In the text above we saw that A.I. readiness is the “Extent to which a business has the ability to improve the VOC, VOE or VOB by using A.I.”. And according to Intel you can separate it into three dimensions: transformational readiness, organizational readiness and foundational readiness. If you are the CEO of a company, you might wonder how much A.I. you want in your company. And do you want to make it yourself or buy it? What role should A.I. play in your business? Depending on that level and the decision of “make or buy”, you can determine the depth of readiness you need in your company.
Today we are going to talk about the four levels of involvement set by Professor Malone from MIT and tomorrow we will see, how “make or buy” will change the scope of your burdens of readiness.
Level 1: Tool
Just imagine you have an auto-complete function in your word document or a smart calculation function in Excel. These maybe A.I. driven capabilities implemented in your Microsoft Office and you do not have to do anything to use it. The algorithm was developed from someone else and used other data to train the model. It also “lives” in an already existing software and you do not need to build up any infrastructure on your own.
Level 2: Assistant
Facebook for example uses AI to suggest material to users to display in their feed. This again is still a supporting role A.I. is playing and is not touching the culture of the company. If you are buying this service (maybe via an API from a SAAS provider), you might use A.I. as an assistant without actually developing it yourself.
Both level 1 and level 2 A.I. applications can be introduced in the company without a global A.I. strategy as they might just improve lower level processes and a Head or Director would be more than suited to sign off on these additional features in certain software programs.
Level 3: Peers
Using A.I. applications as a peer needs involvement from the top leadership as it is the first level which deeply is integrated in complete business workflows. Even if you buy a completely ready solution, this A.I. is going to change how you are conducting business and it will change the culture of your company. Just imagine you are an insurance company and the A.I. is paying out standard insurance claims within seconds. Humans would only work on cases which are not trivial. The profile of the people having worked in this department would change dramatically as you would only need them for the complicated things in life. Many CEOs forget that some people like repetitive jobs and that they do not like everyday excitement.
Level 4: Managers
As an example, have a look at MIT’s spin off Cogito, which offers A.I. driven managerial services. While a call center agent speaks, cogito analyzes the discussion and gives advices in real time to the call-center agent – the same way a manager would do. “Speak slower”, “Let the customer talk” are just a few advices the A.I. system will give to you. The video below shows how the software works. But as you see here, A.I. truly collaborates with humans in this level and changes the culture, how people are doing business.
In the next pages we will look at how “make or buy” will change the level of needed readiness.