At V2, we live and breathe AI – raising awareness everyday about the cool technologies our clients are bringing to market and how they are changing the ways we all work and live for the better. And while we consider ourselves AI champions, we’re certainly not alone. Businesses and investors are all clamoring to establish a stake in the red-hot AI industry; an industry that, if you ask Forrester, brings “extraordinary promise” and serves as a “change agent to future operations.” In fact, just a few weeks ago, V2 client UiPath announced $568M in Series D funding, raising its valuation from $110M to $7B in just 24 months!
There’s no doubt that AI is coming in hot, which is why we pulled together an infographic to explain just how AI is changing the Future of Work. We touch on the most disruptive AI technologies, how they’re changing the game (in and out of the office) and what companies we’re keeping tabs on. Check it out here.
We also recently spoke with Tom Davenport – a world-renowned thought leader, author, professor and media contributor on all things AI – about how AI can impact enterprises and what CEOs need to know. See what he had to say below:
What are the most exciting opportunities AI technologies present?
I work on enterprise applications, and in that space the opportunities from AI are valuable and impactful, but sometimes not very exciting. Companies can capture lost revenues, for example, by matching contract terms to items actually shipped. There is nothing exciting about that beyond the high level of money involved. In sales, companies can use machine learning to prioritize lead streams, and use conversational AI to move a customer down the conversion pipeline. In HR, AI can be used to identify both the most likely recruits to become high performers, and the most likely current employees to leave soon. In customer service, intelligent agents can answer repetitive questions and free human agents up to address the really tough issues customers have. None of these are terribly revolutionary, but if done aggressively they can make companies much more successful.
What should CEOs consider as they evaluate and incorporate AI technologies into their business operations? How can they take a sophisticated approach?
I call it the “think big, start small” approach. Think big about how more and cheaper intelligence can reshape your key decisions, your business model or your relationships with customers. But start small by creating multiple projects that might be considered “low hanging fruit.” Ideally firms would develop a collection of these less ambitious applications so that together they become transformative over time. You could transform customer relationships, for example, by using intelligent agents to make high-quality advice available 24/7, by ensuring that when customers do talk to humans they talk to the most qualified agent to solve their problem, and by prioritizing customers to reach out to because they don’t appear to be successful with your offerings. That’s multiple projects with one big outcome.
As someone who has long been a champion of automation and machine learning, what is the most important thing for people to know?
The impact of AI, like many other technologies, is overestimated in the short run and underestimated in the long run. It’s important to keep your eye on the potential long-term value of AI while building capabilities in the short run for projects that “quietly but meaningfully improve core operations,” as Jeff Bezos put it about Amazon’s AI focus. Don’t put all your resources into a “moon shot” that is beyond your organization’s level of sophistication, and that may set back AI for years if it fails.