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Microsoft - New podcast shares guidance for business leaders on their AI journey

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New podcast shares guidance for business leaders on their AI journey

Leah: The podcast has five episodes, each addressing a specific topic. Those topics are strategy, culture, responsibility, innovation and empowerment. Can you tell me why you chose these topics, and then briefly what you hope listeners take away from each episode?

David: In our view, these are the key factors for companies to be successful in embracing an AI transformation, all specific to the business side and not the technology challenges.

Strategy, this is the most obvious one. Strategy is your North Star. If a company is embracing AI without a clear North Star, or going project by project, you are not connecting those projects to a larger vision. It took 17 missions to put a man on the moon, but each of those missions was part of a long-term vision. The same is true for a business: You should have a long-term vision – the equivalent of putting a man on the moon – but you should find a way to deliver that vision in smaller steps, each of them with value to the business today.

When it comes to culture, for something to be successful it needs to be sustainable. If you don’t address a cultural change in your company, you may do one or two successful projects but they won’t be natural. They’ll be against the natural flow of the company. So you need to address cultural aspects, the predisposition of the company.

As for responsibility, any big technological breakthrough or transformation will bring with it challenges and risks. You need to have positioning on those risks and you need to define how your company is going to address those risks or challenges. And you need to make sure everything you do aligns with those principles, which requires governance across your entire organization.

The episode on innovation talks a lot about how to manage innovation, because it can be difficult for a company to balance what the business is doing currently with innovation and future goals. So my guests on that episode talk about their experiences in that and what they’ve learned.

And lastly is empowerment, and what we’ve found is that you need to involve every employee in an AI transformation. This is not something that just happens with the technical unit or in top leaders. It must involve every single person and show them how they can augment their capabilities with AI no matter what they do.

Leah: Which was your favorite episode to record and why?

David: This is an easy one. The episode about Responsible AI was by far my favorite because I got to interview my son, Guillermo.

Several years ago, Guillermo came to me and said he wanted to learn computer programming. This made me the happiest father on Earth, as I had long wanted my children to show interest in programming. But Guillermo said something surprising to me then. He told me he wanted me with him every step of the way, so that he didn’t inadvertently create an AI that could turn against him.

He was partly joking, but at the end of my conversation with Guillermo, he encourages everyone to be responsible with developing AI, which I then cover in detail with several experts during the episode.

Leah: How should leaders look at undergoing an AI transformation during times of disruption like we are seeing today with COVID-19? Are there any tidbits from the podcast that you can share?



https://www.sickgaming.net/blog/2021/02/...i-journey/
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