LBG Associates

“Alexa, What Does AI Mean to Me?”

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

What do you think about when you hear the term AI? Until recently, I immediately thought of robots and self-driving cars. I’ve been educating myself on AI lately to keep up with the trends and I’ve learned a lot about the ways AI supplements human knowledge to make life better.

Who’s on the cutting edge? Obviously tech companies (Hey, Google!). But so are health care companies. AI is used in health care to analyze complex medical data to help doctors make diagnoses, for example, and Forbes says there is promise in AI-assisted robotic surgery. (“Assisted” is an important word, here; no one wants a robot doing surgery on its own.)  And large consulting firms, such as KPMG, Deloitte and Accenture, are now in the business of helping companies leverage AI.

AI applications crunch massive amounts of data for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to optimize pricing, promotional spending, inventory, etc. to squeeze out more profits. AI is appearing in children’s toys, gadgets, assistive devices for the disabled and even—shampoo?? A recent article in Inc. magazine profiled a start-up that uses AI to produce customized hair care products. Who knew?

So, if AI is going to be everywhere by 2040 (that’s what KPMG predicts), where will it be in your company? And who will be doing the work?

My last two blogs were about STEM education and how companies can support it effectively. Let’s add AI to the top of the list of STEM subjects that need a healthy pipeline of talent. The subject is so new that even the top universities are just getting started adding undergraduate AI majors to their programs. Up to now, AI has been taught at the graduate and doctoral levels.

Companies can help feed these new undergraduate programs by adding AI education to their STEM grants. Success here is the same as any other STEM field—start early and have programs that grow with kids. Your company will thank you—and the students will thank you for the entrée into a fast-moving, high-paying field.

In an upcoming blog: AI Education for K-12 Students