Digital Leaders Blog

artificial intelligence (4)

According to a recent report by Capgemini Consulting, organisations are now convinced of the benefits AI can bring. The key question now is where and how they should invest.

The research, freely available here Turning AI into concrete value: the successful implementers’ toolkit, offers a pragmatic guide helping organisations in their AI investment decisions.

Based on an analysis of over 50 AI use cases, together with a survey of over 1,000 senior executives, the report presents interesting case examples of AI delivering tangible business benefits across a range of different industries. Highly practical advice is provided in terms of devleoping an AI strategy and roadmap for your own organisation.  

Implemented effectively, AI can deliver real business benefit in four main areas as summarised below:

Figure 1: How AI is Driving Business Benefits

The report also provides a useful definition of what Artificial Intelligence is.

"Artificial Intelligence encompasses a range of technologies that learn over time as they are exposed to more data. The definition we used in this report is that AI includes speech recognition, natural language, processing, semantic technology, biometrics, machine and deep learning, swarm intelligence, and chatbots or voice bots."

Figure 2: What is Artificial Intelligence

The full report can be accessed here - Turning AI into concrete value: the successful implementers’ toolkit

Jim H


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Artificial intelligence and robotics are disrupting every aspect of work and redefining productivity. The old ways of working, assessing capabilities, hiring and compensation, are undergoing a massive change.

A recent Knowledge@Wharton conversation discussed what this means for individuals, organizations and countries. Managerial jobs and tasks that are repetitive in nature will be displaced and the ability to learn new skills will be critical for individuals who want to stay relevant. Companies will need to devise new ways of training and assessing the skills of employees while countries must develop a learning ecosystem.

“Work will be more contractual in nature and deep technical skills, creativity and learnability will be at a premium.”

Read the full article here.

Jim H


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MIT have recently published their Top 20 Sloan Management Review articles of 2017.

Not surprisingly, articles on digital strategy, transformation, AI and data analytics dominate the most popular reads. 

The Top 20 are listed below (click link to access each article): 

The Jobs That Artificial Intelligence Will Create

Reshaping Business With Artificial Intelligence

Analytics as a Source of Business Innovation

The Smart Way to Respond to Negative Emotions at Work

Achieving Digital Maturity

The Most Underrated Skill in Management

How Big Data Is Empowering AI and Machine Learning at Scale

The End of Corporate Culture as We Know It

Why Design Thinking in Business Needs a Rethink

Turning Strategy Into Results

Your Company Doesn’t Need a Digital Strategy

Corporate Sustainability at a Crossroads

What to Expect From Artificial Intelligence

‘Digital Transformation’ Is a Misnomer

The Five Steps All Leaders Must Take in the Age of Uncertainty

Harnessing the Secret Structure of Innovation

Five Myths About Digital Transformation

12 Essential Innovation Insights

How to Monetize Your Data

How to Thrive — and Survive — in a World of AI Disruption

More details can be found here.

Take care.

Jim H

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Will Your Job Be Automated?

McKinsey Quarterly No.1 2016 contains a number of thought provoking articles covering the broad theme of ‘future organisations’. The core argument developed is that every company should be thinking about how it organises for the future, reconciling the need for organisational stability with rapid technology-enabled changes in business processes.

One of the key challenges facing all organisations in this area is workforce automation - the growing potential for artificial intelligence and advanced robotics to perform tasks once reserved for humans.

In an article entitled “Four Fundamentals of Workforce Automation” the authors present preliminary results of a major McKinsey research project investigating the potential that automation technologies hold for jobs, organisations, and the future of work. While the research is based on US data, there is no reason for thinking that other countries will be any different.

One of the main conclusions from the preliminary research is that very few occupations will be automated in their entirety in the near or medium term. Rather, certain activities within occupations are more likely to be automated. This will lead to entire business processes being transformed and a large number of jobs being redefined.

The report suggests that 45 percent of existing work activities could already be automated by currently available technologies. It is not just low-skill, low-wage roles that will be affected. Automation will begin to impact on many high-paid jobs such as financial managers, physicians, senior executives and CEOs.

The organisational and leadership implications of this are enormous according to the authors. Jobs and business processes will need to be redefined to allow organisations to take advantage of automation potential. Massive opportunities exist not only for labour savings but in a range of other areas including increased output, higher quality and improved reliability. The magnitude of those benefits suggests that the ability to staff, manage, and lead increasingly automated organisations will become an important competitive differentiator.

 A detailed report of key findings will be published in 2016. In the meantime, four main interim findings are presented suggesting that the road ahead is less about automating individual jobs wholesale and more to do with automating key activities within occupations, redefining roles and processes.

1. The automation of activities - 45 percent of work activities could already be automated using existing technology. Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning will challenge our assumptions about what is automatable. It will no longer be the case that only routine, codifiable activities are candidates for automation.

2. The redefinition of jobs and business processes - fewer than 5 percent of occupations can be entirely automated using current technology. However, about 60 percent of occupations could have 30 percent or more of their constituent activities automated. In other words, automation is likely to change the vast majority of occupations - at least to some degree - which will necessitate significant job redefinition and a transformation of business processes.

3. The impact on high-wage occupations - conventional wisdom suggests that low-skill, low-wage activities on the front line are the ones most susceptible to automation. However, a significant percentage of the activities performed by even those in the highest-paid occupations (e.g. financial planners, physicians, and senior executives) can be automated by adapting current technology. For example, the report estimates that more than 20 percent of a CEO’s working time could be automated using existing technologies.

4. The future of creativity and meaning - capabilities such as creativity and sensing emotions are core to the human experience and also difficult to automate. The amount of time that workers spend on activities requiring these capabilities, though, appears to be surprisingly low. Just 4 percent of the work activities across the US economy require creativity at a median human level of performance. Similarly, only 29 percent of work activities require a median human level of performance in sensing emotion.

Can organisations and governments find innovative ways of mitigating the human costs, job losses and economic inequality associated with such large-scale labour market disruption?

As always, comment and feedback are very welcome.

You can access the full article here.

Jim H

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