Is Artificial Intelligence For Everybody?

Byron Flores, Global Head of Digital Finance, Data and Tools - Novartis Technical Operations, Novartis

Byron Flores, Global Head of Digital Finance, Data and Tools - Novartis Technical Operations, 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 artificial intelligence based on machine learnings 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 you series based on your past views.

We have to ask to each to our Organizations if the 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 time and money, they realized that they would never replicate at least part of the success of companies such of Amazon in this field.

My advice is to discuss with your colleagues the following questions before you embark in the AI World:

1. Is there a real business need?

You have to have a business need based on a rational for the project. You should be able to understand and explain what will be the tangible outcome such a revenue grown, expenses reduction, process improvement, etc.

2. 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 to 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?

3. 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 uses (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 disrupt the cultureof 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 the AI as one of the main contributors of the digital transformation that enables the future, continuity and growth of our companies.

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