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Artificial intelligence: McKinsey talks workforce, training, and AI ethics

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Research from the global consulting firms offers advice to business leaders on managing AI and creating successful strategies for adopting these new technologies.

Artificial intelligence: McKinsey talks workforce, training, and AI ethics.  As I talk with the many extraordinary guests on CXOTalk, an interview discussion forum that brings together the most innovative thinkers in the world, three key business aspects of artificial intelligence have emerged.

First, AI is a vague umbrella concept that ties together data and a set of technologies, such as pattern recognition and other techniques, that emulate human learning and intelligence. The term “artificial intelligence” is an imprecise marketing or presentation phrase used for the sake of convenience. Business buyers should dig deeper to understand the technologies that make the most sense for their organizations.

Second, few companies have deployed AI at scale. There are lots of prototypes and proofs of concept, but AI is still new and experimental for most organizations. For example, a recent survey by SAS states “AI adoption still in early stages.”

Third, be skeptical of vendor claims. Technology companies are still trying to figure out where AI can improve their products and the processes they automate. Many vendors have bought AI startups to gain expertise and fill gaps.

The bottom line for enterprise buyers: learn the tech, question your vendors, and plan for AI by developing data science talent in-house now. Talent scarcity is a big issue today.

McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) is one of the foremost research organizations in the world on how AI will affect organizations and their workforce. McKinsey’s research combines quantitative analysis with extensive on-the-ground interviews of executives and business operators. As a result, the material they produce is insightful and useful. Two recent reports focus on the business value of AI and the impact of automation and demographics on work and the economy.

One of the partners leading McKinsey Global Institute’s work on the impact of AI and related technologies is Dr. Michael Chui, who is one of the most articulate people I know on these topics.

Chui’s comments are clear and rooted in solid research, making him a natural participant in the CXOTalk series of conversations with the most innovative leaders in the world. On episode 268 of CXOTalk, I spoke with Michael Chui about AI, business, ethics, policy, and economics.

Chui makes a couple of key points that I want to highlight. First, the success of an organization’s efforts to adopt AI is based strongly on its overall digital maturity. Companies with active programs of digital transformation will be more likely to make progress with AI initiatives. From my perspective, we can think of AI initiatives as extensions of digital transformation – rethinking culture, mindset, and business model — rather than isolated technology projects.

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Article Credit: ZDNet

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