Workforce 4.0

What Companies Should
Consider when Investing in AI

While many organizations are already using AI, its true potential may be just beginning. AI can transform productivity and is expected to contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, according to PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study. The findings also indicate that strategic investments will be needed to make that happen.

In nearly every industry, we can expect to see changes related to AI in the coming years. Before companies invest further into this technology, however, it will be important to evaluate both the possible benefits and the risks involved. Taking the time upfront to think through ethical concerns and bias factors could help to avoid future issues.

The following guidelines can be used to create a roadmap for AI and implement it into an organization’s operations:

Know the Purpose

How will AI be used? Does it align with the overall vision and strategy for the company? It could be valuable to discuss the reasons for implementing AI. Executives will want to make sure it is used in accordance with the long-term goals of an organization.

Outline What AI Will Do

Will AI be part of a monitoring system? Will a chatbot interact with customers for certain questions? When will a customer service representative step in? Company officials will want to spend time laying out the tasks that AI could perform. Listing what the technology won’t cover may be helpful too. Team members might be able to come up with ideas on ways that AI could improve current processes and procedures.

Develop a Data Strategy

Advancements in AI and data analytics make it possible for businesses to get deeper insights into their customers. These tools can also be used to automate processes and make decisions driven by data. To get the best results, AI will need to be fed the right data. If data that is not “clean” is fed into the system, or data can’t be found to enter the system, the benefits will be reduced.

To make the most of AI and data analytics, companies will need a data strategy. This could involve building a foundation where data can be collected and stored. Steps can then be taken to gather and analyze data. As the system is used, continual adjustments and improvements can be made to provide optimal decisions.

Protect Personal Data

Organizations will want to tell customers if details about them will be stored, emphasizing not only legal compliance but also the ethical use of their data. A form could be created to allow users to grant their consent. It will be necessary to know the rules and regulations surrounding privacy, including ethical considerations such as data fairness and integrity. These regulations and ethical standards could change from one country to another, which makes it important to check the laws and ethical guidelines at every location where a company operates.

Be Aware of Potential Bias

AI will draw on the input that is fed into it. For this reason, if biased information is used in a program, the outcome could reflect this. Recognizing that bias could occur, and taking steps to include relevant data could help reduce this risk. Keeping human supervisors involved who can spot biases and correct for them could be useful too.

Prepare the Workforce

Staff members can be educated on what AI will do, and how it will accelerate tasks. It will be essential to have humans overseeing the tools, and adapting the technology may require a shift in mindset. Several team members might help to increase awareness about how AI will be implemented, and those who are familiar with the processes could provide training to other employees.

Investing in AI may seem like a natural move, given that the technology is quickly expanding into many areas. Taking a careful, measured approach, which might include a trial period, could be a way to reduce risk. After laying out a plan, AI could be implemented in a way that brings positive, lasting results and shifts a company into a leading position.

Gerard Szatvanyi

Author: Gerard Szatvanyi

As a founding member and CEO of OSF Digital, Gerry has more than 15 years of experience managing start-ups and medium-size IT businesses and driving them to peak performance. With background in Enterprise Applications, IT Services and Consultancy, Gerry's impressive client and business portfolio sets him in the new breed for global entrepreneurship.