Why is Artificial Intelligence so disruptive?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has started impacting our lives, businesses, and the economy in ways unheard of.  Here is my three cents on it.

Varij Saurabh Mar 19th 2018 A-A+

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming ubiquitous. Today, you can't walk a mile in the technology capital of India (Bangalore) without overhearing chatter about AI. It has started impacting our lives, businesses, and the economy in ways unheard of.  Here is my three cents on it.
 
AI is disruptive because:

1. AI allows machines to move from being bottom-line drivers to top line drivers

Until now, machines helped us in doing our jobs faster, efficiently, consistently and economically. The onus was on the company to decide on what was the best machine to scale up operations. While the marketer and the data scientist had to figure out the campaign, the segmentation and the messaging, and had to take ownership of the return on investment (ROI), machines were helping them execute their plan and ‘automation’ became an operative phrase.

This scenario is fast changing wherein machines are going to decide how to maximize the ROI.  The machine only needs inputs such as historical events, budgetary constraints and priorities. Once such inputs are keyed in, the machine will figure out how to get there. It will be responsible for top line outcome. The operative phrase in the very near future will be "ROI". The managers will have scale not just in execution but also in decision making.
 
2. AI allows machines to solve IQ challenges; not just PQ tasks

Broadly there are three aspects of human personality – physical quotient (PQ), intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ). Today machines, out-perform humans on PQ, as they can lift heavier loads, move faster, process data quicker, and work longer. And now, they can also think quicker and better. The domain left for humans is emotional. We are still better at deciding what should be done, what is the right thing to do, etc.

No wonder, Bill Gates suggested taxes on AI.
 
3. AI will have profound impact on IT industry

Winner will take it all. AI is allowing unprecedented scale. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft are well positioned to dominate the industry. And it shows in the market valuation they enjoy. All other companies will have to find ways to work with them, within their walled gardens.
 
Software will also be forced to price by outcome. As ROI impact becomes the key driver, software providers will have to put their skin in the game. They will have to prove incremental impact and be willing to be paid only if they deliver.

The author is Director of Product Management, Customer Analytics, at Manthan

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