In our increasingly intelligent and 4th Industrial Age Economy, every company CEO must become an AI company, and ensure trust in AI yields the promise it holds for both business and society.
AI is now sweeping into well established industries, as well as enabling disruptive opportunities for new market players. However, it still may surprise you that less than 10 percent of global companies are currently using it. Research, however, shows that by 2020, this number will leap to over 50 percent.
Where is your organization in your effective usage of AI and value validation?
To ensure companies achieve the full potential of AI and mitigate its potential risks, CEOs cannot relegate AI strategy to IT functions alone. It is critical that CEO’s and his or her respective leadership team develop a strong fundamental understanding of AI to guide their organizations forward.
Just like C-levels needed to learn to become more comfortable with eCommerce, Social Media, and Cloud Computing, CEO’s need to step up more on AI leadership know-how.
What we continue to see is C-level executives are simply more often than not unprepared to embrace AI, due to their limited knowledge of knowing the right approaches, methods, or relevant risk questions to lead AI transformation initiatives.
AI is often referred to as the new fuel to unlock vast amounts of data stores being created every second of every day. I like to say AI is simply the new oxygen – if you are not breathing it well, you are likely already dying, and don’t even know it.
We need leaders in the C-suite to accelerate identifying the right opportunities where AI may apply, learning about the different approaches and methods of AI, and advancing with an experimentation mindset.
AI needs rigorous strategic framing, forming an acute hypothesis, and then evaluating against clearly defined metrics, whether it is identifying the right customers and converting them more rapidly (as SalesChoice does on increasing win rates or reducing customer churn), reducing manufacturing defects, increasing crop production on a form, or predicting hard-to-detect health risks, or identifying climatic changes and risks to protect humans (as we at RSI aspire to accelerate).
Whether your CEO leadership opportunity is to augment your business model, or reinvent a new product or service, you have strategic choices to make, and you must ensure that trust in AI is cultivated wisely.
In ensuring Trust in AI, there are key considerations, here are four to keep top of mind.
1. Fairness: Your AI systems use training data and your organization is building AI models free of bias, and ensuring that there is no unfair treatment of diverse groups. Data integrity and robust practices in Fairness will be key to your governance success.
2. Robust Security: AI systems should be safe and secure, not vulnerable to tampering or compromising the data they are trained on. For instance, do you know where your Algo’s are and what they are used for? Who has validated the Algo’s mathematical logic recently? Is this an open source Algo or IP in your company?
3. Explainability: AI systems should provide decisions or suggestions that can be understood by their users and developers.
4. Lineage: AI systems should include details of their development, deployment, and maintenance so they can be audited throughout their life cycle. This is more problematic with some AI approaches without human supervision and unsupervised approaches. CEO’s should proceed with awareness and caution if lineage cannot be established.
Join me and my prestigious colleagues at our RSI Dinner Dialogue Series where I will introduce the fundamentals of AI, share recent global cases of diverse industries using AI, and introduce 5 CEO imperative questions to know where you stand in AI Leadership, starting with: Does your organization have an AI Ethics and Data Policy?
I hope that you will join us so you can learn about the other four questions imperative for CEOs for trust making and trust building in AI.
In summary, when a CEO puts AI to work to help solve some of the most complex business challenges, he or she must ensure trusted AI for good is at the core. Building inner agility to ensure the discovery of original, unexpected and break-though innovations is what AI can help you achieve.
Don’t be an observer. Be a Transformation Sustainability Leader. Your evolution depends on it!
Dr. Cindy Gordon,
Board Director, RSI
AI Board Advisor, Forbes Business and Technology School