medical practitioner using a laptop

Working with AI:   The Genie is Out of the Bottle

It seems that no matter where I do a presentation on any area of cybersecurity, these days, the topic of AI always comes up.  Especially with our banks, which are particularly worried about several aspects of AI.  Writing a short article on not only the pros and cons, but also the aspects of AI and what it will affect is also included here.

In this article, you will see the term “cognitive technology” when referring to different applications of AI and Machine Learning to several industries and it’s benefits and limitations.  For example, going back to 2017 (this quoted from Harvard Business Review of 2019), a prominent cancer center was putting into place AI applications which allowed it to apply AI to less glamourous applications.

Important tasks within the center such as making restaurant and hotel reservations for patients’ families, finding out which patients needed help paying bills, and addressing the Center’s staff IT problems. The Center’s first goal had started out to be, in 2017, using cognitive technology assisted by IBM’s Watson, to diagnose and recommend treatment plans for certain forms of cancer.  But then, AI wasn’t quite there. but if you look at what applications WERE ready to go using cognitive technology (AI), you can see the potential for the technology assisting the medical field (and others) with these tasks above.

In 2019, the Harvard Business Review took a poll of 250 top executives, familiar with cognitive technology, were asked what they wanted to accomplish with the new technology in their industries.  The results are too detailed to fit into the scope of this article, but the GOOD news for all of you out there worried the ‘people in the C suite” were aiming to cut jobs as a main goal is stated below:

More than HALF of these execs plan to use AI to make existing products or services better, with only 20% of the total wanted to reduce jobs because of automation.  Let me point out here that this was still a time when the technology was just being brought forth to improve productivity of employees by reducing time consuming tasks slowing down their core job goals daily.

This could be called ‘analytics on steroids.”  This is a process wherein AI/CI is used to handle the following types of tasks which can slow down productivity:

-Automate personalized targeting of digital ads

-Detect insurance claims and credit card fraud in real time

-Identify safety or quality problems in automobiles or other manufactured products along with their warranty

-Provide insurers with more accurate actuarial modeling.

The list goes on and on.  The ideal is to push redundant and time-consuming tasks in the workplace so that employees can spend more time on the human side of customer service and focus on longer term and urgent goals and AI/ML/CI applications cannot do.

Lastly, a short list of the challenges AND benefits of embracing this new technology.  It is here to stay, hence the title of the article.  There will be other articles covering this topic more in depth to come, but regardless of your concerns if you are a banker, a hospital director, or someone with vast responsibility for such things as working in supply chain management, the time has come to starting researching the day to day operations of which you are in charge, and start planning, not putting your head in the sand, how you are going to use this cognitive technology/AI/ML in your organization to make you more efficient and better delineate the job functions and personnel you  manage.  They must know, those ‘in the trenches’ that the overall goal of implementing this new technology is to make their jobs more efficient, less stressful and give them a true sense of improving the operations they work with and for.

The process, in brief, according the HBR, is that, to get the most out of AI, firms, no matter the size (including YOU SMB size entities). must under WHICH TASKS certain technologies perform and build a portfolio of sorts to prioritize projects based on THAT individual business’s needs and start developing plans TODAY to scale up across the company.

I already listed the benefits in brief in implementing the AI/CI technology; here are some concerns the same executives polled above.  Note that they were not afraid of the technology, but here are abbreviated statements in order of urgency the executives know they must work on to move FORWARD with the new technology:

-It is hard to integrate cognitive projects with existing products and services.

-Technologies and expertise are too expensive.

-Managers don’t understand AI/ML/CI technologies and how they work (Note SPI Training)

-Can’t get enough people with expertise in this technology

-Technology is still too premature.

-Technology has been oversold in the marketplace

Wrapping this up, remember this viewpoint is a couple of years old, and the education on the technology has vastly improved as of the writing of this article in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Stay tuned to our blog for further articles digging deeper into this subject which has so many worried and uncertain as to its implications and changes to the ‘status quo’ in business today, no matter what your size.

Remember, The Saturn Partners, Inc. is dedicated to staying on the forefront of how AI with work with cybersecurity, training, social engineering, and more skills we bring to the table, and targeted to YOU, the SMB owner in your field, whether regulated or not.

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