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Little Find

How to adopt AI ​​in a way that makes sense 

The near-blind adoption of AI doesn’t make much sense. It may even hold your projects back if the technology is not implemented properly — which is often the case. 

Ayanna Howardan executive counselor on the board of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), has a front seat when it comes to observing the AI practices adopted by companies. Howard identifies three recurring problems:  

1) When taking AI on board, the why and the how are not properly considered. AI is not an end in itself; it’s an answer to one or more clearly identified problems.  

2) AI’s value ​​is based on the data you feed into it  but data is too often erroneous (or worse). In the absence of why, valuable data can easily lead to decision-making mistakes and even grave offenses (remember Tay, Microsoft’s chat bot and its inflammatory tweets?). 

3) Businesses do not always balance the value AI offers with the personal privacy and agency that is lost.  


In a nutshell, Howard argues that decisionmakers do not ask enough questions. She offers two recommendations(1) AI requires the right skills to understand it, so either an expert internal or external team must be availableand (2) leaders must ask the right questions and develop AI that is truly useful, by consulting all stakeholders and establishing clear ethical standards.  


To go further:Demystifying the Intelligence of AI” by Ayanna Howard (MIT Sloan Management Review,  November  2019) 

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Françoise Tollet
Published by Françoise Tollet
She spent 12 years in industry, working for Bolloré Technologies, among others. She co-founded Business Digest in 1992 and has been running the company since 1998. And she took the Internet plunge in 1996, even before coming on board as part of the BD team.