Even with the onset of Artificial Intelligence (AI)’s recent advancements and perhaps new or at least reiterations of all that it promises, some organizations continue to wait or “put off” any serious investigation of the technology.
Simply establishing your organization’s AI vision takes a strong commitment to overcoming obstacles. Three common yet often overlooked obstacles on the journey are:
- Complexity and
Complacency is the belief that “our business processes work, it’s manageable, so why change it?” This attitude comes from an old saying, “if something is not broken, you don’t try to fix it”.
Fear may also cause complacency as going from known to unknown takes hard work and courage – assets that you may find to be in short supply for various reasons. Not having a comfort level with AI, coupled with all of the media hype, can surely incite fear.
Simple laziness might also be a culprit as not everyone “gets” the idea of the goal of AI (will it eliminate our jobs? for example).
Finally, performing at anticipated levels (doing what we’ve always done even though it’s really only “adequate”) and not performing towards potential – will also foster complacency and a reluctance to investigate AI.
“We don’t have the time (or expertise, or experience, funds or whatever) it will take for us to fully understand, let alone implement AI.” Many times, something is believed to be “very complicated” and “requires an expert” when in fact; all it really requires is “good common sense” and a realistic plan.
Artificial Intelligence may seem to be complicated (do we need to hire data scientist?) but actually, AI has evolved to where tools (such as IBM Watson Studio, to name just one) provide an integrated environment designed to make it easy to develop, train, manage models and ultimately deploy AI-powered applications as a SaaS solution delivered in a cloud space.
This thought process is sometimes labeled the “inability to steal second base” and involves the idea of “there is too much at stake here, let me wait and see what others do first to mitigate my risk”.
With AI, one might have concerns around data security, intellectual property or simply not be ready to “trust” any insights that AI may provide.
The problem with this attitude is that if you wait for the “batter to swing” you will in fact lose the several steps head-start on your journey towards adopting AI. An organization serious about the “pursuit of excellence” should inspire an attitude where everyone on the team can “lean forward” by offering new ideas, questioning past practices and otherwise keeping an “open mind” to new and perhaps practices still seemingly unproven, such as AI.
These obstacles may (seem to) be “justifiable” with a variety of seemingly “reasonable defenses” – such as budgeting, resource and scheduling constraints, etc. but you shouldn’t give in, give up, or “put off” investigating what AI can do for you and your organization.
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