At every industry conference this fall, half of the sessions will likely be focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and how important it is. The challenge is in knowing how AI will actually be impactful. Having seen the challenges that come with adopting a paradigm shifting technology, I think it is important to share some perspective on how AI can be thought of in more traditional terms to help bridge the gap for immediate use.
First and foremost, let’s start by rethinking AI not as a technology investment, but rather as the next “Big Hire” for most of the healthcare ecosystem.
Five Key Considerations When “Hiring” AI
Any employee’s value is often gauged by their domain knowledge. Similarly, for AI, possessing industry-specific insights is paramount. Andrew Ng, in “Machine Learning Yearning,” stresses the symbiotic relationship between the quality of data fed to AI and the output it produces. For businesses, this means not just procuring an AI solution, but ensuring it’s tailored—or can be tailored—to their unique domain.
Remember, you can always train for the knowledge, but you need to know the knowledge isn’t there so you can begin the teaching process and understand the additional investment past the financial.
Training and AI Transparency
Beyond the technology itself, AI’s value lies in the data that shapes it. Kate Crawford’s “Atlas of AI” offers an eye-opening perspective into how data sources, especially when opaque or biased, can skew AI perceptions. Crawford cautions us to be thoughtful in how we build our AI workforce given the data that we use to make decisions is often colored in ways (good and bad) that we process unconsciously.
As companies embark on their AI journey, the significance of transparent training methodologies cannot be understated. AI solutions, like human recruits, must be understood, from their learning processes to their biases and strengths. Keep in mind, things like errors and AI hallucination are still going to be a part of Human<>AI interactions.
Interoperability and Cultural Fit
Just as a new hire must mesh seamlessly into a company’s culture, AI’s integration should be harmonious.. AI should be viewed not just as a tool but as a collaborative partner that has capabilities needed to mesh well with existing human-driven processes. As we shift from an OR to an AND mindset with regard to AI, we will inevitably see an increase in productivity but an even greater need to ensure a good “culture fit” for the AI tools we develop and leverage.
Security, Trust, and Ethics
The increasing ubiquity of AI brings to the forefront its ethical considerations. Timnit Gebru’s explorations into AI ethics highlight the dangers of unchecked biases, especially in AI systems that influence critical decision-making. A company’s AI “hire” must, therefore, undergo a rigorous “background check.” Its origins, the ethics of its creators, its potential biases—all should be scrutinized.
Impact on Business
While productivity and efficiency gains from AI integration are substantial, its transformative potential is truly groundbreaking. Kai-Fu Lee’s “AI Superpowers” delves into stories of businesses revolutionized by AI—not just through automation but innovation. As businesses “interview” potential AI solutions, the vision shouldn’t be limited to what the AI can achieve now, but where it can lead the business in the future. Think again of the new rising stars in your office. While they may not have the experience of the senior analysts, they do have potential and a lack of bad habits.
An Interview Process for AI
Drawing inspiration from human hiring processes, AI integration should be thorough and forward-looking. As Kai-Fu Lee suggests, AI’s potential lies not just in mimicking human abilities but in discovering avenues previously unthought-of. Businesses should adopt a multi-faceted approach, understanding an AI’s immediate capabilities and its scalability, adaptability, and potential for future growth.
AI’s emergence as a business influencer is undeniable. Companies must approach AI “hiring” with the meticulousness and vision reserved for top-tier human recruits. The right AI, aligned perfectly with a company’s ethos and goals, can usher in an era of unprecedented growth and innovation.