With any conversation about artificial intelligence (AI) the conversations inevitably moves towards the potential pitfalls. Generally there are three that come up. First, there is talk of job losses and fear that large groups of the global workforce will be replaced by robots. Then there are those who bring up fact that criminals and hackers could potentially circumvent the effectiveness of AI and use it for their own nefarious activities. Finally, there are the ethical debates. How do we protect against AI bias? Who is responsible when things go wrong?
Ultimately, handling all of these scenarios comes down to people. Sure, AI is about data and smart technology, but those working with the technology – the people – are equally important. “After all, people are the ones building, measuring, consuming and determining the success of AI in enterprise and consumer settings. They’re the ones whose jobs will change; whose tedium will be eased by automation; whose consumption or rejection of AI’s outcomes will be the focus,” writes Entrepreneur magazine.
If you want enable your employees to fully tap into the potential of AI, here are a few tips:
#1 Create an AI culture: McKinsey reveals that there is already a profit gap emerging between early AI adopters and those yet to embrace this technology. The challenge isn’t only to keep up with the rapid rate of technological change, it is also about handling cultural changes. Given the pitfalls of AI addressed above, the idea of AI as a threat needs to be addressed. Foster positive attitudes toward digital transformation and AI adoption by addressing fears through conversations and training.
#2 Embrace creativity: We all know that AI is able to automate time consuming, manual tasks. Crunching numbers better than any person a business could ever hire. But it’s important to remember that AI can’t do everything. For example, AI lacks creative problem-solving capabilities.
This is where it’s important that employees are encouraged to come up with creative ways to turn the insights unlocked by AI into strategies and actionable insights, all in an effort to drive business value. Now the creative thinkers in your organisation can pass the mundane work to the robots and focus their efforts on using data to increase the business’ bottom line. Let’s not forget that the success of AI is determined by people’s willingness to adopt it.
#3 Democratise AI: If AI is perceived as being a resource only used by your highly technical and IT-savvy staff, you’re missing the point. By investing in easy-to-use tools – and ensuring you offer the necessary training – all employees can derive value from AI systems. Even those who don’t have a data science qualification. The trick is to leverage simple, “self-service” enterprise data portals, which allow all employees to access and utilise this information to do a better job.
As AI becomes more widespread, it will morph from a competitive advantage to the price of admission. To keep pace with the rest of the pack, it’s essential keep abreast of the latest happenings in the artificial intelligence space. By signing up to our monthly newsletter you’ll have the latest innovation, business strategy and technology trends delivered to your inbox. Subscribe below.