Scaling up AI

Discover the practicalities of operating in an AI-powered world.

We are in “The Between Times” – people have recognized the immense value and impact of AI, but it has yet to be embraced at scale. The authors of Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence liken “The Between Times” to the 20 intervening years between the invention of electricity and its widespread adoption in homes and infrastructure.

People knew a better, cheaper, more mobile alternative to steam existed, but they were unable to adopt it. Why?

The authors explain that, just like in today’s world with AI, society could quickly apply new solutions at specific points – the steam-powered loom could be replaced with electrical engines. But wide-scale adoption required adapting an entire system: the whole factory network needed to be redesigned.

Today, the same lesson is currently being learned in businesses and by governments across the globe: how do we adopt this awesome new technology at scale?

This book is a great start – in fact, I sent a copy to every C-suite leader I know. Its presentation is business-academic in tone, with a navy blue jacket (the color of consulting) and a dense sans font reminiscent of hardcore economics journals. Yet the book’s lessons are highly accessible, cleverly written and include great ideas for practically implementing AI across a system. Start with the AI Systems Discover Canvas, which prompts you to reduce your corporation to as few decisions as possible, for a real kick.

The clear drawing of parallels with human history and physical industries means Power and Prediction accelerates conversations between tech and
business, and will undoubtedly influence organizational design in every corporation it reaches.

Kirsten Levermore is assistant editor of Dialogue.