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How CIOs Can Become AI Experts – The Accidental Successful CIO

How CIOs Can Become AI Experts

New tools are allowing CIOs use AI as a part of their jobs
New tools are allowing CIOs use AI as a part of their jobs
Image Credit: Trending Topics 2019

CIOs need to get ready for big changes that are coming their way: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is arriving. It was not all that long ago that AI was something that only Data Scientists dealt with. However, now things have changed. Companies that deal with such diverse things as manufacturing, finance, and even insurance are starting to take advantage of products that allow their workers to create AI tools for their business.


CIOs Prepare Their Company For The Arrival Of AI

What the person with the CIO job is discovering is that simply by plugging data into standardized AI templates, workers at their company who lack specialized AI training are able to identify sales prospects, spot risks and fraud, and boost organizational efficiency. The result of this effort is a set of AI enabled templates that can be used by workers. CIOs need to realize that these templates still require tech-savvy users and can take weeks of model training, testing and validation. A new term has been created to describe the people who are creating these templates: citizen data scientists. This refers to professionals who have developed competence in AI using automated tools but who aren’t trained specialists in statistics or analytics.

The creation of AI enabled templates translates into cost savings for businesses that can do away with data scientists who would otherwise spend several weeks coding a custom program. What is going on here is the growing adoption of these AI products which follows a classic pattern in tech evolution, where technology turns every employee into a programmer. Thanks to easy-to-use interfaces, programs for these AI templates are even being used by data scientists themselves. The person in the CIO position needs to understand that this is the future.

Automated AI templates ease the pain of data science. Studies are predicting that by next year, citizen data scientists will surpass data-science pros in handling the majority of automated AI template tasks in business and industry. It is estimated that in five years automated AI templates will have become so commonplace that the adoption of data science and machine learning will no longer be held back by the chronic shortage of data scientists.


CIO Need To Remain Involved In The Adoption Of AI

As powerful as these tools can be, CIOs need to understand that because AI involves vast amounts of potentially sensitive data and computing power the use of automated AI templates by less-well-trained users could lead to errors and bias that could prove embarrassing and costly. Some CIOs believe that AI templates will require careful supervision and guidance from an AI ethicist, data scientist, or other third party.

CIOs need to realize that success in AI templates requires only basic competence with data but a deep understanding of the business problems that AI is being harnessed to solve. Sometimes citizen data scientist are referred to as a technological quick study and an astute business strategist. By making use of AI templates, companies can discover intriguing patterns that may have escaped human detection.

How a company chooses to make use of their AI templates can have a lot to do with what business they are involved in. Creating AI templates is not an easy thing to do. CIOs may want to bring in data scientists from vendors to train, test and operate an automated AI template platform.


What All Of This Means For You

CIOs need to start to prepare their companies for the arrival of artificial intelligence enabled products. AI used to be a complicated subject that only experts could deal with. However, with the arrival of a new set of tools, all of a sudden the ability to create AI enabled templates is being placed in the hands of the company’s front-line workers. CIOs have to get ready to deal with a new reality.

AI templates can be created simply by taking the time to plug the needed data into the appropriate places in customized tools. This can be done by workers at a company who have no training as a data scientist. This is leading to the creation of a new type of worker who is technology savvy without having formal AI training. The adoption of AI tools is allowing companies to move quickly and not have to rely on data scientists to implement AI tools. As we move forward, AI tools will travel further and further into our companies. The power of these tools means that the CIO needs to remain closely involved. The new AI templates can allow companies to spot patterns in their data that they have not been able to see before.

The role of the CIO is to help their company to understand the importance of information technology. One powerful tool that is just starting to show up is artificial intelligence. This tool is being harnessed by non-technology users though AI templates and applied to their jobs. The result is that companies are now able to get a better handle on their data and the patterns within that data. The future is arriving very quickly and CIOs need to make sure that they are prepared for it.


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


Question For You: Who in the company is best suited to developing AI skills?


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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As more and more CIOs move their company’s IT infrastructure into the cloud, the importance of the cloud is becoming more and more important. I’d like to be able to tell you that all of that work that you put into selecting the right cloud provider for your company is a “one and done” type of activity. However, that’s not the case. For a variety of reasons, you may decide later on down the road that you want to switch cloud providers. When this happens, the person with the CIO job needs to make sure that they have the flexibility to do this when the time comes, without significant negative impact to the company.