Artificial intelligence can help some businesses but may not work for others

The temptation for businesses to use artificial intelligence and other technology to improve performance, drive down labor costs, and better the bottom line is understandable. But before pursuing automation that could put the jobs of human employees at risk, it is important that business owners take careful stock of their operations.


AI should not be applied to every business in the same manner, according to Chris Meyer, professor of practice and the director of undergraduate education at the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, “the choice to use automation or AI needs to be a strategic decision. If a business competes by offering a substantial amount of human interaction, or has a range of service offerings that change from client to client, the company will have a lower success rate in replacing human professionals with AI technologies. Meyer also found that the opposite is true: Businesses that limit customer choice and interaction will see greater success if they choose to automate.


Business leaders considering a switch to automation must carefully examine their strategies for managing knowledge resources. Before companies invest in AI, they need to understand whether replacing human judgment and interaction with digital technologies and algorithms is a strategically sound idea.



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