Companies face AI integration challenges

 Artwork: Unsplash via  Prisma

Artwork: Unsplash via Prisma

COMPANIES FACE AI INTEGRATION CHALLENGES

TIM LEEMASTER

 

Companies looking to implement artificial intelligence, either organically or through acquisitions, need staff that both understand the technology and how best to apply it, according to Michael Frankel, managing director at Deloitte.

 

“Figuring out the problem that you’re solving and applying the expertise of AI. . .is one of the big limiting factors with applying AI,” Frankel said. “This happens often with technology where it can get out ahead of how you see value.”

 
 

In some ways that accounts for the proliferation of chatbots that don’t quite field questions accurately, or more notoriously insult and antagonize their users, and other examples of companies looking to put AI to work that didn’t always go right.

One simple example was a firm that used AI to shift the delivery of some data sets to real-time from once a day, but the employees continued to only consult that data once a day so there was no point to the change.

How implementing AI effects staff and the work they do are always underestimated, according to Frankel. “It should never be a hammer looking for a nail,” Frankel added.

Frankel is a member of the consultancy’s New-venture Accelerator, Deloitte Investments. The unit works with and sometimes acquires startups.

The company bought the AI business of advertising firm Magnetic Media Online in September. Last year, it bought Web Decisions, the North Carolina-based data company focused on the retail and publishing sectors. Terms for both transactions weren’t disclosed.

There will be a slow evolution as companies get more comfortable and start to develop some AI expertise, Frankel anticipates, and the AI industry will eventually get to a point where a good bit of the technology develops an off-the-shelf quality for companies.

“Financial analysis for example is fairly similar across multiple industries whereas manufacturing is very specific,” Frankel said. “We’re getting to a place where there’s some form of AI or complex data part of the solution.”

 

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