Driving AI's potential in organizations


For some organizations, harnessing artificial intelligence's full potential begins tentatively with explorations of select enterprise opportunities and a few potential use cases. While testing the waters this way may deliver valuable insights, it likely won't be enough to make your company a market maker (rather than a fast follower). To become a true AI-fueled organization, a company may need to fundamentally rethink the way humans and machines interact within working environments. Executives should also consider deploying machine learning and other cognitive tools systematically across every core business process and enterprise operation to support data-driven decision-making. Likewise, AI could drive new offerings and business models. These are not minor steps, but as AI technologies standardize rapidly across industries, becoming an AI-fueled organization will likely be more than a strategy for success--it could be table stakes for survival. In his new book The AI Advantage, Deloitte Analytics senior adviser Thomas H. Davenport describes three stages in the journey that companies can take toward achieving full utilization of artificial intelligence.1 In the first stage, which Davenport calls assisted intelligence, companies harness large-scale data programs, the power of the cloud, and science-based approaches to make data-driven business decisions. Today, companies at the vanguard of the AI revolution are already working toward the next stage--augmented intelligence--in which machine learning (ML) capabilities layered on top of existing information management systems work to augment human analytical competencies. According to Davenport, in the coming years, more companies will progress toward autonomous intelligence, the third AI utilization stage, in which processes are digitized and automated to a degree whereby machines, bots, and systems can directly act upon intelligence derived from them. The journey from the assisted to augmented intelligence stages, and then on to fully autonomous intelligence, is part of a growing trend in which companies transform themselves into "AI-fueled organizations."