3 things to consider with the AI revolution

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By now, most of you have heard of Artificial Intelligence and depending upon which school of thought you subscribe to, you’re either scared to death and moving high into the hills or your preparing for our overlords’ arrival. Needless to say, the truth is somewhere out there. In the middle.  If you’re not up-to-speed, here’s a rundown of where we are as of today.

If you’re freaking out by all of this, here’s an article that may make you feel better. (For now.) There is obviously no way to tell which way, things will ultimately go. That said, there will be a time in the near future that professionals – sales, marketing, operations, customer service, etc – will have an AI that they work with. A very capable counterpart. It’s best to think of this relationship between the person and the AI similar to the relationship between Hiro and Baymax, only in most instances Baymax is software. So what can you do to ensure that you’re adding value for your employer? Staying competitive? There are three questions that need to be addressed to help by you during this transitionary period.

Are you asking the right question? AI’s are great at working with large amounts of data. They can provide a complete perspective on something in seconds. But, just like the Earth in The Hitchhiker’s Galaxy (a massive super computer created by hyper-dimensional beings – that look like mice – to answer the ultimate question: What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?) you need to be very careful about exactly what question you’re asking. As of right now, humans are perfectly positioned to be the ones asking business questions. We ask the questions and the AI gets us our answer. And then we’ll need to make that information digestible.

What are you feeding it? The “it” is the AI. In other words, we need to carefully monitor/control the data that we provide our AI. This is the only way to ensure accuracy. Along with this, we also need to consider a couple of other items. 1) People can feed the AI limited data so that it returns a bias response; one that favors that employee or their boss. 2) Along with feeding the AI relevant data, we also need to make sure we provide ethical data. (Tay made us painfully aware of this.). Just like feeding a thoroughbred before a race, you need to consider all implications.

Are you communicating the output well? This issue has nothing to do with AI. This is an issue that exists today with many people providing only information (or data) instead of communicating it. (The difference lies in how things are shared. Try this. Imagine removing all punctuation from the document of your choice. The returns, the spacing, the punctuation, etc but leave the text. All the information is still there. The only difference is that it’s now being communicated poorly. Now imagine this AI has just given you the answer your client needs, only that answer will touch the core of their business. But you know that is something the client is not ready for and so you must present the solution in a bit-size way. One that doesn’t boil the ocean. Over time, the entire recommendation can be revealed. A good communicator must always be between your business and your clients.

Well . . .that’s all I have for now. I’m going to go rewatch The Terminator for some survival ideas.

By Michael Myers

I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently interested in artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and tattooing.

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