Why boards should not get distracted by AI

AI certainly isn’t a fad, but it does require a measured and insightful response to ensure its application is value accretive and partners the human experience.

The next shiny new thing


The OECD recently published data showing the GDP growth per hour worked over the last decade. Staggeringly, with all the innovations technology has provided us and all the productivity improvements modeled in business cases justifying investments in said technologies, we are only 0.96% more productive! It would seem that we are working more and adding less value. And here’s another truism - better technology means higher expectations—and higher expectations creates more busy work for the portfolio management function to prioritize! 


Now, I should point out that I’m as easily seduced by shiny new things as the next guy and have been known to author the odd business case justifying millions be spent on technology that was going to improve productivity. With the wisdom of hindsight though, I’d be placing my bets on delivering better customer outcomes - because that’s where the growth comes. 


And along comes AI


So here we are – both fascinated and fearful of the seemingly endless possibilities artificial intelligence might create. Like any emerging change, the challenge for boards is how do they understand both opportunity and consequence without the hype. A recent Bain & Company article on “How AI will Supercharge Productivity”, cites a potential upside anywhere from 27% to 41% across a range of industries and job types with Management, Finance and Ops ripe for generative AI to automate work. That’s a pretty sexy proposition for any executive to ruminate over! But be aware of getting sucked into thinking this will be the fix all you’ve been waiting for. Sure, be curious and become knowledgeable but slot this under your IT governance agenda, because like bitcoin, something new will come along before we know it. 

Ps - this article was not created using ChatGPT….or was it?