Artificial Intelligence Management: Your Go-To Guide to Successfully Use & Manage AI at Work without Having to Code
Lead Author(s): Malay Upadhyay
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Organizations are in a growing need of AI managers who can understand, utilize and manage AI solutions created by engineers. This crash course helps programs add an essential STEM skill that recruiters are struggling to find today, to prepare students to use AI at work and lead a successful AI journey in any role.
Welcome to this course on 'Artificial Intelligence Management'.
Let's start with a story. Back in the 90s, I remember the day my family brought our first personal computer home. Everyone in the family looked at it with amazement. There weren't many users back then. People had only heard about it and were casually intrigued by it. But none of us knew that in a few years only, each one of us would start using these computers, and that it would become an essential skill to know in order to avoid being left behind. Today this "skill" comes to us naturally.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because unlike computers back then, AI today is already a part of our everyday life, whether we realize it or not. It has become advanced enough to allow the creation of an entirely new organism (from frog stem cells) called Xenobots, or tiny “living machines” that can move independently and even self-heal to sustain themselves for weeks![i] And yet, organizations are struggling to find managers who can understand and get the most out of simple AI solutions at work. What does that tell you about the prevalent skill gap in AI management, and how important a role AI can play in your life and career over the years?
There is a good reason for this growing importance. As you will see through this course, artificial intelligence is solving problems that we just cannot solve without it: Problems that arise because of our inability to focus, our need to analyze a lot of information quickly and cheaply, the rising costs and even a lack of time in our busy lives. But whether we think AI is dangerous or a gift, we have to first understand it properly in order to use it well. And that brings us to the problem at hand.
While there is a lack of data scientists and engineers creating good AI solutions - and we are trying to fill that gap - there are far fewer users, managers and leaders who know how to apply AI in their work or to business/organizational problems in the right manner. The growth & success of AI depends on the support and investment it receives from current and future organizational leaders, managers and other professionals. Most AI initiatives fail today not because of lack of good solutions but because of one or more of the following issues on the management side:
- Lack of understanding of what AI is and why/when it can be powerful
- Unrealistic expectations of what AI can do
- Absence of a proper business strategy in place around AI
- Wrong choice of the type of AI technique for a business problem
- Uninformed choice of a weak/superficial AI solution
- Lack of readiness in terms of data
- Lack of employee and/or leadership support
Yet, while most AI educational material focus on teaching data scientists and engineers how to create AI models to solve business problems, hardly any focusses on educating executive leaders and managers, even though they are the sponsors, decision makers and end users of AI.
To ensure responsible & successful AI use or even its adoption in organizations and in our society, it is of utmost importance that we understand it just as well as we understand and use applications like Microsoft Office today. This book is aimed to fill this growing skill gap in organizations. It has 2 benefits:
1. For Students: A course on AI Management will provide an added competitive advantage for both short and long-term career growth, by teaching skills that recruiters are struggling to find in their existing workforce
2. For Schools: It will add an in-demand STEM component or enhance existing AI courses with managerial elements, that can further strengthen the practical relevancy of a Management or other program's content and help attract a more international & diverse class.
So, kudos to you for having taken on this challenge of grasping AI on a practical level. This challenge is not as big as it may seem. Just the way you do not need to learn coding to work on a computer, you also don't have to learn coding to understand and use AI. With that in mind, this book has been structured to help you understand AI. It follows a typical AI journey you will likely face or lead in an organization.
We will start with Section 1 which will provide an overview of what AI is and why it is important, inevitable and also risky. With unique frameworks such as the 7 Principles©, Tuscane© & Fab-4©, you will also learn:
- How to make your business problem solvable by AI
- Decide whether your problem needs AI at all
- If AI is needed, how to become data ready
- Once ready, how to decide whether to build or buy a solution as well as what the risks really are with doing AI incorrectly
In Section 2, we will then enter the AI laboratory to look at how and where AI models are created. We will also look at the different AI techniques without becoming too technical. This section is important because by knowing them, you will be able to:
- Tell whether a software uses AI, or what kind of AI it uses
- Differentiate powerful AI solutions from weaker ones
- Determine what type of AI techniques can solve your specific business or organizational problem
- Understand some of the most popular Machine Learning and Deep Learning techniques that are being used, such as: how it analyzes different types of information, how it makes predictions, how it recognizes images like your face, how it communicates with your customers, or how a robot learns to behave like humans!
Learning these is important to clearly understand and know what AI can or cannot do.
Having looked at how to prepare for and start an AI journey to solve a business problem, and which techniques or solutions may prove useful, we will arrive at section 3 where we will learn how to go about the process required to deploy and use an AI software in the right way, and to avoid failures of investments that most organizations unfortunately have to deal with today. You will learn:
- How to measure AI’s performance
- How to get others to use it in the organization
- How to implement it successfully so that you don't waste thousands of dollars and hours of effort
- How to estimate the financial value of an AI solution
- How to minimize risks associated with AI for an individual and the organization
We will conclude by looking at how to use AI in an ethical and responsible manner through careful strategic planning and policy formulation. In doing so, you will have arrived at the very forefront of AI knowledge today. Each lesson will also be accompanied with interesting bits on some of the amazing or scary ways in which AI is being applied in the real world.
So, are you ready to become AI ready? Let's begin.
[i] Balagnur, Sameer. Analytics India Mag. January 2020. Meet Xenobots – World’s first ‘Living’ machines created using frog stem cells. Source: https://analyticsindiamag.com/meet-xenobots-world-first-living-machines-created-frog-stem-cells/