Leading the Intelligent Enterprise

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What does it take to transform a company into an AI-enabled “intelligent enterprise?”  We’ll examine what companies have learned so far from their real-world efforts.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning offer new ways to boost productivity, develop talent, and drive organizational change by enhancing managers’ ability to make the right calls in complex situations.

Augmented intelligence tools have already made an impact on many companies, but the next revolution will happen when every aspect of a business, from top to bottom, is designed with AI in mind. This new construct is called an intelligent enterprise.

Like other major revolutions in management, it’s poised to transform industries and organizations for decades to come. As Joseph Byrum, a chief data scientist at financial services company Principal explained recently in MIT Sloan Management Review, leaders will need to harness machine intelligence for decision-making across the business, assemble the right talent, and recognize the benefits and limitations of AI to shape organizational strategy in order to prepare for this next phase.

It’s not hard to find examples of the amazing things we can do with artificial intelligence. AI and data analytics have changed the centuries-old techniques of plant breeding, helped advance cutting-edge research into disease, and even been used to decipher damaged ancient Greek tablets.

What these achievements have in common is that they are discrete, structured tasks. In each example, algorithms are used to absorb available data, recognize patterns therein, simulate outcomes, and select moves or produce results based on the statistical likelihood of success. In-plant breeding, for example, the simple step of designing a trial to see whether your breeding effort has succeeded or failed requires choosing from a set of 1.16 trillion possible combinations. Yet, increasing efficiency in this highly complex process through data analytics can save millions of dollars.

If improving one aspect of one process through data analytics can have a massive payoff, imagine what can happen when an organization takes advantage of AI’s ability to learn, analyze, and optimize across all processes and...

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