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Is Artificial Intelligence For Everybody?
Byron Flores, Global Head of Digital Finance, Data and Tools -Novartis Technical Operations at Novartis
This pandemic has shown the benefits of the technology including the continuity of the operations for several companies and the opportunity of the remote work for many people. This continuity also helps to palliate the economic effects of the society lockdowns and the impact in the stock markets due to the growth in the Tech-sector.
One of the key applications of the technology is an artificial intelligence based on machine learning methods that I can define as the process to train a computer using mathematical methods to reproduce and forecast the information or behaviors of numbers, cases, or even people. The best example is the capacity of the streaming platforms (i.e. Netflix) to suggest series based on your past views.
We have to ask each to our Organizations if Artificial Intelligence is for us or if we are only following a trendy topic and investing time, resources, and even expectations on something that will not provide any benefit for the future.
I have seen Companies enrolling in this journey, but after a lot of time and money, they realized that they would never replicate at least part of the success of companies such as Amazon in this field.
My advice is to discuss with your colleagues the following questions before you embark in the AI World:
Is there a real business need? You have to have a business need based on a rationale for the project. You should be able to understand and explain what will be the tangible outcome such a revenue growth, expenses reduction, process improvement, etc.
1. Is the map of the process showing possibilities of A.I?
It is basic to have a map of the process that we want to improve before any project. Taking as an example the process of cash collection, if we do not have a robust process to work with our customers then, I can ask the AI to suggest me names of my clients, but it will come back to the same challenge: what process to use to collect from them?
2. Is the data available?
This is the most important step in this journey. If we do not have the data ready to use, we need to work on that before any AI project, if not, we will experience idle capacity waiting to receive input. As a reminder, it is not enough to have many data; this data should be homogenous and ready to take for use (big data).
Digital Transformation is a journey that involves time, people, resources, and it is not enough to use Zoom for virtual meetings to be a ¨Digital Company¨. This digital transformation is a bold process that disrupts the culture of the Organization.
As a conclusion, we have to be sure to have clear answers from these questions, and then, we can leverage all the potential of AI as one of the main contributors of the digital transformation that enables the future, continuity, and growth of our Companies.