With the stack of books to read piling up throughout 2020, I used the break to catch up on a handful of books on the current state, theory and various practices of Artificial Intelligence. One book was noteworthy. It was a study on ~20 companies where AI was driving a marked impact in performance and transforming the company.
“Though at each of the companies studied, even those with ‘bet the company‘”’ programs, AI is in its infancy, one is nonetheless staggered by the success that has already been achieved”
You’ve probably all read quotes similar to this… in just about any book covering artificial intelligence, digital transformation, or analytics. And the everyday nature of the words is what makes it interesting, because this book was written over 30 years ago — in 1988. The quote is from the Foreword of “The Rise of the Expert Company…How Visionary Companies are using Artificial Intelligence to Achieve Higher Productivity and Profits (Feigenbaum).” Not long after this book was written, the field fell into its Second Winter.
The explosion of curated and labeled data, parallel processing, and digitalization has exploded the field of data science and machine learning. Many of us think this is brand new, but the theory, concepts and methods were created in the 60s and 70s. A few of the real innovative concepts have not yet materialized in the world yet today outside of a few research labs. And the reasons why things have failed in the past are starting to be re-experienced by companies today.
We’re focused on building systems and capabilities that incorporate learnings from the failures and successes of the past, while harnessing the power and innovation of the future.
Lots more specifics to come on this topic in 2021. Happy new year!