Why You Should Hire a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer

by November 8, 2017

Artificial Intelligence is inarguably the most popular of the technologies right now. 2050 is the year marked by the experts by which time artificial intelligence will be able to perform each and every kind of human activity. Already intelligent machines are contributing significantly to the daily operations of big and critical industries. Like for instance, the information security world is forever short on skilled human capital which eventually exposes systems to criminality. But with the intrusion of AI the scene has drastically changed with the first generation AI solutions providing value creation from massive data and threat detection features.

Artificial Intelligence is an umbrella term which includes technologies like machine learning, deep learning, big data, virtual agents, speech recognition, to name a few. Most of the initial artificial intelligence efforts are making use of machine learning which in turn requires lots of data.

Tesla is positioned right at the top for the autonomous car market because of the amount of data it holds. Its autopilot services are in a constant learning process because of the fact that algorithms can continuously analyze and interpret large data sets and make predictions accordingly. A data model is fed with millions of miles of driving videos to create a huge bank around driving. Visual techniques are made use of by the algorithms to analyze the videos and consequently recognize patterns and react according to the situation.

AI is all about making your business smarter. So, you need a team of data scientists in place with people who understand how to tap into the potential of AI. It’s not just a tool anymore, AI has the power to overthrow businesses overnight and reorder the winners and losers. So, the burning question – Does an organization now require a Chief AI Officer (CAIO)?

A C-level position focused on technology is not desirable from the point of view of a CIO. A CIO’s function is the maintenance of the technical infrastructure of an organization. Naturally, if a CAIO were to be introduced, the CIO will feel threatened. One way to deal with this is involving the CIO’s, CTO’s, functional business leaders in redesigning business processes and take part in digital transformation efforts.

A team of data scientists can only innovate upon and develop AI infused services and products to fit a business model. But here we have to realize that AI has to fit into the model and not the other way round. You don’t have to design a model just for AI to have a place in it. Designing a model with a complete understanding of its pros and cons, coming up with strategies and resource allocation related decisions is not the work of data scientists. Data scientists are part of a team and a team eventually needs leadership. AI is not merely a tool any longer, it’s going to force entire businesses to be restructured. A CAIO has to be someone who doesn’t just specialize in one department but can think of incorporating AI in enterprise-wide functions. Also, the sole purpose of the CAIO should be complete devotion to finding out new opportunities and tapping into AI’s potential for the organization’s benefit.

CIO’s cannot be expected to perform their current range of duties and look over AI advancement at the same time. Also, just having a team of highly skilled data scientists in your organization will not be enough. For AI you require the highest quality of data in terms of accuracy, reliability, consistency, and completeness. Data scientists will now be needing to focus all their efforts on reducing data pollution. AI is being developed for carrying out real-time business wherein transactions and analytics can happen at the same time. This will also change an organization’s key performance indicators (KPI’s) and consequently, the way success will be measured.

AI is still an evolving technology and thus it is unfair to expect the CIO’s, CTO’s to understand the intricacies of this stream. At the same time, AI can be extremely disruptive in the techno market and not much time is there for the business leaders to gain knowledge and then act upon it.

A CAIO will come with a strong technical understanding knowing how to create value from massive amounts of data. And at the same time will be able to work with different divisions within an organization and help them leverage AI thereby offering new products and services, increasing organization’s odds to get on the top.