Raconteur: Implementing successful AI: think big, start small and scale fast

Raconteur: Implementing successful AI: think big, start small and scale fast

It’s time to take a step back from the noise and hype surrounding artificial intelligence (AI). Businesses have been inundated with AI sales pitches promoting the technology’s potential to automate tasks, increase speed and accuracy and cut costs. But what’s the long-term plan? Most businesses lack a vision of how AI will transform their operations.

Developing an overarching AI strategy

Rather than the piecemeal adoption of AI systems, some believe businesses need to develop an overarching strategy for how to embed AI in their organisation over time.

“The most important thing is having a comprehensive and holistic view of AI sourcing within the organisation,” says Mohammed Chaara, a former Lenovo strategist who is now “an evangelist” for AI. Working out what kind of AI is needed for different processes and whether these will be carried out in-house, outsourced or in partnership is an important step to developing a strategy, he says.

Mr Chaara believes businesses need to base their AI strategy on four areas. Low-risk, low-value AI involves automating low-level repetitive tasks, such as data processing, which can be outsourced.

Low-value, high-risk AI includes audience-targeting driven by machine-learning, which can cut the costs of identifying and reaching audiences, and boost profits by targeting the right customers. But this risks wasting the marketing budget, if the targeting is wrong, and so is high risk. It should be developed in tandem with external partners, he says.

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