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Watching the Kentucky Derby, I was reminded of another race we are all watching unfold before us. A race that affects and impacts every one of us. I’m talking about the race to AI. Artificial intelligence has been around for quite a while, but is only now starting to change our world. In fact, AI will have an impact on and change everything in our lives.
In these early days, companies are rushing to try and create a brand identity in the AI space. Understanding this is key whether you are an employee, executive or investor. AI will lead in industry after industry going forward. Today, we are still in the very early days of the AI revolution.
Now is Time to Hire Chief AI Officer
So, the next executive hire at every company in the USA should be a Chief AI Officer. This is not something we ever dreamed of just a few years ago. However, looking ahead, we realize that for companies to continue to grow and change, they must become an expert at AI. Going forward this will impact every sector of the company.
The vast majority of companies simply don’t understand AI. They are not prepared for the revolution which has already begun. The few companies who have hired a CAIO, are on the cutting edge. The technology is already at the point where it will change everything. And the technology of today is still very basic. Think Ford (F) Model T in the automotive industry from a century ago. Or just think a decade or two ago with the Internet.
AI is Simple Today, But Will Continue to Grow Going Forward
As an example, consider IBM (IBM) Watson. This is perhaps the most visible example of AI. Watson is helping company after company in industry after industry think forward in incredible new ways. And that will only continue. Today we are seeing many companies entering the AI space. Companies like Amazon.com (AMZN)
We will see development of AI year after year, decade after decade. Today’s AI is simple, but it will grow to become much more complex and far reaching. So, today is the time to get your feet wet. To explore new opportunities, both on a corporate level and on a personal level. Before customers, workers and investors demand you get AI right. Today, everyone expects AI to be new and difficult and confusing.
That’s why now is the right time to enter the field and feel your way around. If you wait several years to do this, you will be hurt because expectations will be higher than they are today. This is the same argument I made about the Internet in the mid 1990’s. Just twenty years ago the Internet was a foreign and confusing place. No one had any real idea about what was coming next.
Companies who jumped in early, got a head start. Sure, they made mistakes, but that was the point. Nothing was expected from them yet. They played with the technology and learned what worked, what didn’t and why. They played with it and customers didn’t have much in the way of expectations. This is the best and most natural way to proceed.
AI will Change Our World Like the Internet Did
This is the same with AI. Let me make myself clear. AI will transform our world the same way the Internet did. So, every company must put the same effort into getting up to speed. If not, then they will pay the price. Things change. Things always change. Only the companies which stick with the change wave will have a tomorrow.
Just think about all the change we have seen in the recent decade or two. Today, Apple iPhone and Google Android lead the smartphone race. However, just a short decade ago there was no iPhone or Android. At that time, Blackberry (BBRY)
I hope you understand what to expect going forward. Now is the time to prepare for the AI revolution which is coming, ready or not. Stay with the change wave or it will pass you by. Get your feet wet with AI. Try things and learn what works, what doesn’t and why. And prepare for continual change going forward. Remember, AI today is like the Ford Model T. We are just the beginning of an incredible revolution. Are you ready?
Jeff Kagan is an Equities.com columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst, speaker and consultant. He follows wireless, wire line, telecom, Internet, cable TV, IPTV, Cloud, Mobile Pay, FinTech and communications technology. Email him at [email protected]. His web site is www.jeffKAGAN.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan