Competing in the age of AI | HBR

Rather than relying on people and traditional business models to get a service, we are served by algorithms more and more these days. “Competing in the Age of AI,” a recent article by HBR, points out how some businesses are able to do this and what it means for traditional business models. In this example, they showcase how Ant Financial is “built on a digital core”:

“There are no workers in its “critical path” of operating activities. AI runs the show. There is no manager approving loans, no employee providing financial advice, no representative authorizing consumer medical expenses. And without the operating constraints that limit traditional firms, Ant Financial can compete in unprecedented ways and achieve unbridled growth and impact across a variety of industries.”

After AI systems are created, they are able to deliver their own value. This elimination of traditional systems transforms how businesses compete:

“As digital networks and algorithms are woven into the fabric of firms, industries begin to function differently and the lines between them blur. The changes extend well beyond born-digital firms, as more-traditional organizations, confronted by new rivals, move toward AI-based models too… Whether you’re leading a digital start-up or working to revamp a traditional enterprise, it’s essential to understand the revolutionary impact AI has on operations, strategy, and competition.”

In successful examples of AI implementation, AI decides based on math: algorithms convert data into predictions, insights, and choices, guiding and helping companies move quickly. Often these aren’t examples of general artificial intelligence, but “weak AI” (AKA computers performing tasks that humans normally perform).

“The AI that drives explosive growth often isn’t even all that sophisticated.”

Read the full article from HBR to learn how this type of automation is driving economic value.

Staying competitive requires creating a coordinated ecosystem of technologies that works in concert; true hyper-automation. Learn more about how to prepare your business for the level of competition it is now facing as we continue forward in an unprecedented rate of technological disruption.

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