Jair Ribeiro, Senior Business Analyst – Artificial Intelligence Volvo Group IT [STO: VOLV-B]
According to the most accredited researches, artificial intelligence or AI as we used to call it, is set to generate a growth of 13 billion dollars in global GDP by 2030, which will occur in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, energy, logistics, and education, among others.
Regardless of increasing investments in AI, more than 50 percent of companies still do not apply these technologies efficiently or are delayed in implementing it.
The boom in AI that we are observing during the last years represents an opportunity for all industries to differentiate their products and services and to remain competitive in the market. However, leaders must understand what AI is and set the correct expectations when planning and implementing efficient solutions.
THE CHALLENGES OF AN EFFECTIVE AI ADOPTION
There are enormous benefits that AI can bring to our business, but we should also know the important aspects that can considerably slow down the adoption of AI for an enterprise.
One of these factors is the difficulty to provide sufficient data for AI algorithms that require a considerable amount of training data. AI algorithms need data in enough quantity and quality to learn and make predictions. The more high-quality the data is, the more accurate are the forecasts.
There is no doubt that AI is a transformative technology, perhaps the most transformative technology available today, and it will transform every business in every industry
Also, the lack of open company culture can represent challenges to AI adoption. Innovative AI solutions require people and resources dedicated to the research and development of new ideas, and an evident willingness to embrace and invest in innovation.
HOW TO APPLY AI IN YOUR BUSINESS?
There are several practical applications of AI in businesses, but currently, there five areas where it has been applied the most:
• Virtual assistants can answer users’ queries and perform specific actions. The interaction can be based on multi-device connection, 24/7 service, fluid communication, efficiency, and immediate response.
• Cognitive analysis of fields that facilitate the understanding between man and machines like natural language processing, computer vision, and cognitive computing can deliver tools for personalisation, understanding of human behavior, segmentation, and customer loyalty.
• Pattern recognition is an AI technique that enables systems to extract information to identify the behavior of people and systems to predict their future behavior.
• Learning systems are tools based on AI that allow the creation of personalised educational systems and learning tools focused on an individual.
• Robotic process automation uses AI algorithms and methods that mimic and automate human tasks to support corporate processes, allowing us to take full advantage of pure human talent and move employees to more strategic and creative positions.
IMPLEMENTING YOUR AI BUSINESS STRATEGY
There is no doubt that AI is a transformative technology, perhaps the most transformative technology available today, and it will transform every business in every industry.
Therefore, it is necessary to start from an efficient AI strategy that allows you to focus on the main business goals and prioritise where AI can help you most to achieve them.
If you are planning to implement AI in your workflow, there are many ways to scale your AI strategy. Let's look at some of the steps that can help you to scale your AI strategy:
Build a diverse and dedicated team for AI. Having an internal team with multi-disciplinary knowledge and diversity, dedicated to deploying actions, testing data, analysing metrics and adjusting parameters will secure and enhance your AI adoption efforts. It will also have a positive impact on the development and retention of talent who already know the organisational culture. Consider that deploying AI is challenging. First of all, AI solutions must have meaning. Many companies believe that just hiring suppliers, buying equipment, and connecting it all will make AI work by itself to bring immediate results. You must know how and what AI will be used for, the answers you need for a business, and which data will be used to obtain them.
Develop your in-house team. Technology changes so fast, and it is a challenge for IT specialists to absorb all knowledge and keep pace with the needs of the marketplace. There is a significant shortage of qualified workforce to work with AI. It is necessary to train internal talent with financing courses, foster discussion groups, share success stories from the industry itself, and as support self-development initiatives.
Have an efficient communication strategy: It is fundamental to maintain a constant alignment within the AI team and all your stakeholders, developing a transparent and active communication channel related to the AI initiatives, the ethical issues surrounding AI and how the business is positioned, and conformity on current rules and regulations. You can identify someone in the team that can act as a bridge between the company and the technical side, leading communication with all the stakeholders.
Build your AI and ML center of excellence. You must setup a unit that centralises all decisions about AI implementations in your company with defined people positions, their roles, obligations, and goals, determining the technology standards, the choice of vendors and tools, intellectual property management. Of course, you will also need well-defined governance with senior leadership to organise initiatives.
Do not ignore ethical issues. We do AI for humans. It is essential to open discussions, for example, about human-robot interaction, the risks of developing autonomous weapons, and changes in human behavior even before efforts to roll out technology further.
With bright ideas and proper planning, the implementation of AI business strategy is accessible for all types of companies as it can significantly improve processes, reduce costs, and open up new business opportunities.
Companies that understand and embrace their effective strategies since the beginning of their AI implementation can fully realise the value of AI and ensure that their efforts are set to last.