Evan Gerber, Vice President of Cognitive Design at Fidelity Investments, discussed artificial intelligence (AI) and how AI technologies can help companies deliver seamless customer experiences during his keynote presentation to Argyle’s CIO membership at the 2018 CIO Leadership Forum: Data Strategy & Innovation in Boston on May 2. In his presentation, “AI: The Muscle and the Brain,” Gerber described how AI technologies work and provided best practices to help businesses use these technologies to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
AI technologies present new opportunities for businesses across all industries. Yet defining the true value of these technologies sometimes is difficult.
In certain instances, IT professionals use AI technologies to automate business processes. Or, AI technologies may be used to bolster the customer experience. But for companies that want to optimize the value of AI technologies, IT professionals must be ready to incorporate these technologies across all business departments.
IT professionals are responsible for integrating AI technologies into a company’s operations. They also must be able to define how these technologies can help a company achieve its immediate and long-term goals. By doing so, IT professionals can find AI technologies that deliver meaningful results for a business, its employees and its customers.
“There is a lot of confusion and a lot of hype about what’s actually there [with AI] and what it can actually do,” Gerber indicated. “We need to understand [what AI] means and what we can really do with it.”
For IT professionals, it is important to understand AI technology applications, too.
AI technologies are evolving, and how companies use these technologies may continue to change in the years to come. IT professionals who experiment with AI technologies can drive innovation. Perhaps best of all, these professionals can integrate AI technologies into different departments across a business – something that may lead to unparalleled business improvements.
“We, as the digital experts, can start to find opportunities with stuff we have in other places to use in new ways,” Gerber pointed out.
How IT professionals apply machine learning may have far-flung effects on a company as well.
IT professionals can use machine learning to teach computers how to solve problems. Over time, computers may become more advanced, and IT professionals will need to update their machine learning applications accordingly.
“Computers handle very well-defined problems. But as machines become smarter, they will be able to do more and more abstract thinking,” Gerber said.
Keeping pace with AI technologies may prove to be exceedingly valuable for IT professionals. If IT professionals can integrate new AI technologies into a company’s day-to-day operations, they may be able to help this business further improve its productivity and efficiency. Plus, these technologies may enable a company to provide its customers with outstanding services and support and differentiate itself from the competition.
“It will be up to us, as the people who implement [AI technologies], to make sure things happen,” Gerber stated. “We have to be careful [with AI] and stay on top of things.”
IT professionals must develop a long-term outlook relative to AI technologies. This outlook will enable IT professionals to consider potential AI technology advancements and determine how they can get the most out of AI technologies.
Furthermore, IT professionals must be proactive about AI technologies. If IT professionals allocate time and resources to understand AI technologies and their potential benefits, they may be better equipped than ever before to find unique ways to integrate these technologies into a company’s operations.
“We need to be responsible for the math we are writing [with AI],” Gerber noted. “We need to think about all of the different paths, and more importantly, how all the different paths start to fit together.”
Having the ability to teach business partners about AI technologies is crucial for IT professionals. As AI technology experts, IT professionals can serve as trusted advisors to business partners. And together, IT professionals and their business partners can determine the best ways to use AI to achieve meaningful results.
“You need to wrangle your business partners so they understand [AI],” Gerber said. “Because you will inherently have a better understanding of what data is and how it works than your partners.”
AI technologies empower IT professionals to take control over their data. Also, these technologies give IT professionals a strategic advantage in a competitive global marketplace. If IT professionals capitalize on AI technologies, they can help a company learn about its customers and provide exceptional experiences. As a result, IT professionals can use AI technologies to help a company disrupt the global business landscape.
“Your brand and your data are your strategic hedges against being completely disrupted,” Gerber pointed out. “You’re the keepers of the data, and it is important for you to get people to understand how data can drive improved experiences.”