Wednesday, 27 December 2017 10:44

Being Intelligent About Artificail Intelligence

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We are truly now in the Knowledge Age, way past the Information Age. Faster information processing
has become less important compared to developing intelligence systems that will shape our future.
The technological advancement in robotics has been phenomenal and so has the advent of artificial
intelligence which has been spurred on by the concept of advanced robotics as well as the “Internet
of Everything”. These are exciting times where we are witnessing phenomenal growth in human
capability and expertise.


The entire basis of technological advancement in the Knowledge Age rests on the principle of
harnessing knowledge collectively across different technologies and harmonizing them towards
meeting unmet needs of people. New markets are created and developed on an ongoing basis and
this fuels commercial interests and investments. This is clearly illustrated by companies such as Uber,
Amazon and AirBnB. This phenomena benefits both entrepreneurs as well as the public at large.
However, we should not be overwhelmed with this euphoria and neglect the harsh realities that this
Knowledge Age brings with it. The one that we must grapple with is the prospects of labour force being
“unwanted” when Artificial Intelligence is used to make decisions that have been made by humans.
How will they continue to survive when factories are run by robots and middle management decision
making functions are taken over by senior management team relying on making decisions based on
artificial intelligence? This is an issue worthy of consideration because unless we develop these skills
now, the ability of a world to sustain the concept of “internet of everything” will lose its momentum
and all gains made in robotic development and artificial intelligence will erode.


In future, with increasing usage of robots and artificial intelligence, the demand for expertise within
the realm of general management and traditional functional expertise such as sales, marketing, and
engineering will reduce and be replaced the demand for expertise in managing these artificial
intelligence systems .


Artificial Intelligence is defined as the theory and development of computer systems able to perform
tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition,
decision-making, and translation between languages. What these computer systems require
essentially is knowledge on how these tasks may be performed better and what knowledge has to be
harnessed and leveraged upon for this to occur.


Artificial Intelligence is already a $15 Billion dollar business and is expected to grow to over $70 billion
by 2020 according to MIT Technology Review. The focus for Artificial Intelligence will be less on
delivering on requests and more on responding to the needs that haven’t been expressed yet. This
growth is fuelled by intensified research and enhanced capabilities in two main domains, User Centric
Design (“UCD”) systems as well as Behaviour Oriented Design (“BOD”) systems. Understanding and
leveraging upon UCD and BOD systems requires an innate clarity on how knowledge is acquired,
organised, integrated and applied by users to enable prediction of their unexpressed needs.
The speed of change in technological developments coupled with the very significant impact of these
changes on work being done is bewildering. What makes matters even more challenging is the sheer
complexity of ever increasing components such as Big Data, Mobile Internet, 3D printing, cloud
computing and associated technologies that are included within this emerging new world we find
ourselves in.


The resultant effect of all these is increasing market and technical uncertainty leading to events and
outcomes becoming unpredictable. Consequently, ambiguity or the lack of understanding of the
situation looms. Unless attempts are made to enhance the level of clarity, moving forward in such a
volatile, uncertain and complex environment will remain an uphill struggle.


It is because of the above, it is imperative for organizations to enhance their knowledge management
capability so that they are better poised to manage these uncertainties and ambiguities that have and
will continue to emerge.


It follows that the demand for expertise in Knowledge Management, which fuels the advancement
and development of artificial intelligence, will increase in the Knowledge Age. We will need people
who are conversant with the principles of knowledge management, who recognize the imperative of
knowledge management and who are well versed with how emerging knowledge has to be acquired,
developed, organized, integrated and applied to facilitate transformation of organisations so that they
remain competitive in this new world.


At an individual level, a heightened understanding of Personal Knowledge Management is required
for the increasing array of Knowledge Workers that will be required to manage the development of
Artificial Intelligence and its associated products and services.


At an organisational level, organisations will have to transform the way knowledge is managed from
it being done in the backdrop of business process to being in the forefront of new business ideas and
technological breakthroughs.


Knowledge systems have to be intensified through the development of knowledge imperatives, design
and justification of knowledge management initiatives, implementing specific knowledge
management initiatives as well as continuously improving the manner in which knowledge is being
managed.


Developing skills in this area will provide opportunities for people to continue being gainfully
employed and contribute further to society in the Knowledge Age. Such skills are central to the
development of UCD as well as BOD systems that enable growth and sophistication of Artificial
Intelligence as well as the development of Internet of Everything.


Ignoring these skills will ultimately dampen efforts to develop a better world for all. As society
embraces these technological breakthroughs and invests heavily on its development, efforts to
develop capabilities to manage these systems should be intensified as well. We have to choose
between going down the road of technological advancement for the sake of realizing short term gains
or doing so in parallel with developing skills needed for it to be sustained in the long run.


This is a choice we have to make. By making the right choice, we are being intelligent about artificial
intelligence.

Read 538 times Last modified on Wednesday, 27 December 2017 11:02
Dr Rumesh Kumar

Dr Rumesh Kumar is a certified project management professional, a certified professional trainer and performance improvement consultant specializing in the areas of leadership development, continual productivity improvement and enhancement of interpersonal skills.

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