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Should your CEO be worried about AI

In 2016, Eric Schmidt of Alphabet introduced a personal digital assistant called “Not-Eric,” showcasing his vision of artificial intelligence.

This “digital tool that assists me” would be a component of a cutting-edge AI system that aims to eventually tackle “the most challenging issues” in the world, as stated by the former Google executive.

However, Schmidt envisions a future where AI goes beyond the current capabilities of digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, allowing both Eric and Not-Eric to flourish.

The AI of tomorrow is specifically engineered to support C-suite executives in navigating complex management choices.

Picture having a cutting-edge business intelligence tool that utilizes AI to analyze data and provide insights on the potential consequences of decisions, whether they lead to success or failure for a company.

Artificial intelligence in executive decision-making

According to Daniel Kahneman, an expert in the psychology of judgment, AI has the potential to surpass humans in making judgments due to its ability to filter out impulsive and irrational human decision-making.

At a people analytics conference in Wharton, it was pointed out that the advancement of AI and automation is often associated with the replacement of blue-collar jobs. However, it is worth noting that the level of sophistication exhibited by AI-powered software can also pose a significant threat to executives and leaders.

This is partly because the elimination of human judgment is seen as a key factor, according to the speaker. When algorithms are pitted against professional judgment, such as formulas and rules, they often outperform the experts.

This is great news for organizations that are committed to minimizing bias in areas like recruitment, learning and development, compensation, and succession planning.

Will Not-Eric eventually replace Eric, with the idea of AI “outsmarting” business leaders?

According to Kahneman, there is a tendency for humans to be resistant towards AI. Prior to Not-Eric assuming control, he confidently declared, “Eric will terminate Not-Eric.”

‘Simplifying intricacy’
According to Michael Martin, a senior executive at IBM Canada, there is a common misconception that AI will replace workers, which leads to resistance towards AI. Many individuals view the utilization of AI tools as a potential hazard, even though these tools were designed to enhance productivity.

“One of the challenges we face, not only in HR but in various industries, is the limited understanding of artificial intelligence; it is often clouded by misconceptions,” Martin expressed. “They perceive it as highly intricate.”

This lack of understanding may also arise from the concentration of power over AI within certain organizations, specifically among the CIOs, data engineers, and data scientists.

At IBM, our goal is to simplify things. We are making AI accessible to managers and directors, enabling anyone to utilize it, comprehend it, and harness its potential to their advantage.

Martin is a strong advocate for giving executives at all levels of the organization the power to harness the potential of AI by making it more accessible to everyone.