Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence: Game changer or buzzword?

21 December 2018

Artificial Intelligence (AI), is already transforming many aspects of our personal and professional lives. AI will utilise data to assist with or replace the many tasks that we currently do manually. Many people are already using AI without even knowing it. For example, when your inbox in Outlook sorts your most important emails from the rest of the emails, you are using AI. This technology has a wide range of uses, broadly split into personalising, automating, predicting and generating insights.
There is growing public interest in AI recently, but this technology is quickly approaching a point where it is becoming a critical element in enabling companies across sectors to drive revenue, increase profits and remain competitive. In contrast, only 65% of Irish organisations see AI as an important digital priority.

Embrace AI or get left behind

If you have yet to start planning your strategy around the implementation of AI, it’s not too late. 81% of Europeans believe that AI will have a high or significant impact on their industry within the next five years. Microsoft’s research shows that organisations already on the AI journey are outperforming other organisations by 5% on factors like productivity, performance, and business outcomes. According to research, 75% of Irish organisations are only planning for AI or are in early stage pilots. As a result, the majority of these organisations will be left behind by those organisations who are well on their way or have implemented AI.
Microsoft have also reported that nearly two-thirds are operating in the dark when it comes to the potential return on investment. Several business leaders state that the lack of AI talent is the greatest barrier to implementation.

The implementation of AI is key

85% of Irish organisations expect AI to generate business benefits as it optimises their companies’ operations in the future. However, AI needs to be adopted and implemented in a thoughtful manner for it to be successful.
When implementing AI, the mindset of senior management has as much of a role to play in harnessing AI’s potential as the implementation of innovative technology. Successfully building AI into an organisation’s operating practices requires both senior management and employees to adopt a culture of continuous learning. This ensures that employees understand the technology while they are also seeking ways to use it, rather than being forced to change. From building trust to improving productivity, a culture that empowers employees to grow, improve and collaborate with technology rather than compete with it can deliver better outcomes for everyone involved.
Organisations that are introducing new AI-based solutions most successfully are those that demonstrate a healthy level of scepticism. These organisations are optimistic about the potential of AI, but they also have a culture of analysing and critiquing the new technology as they use it. Although these organisations may not get it right first time, they will still be ahead of many of their competitors on the AI curve. Organisations that are already using AI have improved planning and reduced costs through intelligent predictions. This in turn increases their operational efficiency.


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