally credited with saying if he asked customers what they wanted, they would have said “a faster horse”). He resisted adding features to the Model T and offering customers financing options for quite some time. Continually losing market share, one of America’s original industrial titans shut down his line for retooling.
So burying your head and trying to hold out for a while, at least until management can reach retirement age and scoot out, is not a viable option. Like the original automobile, AI and the new industrial revolution will be a liberating force that will create entirely new paradigms of economic success.
So click here, and figure out where your enterprise can race into the brave new world.