That’s often the answer I give to business leaders who ask me about the best time to adopt artificial intelligence (AI).
After all, IBM calls it ‘potentially the most powerful technology businesses have ever had access to’. Research shows it promises to transform profitability over the next 15 years. And with two-thirds of companies accelerating their AI strategy in 2021, it’s no wonder futurists predict the deadline for gaining a competitive advantage from AI to be just two years away. And yet, adopting AI is only the beginning.
Once we’ve added artificial intelligence to our business’s arsenal, it’s easy to think our work is done. After all, isn’t that the big benefit of AI? To help us automate routine tasks and sit back, relax, and focus on other projects? Yes…and no. It’s easy to talk about AI’s initial advantages—but not many of us discuss how to keep it successfully up and running.
We need to think of AI deployment as a garden that needs constant care and attention. If we leave it alone for too long, our grass overgrows, our flowers wilt, and weeds encroach. AI needs to be tended to in just the same way—with risky biases and glitches otherwise ready to sprout through.
So, let’s explore the key steps to caring for artificially intelligent systems after your deployment – and enjoy the transformational potential of this tool long into the future.