What Is A CIO To Do With Artificial Intelligence?

The arrival of artificial intelligence will change everything,  will you be ready?
The arrival of artificial intelligence will change everything, will you be ready?
Image Credit: Peter Durand

In just about any science fiction movie that you’ve seen, there always seems to be some form of artificial intelligence involved. No matter if it’s helping out the good guys in the form of R2-D2 or it’s the bad guy in the form of HAL, this has been a staple of what we see in the future for a long time. Well guess what, the future has arrived. More and more products and tools are being developed that contain artificial intelligence and this is going to change things for CIOs. Will you be ready?

How Does Artificial Intelligence Change Things?

What CIOs need to understand is that artificial intelligence is a brave new technology that has the ability to harness the importance of information technology and transform how their business operates. Almost like the arrival of electricity, this is going to change everything. Artificial Intelligence has the ability to create two new types of opportunities. The first of these is how it can change the core systems used by the business. Processes that are being run by the company’s main systems can be improved by adding artificial intelligence to them in order to help them make better decisions.

Artificial intelligence can also be used as a tool that will allow the business to create new opportunities that were not available to it before. This means that the person in the CIO position now has an additional responsibility. You are going to have to take the time to very carefully explore the business opportunities that are presented to you in new verticals. If you are able to find new opportunities, then as the person with the CIO job you will need to create a new artificial intelligence team to both create value and then to capture it.

One immediate area where a number of firms are seeing artificial intelligence enter into the work place is in the form of speech recognition. When speech recognition first showed up it was roughly 95% accurate in interpreting what was being said. Since it made mistakes, most of us didn’t use it and it was treated like a toy. However, since then artificial intelligence has been used to improve speech recognition so that it is now 99% accurate and you can now use it without thinking about it. Products like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home show what can be achieve with this type of technology. CIOs need to understand that in a few years, everyone will be using speech recognition. We won’t remember what it was like before we could talk to computers.

What Do CIOs Need To Do In Order To Be Ready For Artificial Intelligence

As a CIO you may be approaching this whole “arrival of artificial intelligence” thing with a bit of caution. I mean, haven’t we been here before? The answer is a resounding “yes”. Artificial intelligence is one of those technologies that has been around for quite some time. The promise has always been greater than the delivery. There have been too many times in the past that we all thought that the time had arrived for artificial intelligence to finally take its place in the sun only to see it slide back down to where it had been. However, this time everything feels different. This time around artificial intelligence is already creating a great deal of value for firms like Google and Amazon. This means that there is a flow of money that will allow these firms to continue to invest in and improve their artificial intelligence products.

Finding ways to work artificial intelligence into your company can be quite a challenge. CIOs realize that in order for a company to put artificial intelligence to work for them they need to do a great deal of customization for the firm’s specific business context. Recruiting and retaining the kind of artificial intelligence talent that the company is going to need can be quite difficult to do well. Centralizing your artificial intelligence resources can help you to enable the team to work cross-functionally in order to determine where this new technology can be worked into the company.

There are other ways of organizing the artificial intelligence teams within your company. You can create smaller, interdisciplinary teams that will have your support. Your goal needs to be to match the speed that artificial intelligence is changing at with the speed of your team. Creating decentralized teams that can quickly tackle new opportunities when they arise will provide your company with the ability to deploy the new artificial intelligence technology where it will benefit the company the most.

What All Of This Means For You

What has been a staple of science fiction movies for a long time is now starting to arrive in businesses everywhere: artificial intelligence. As the company’s CIO you are going to have to take the time to understand this technology and what it can do for your firm. Artificial intelligence is going to be worked into most of the tools that we use going forward, will your company know how to get the most out of them?

The arrival of artificial intelligence is going to transform the core processes that the company uses to run the business. These processes will run more efficiently and will be able to better deal with a wider variety of inputs. Artificial intelligence is also going to allow firms to discover and take advantage of new opportunities. This will become very clear as speech recognition starts to become more of a part of every computer that we use. CIOs need to understand that artificial intelligence is really here to stay this time. How a CIO chooses to organize the artificial intelligence team can be critical: it can be centralized and work cross functionally or it can be made up of smaller teams that can be deployed as needed.

The good news about artificial intelligence is that it is going to have a positive impact on the company. The company will soon be able to do things quicker and better than ever before. However, it’s going to be up to the CIO to determine how best to work this new technology into how the business is being run. Taking the time to determine where it will best fit with what the company wants to accomplish and then structuring an artificial intelligence team that will best suit the company’s needs are all responsibilities of the CIO.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: How big do you think your company’s artificial intelligence team will need to be?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Having the CIO job sure seems like it should be something that would make you happy. I’m willing to guess that since you’ve worked so hard to get this position most days you are at least fairly happy with the idea of going to work to deal with things related to the importance of information technology. However, in every job that we have, there will probably always come a time when for whatever reason we decide that we really hate the job that we currently have. Hmm, looks like we’re in a tricky situation. What’s the person in the CIO position to do now?