By Andreas Wartenberg, Managing Director of Hager Unternehmensberatung and improv.er for Industry Digital & Technology
Artificial intelligence is not a hype topic that only prevails in science fiction, it can be found in almost all industries and presents itself in many areas of life.
The rate at which AI-affine companies produce technological innovations is setting a rapid pace. AI is increasingly being used to optimize and automate processes. Applications range from data analysis and chatbots to new services, products and business models. Data analysis for decision-making processes leads the application ranking with an estimated 70 percentage points of the user rate. Many companies include AI in the planning of new digital business models. Innovations and disruptions in the use of AIs continue to be neglected. Companies are often still very cautious here.
Looking at AI through the lens of cutting-edge research and science, we are still a long way from artificially creating a human-like intelligence. Whether and when we will be able to experience artificial intelligence at the level of human beings or even superior intelligence, even scientists cannot predict.
In the most common fields of AI application, it is above all a question of machines and software taking over routine human tasks. Numerous business processes are faster, simpler and, above all, more efficient. Competitiveness increases and the error rate decreases. A desirable goal for many companies. But every medal also has a downside.
Is a mass phenomenon approaching us?
The analysts at Gartner are already talking about a democratization of the AI. Within ten years it will have developed into a mass phenomenon. Gartner distinguishes between a so-called weak AI solution for very specific areas of application – and strong AI applications for a broad range of applications. Gartner cites ‘Deep Neural Nets’ and virtual assistants as examples of this megatrend. These will experience their complete breakthrough in the next few years and possibly be ‘hyped’ as mass phenomena.
AI experts are hard to get
However, this phenomenon, or rather this all-round ‘tempting entrepreneurial goal’, shows its downside in the search for the right experts. The labour market – especially for IT professionals – is empty. Since many employers are currently courting the best minds in the prevailing trend towards AI, it is not surprising that the unattractive side of the coin is the universally cited search for the needle in the haystack.
Artificial intelligence affects all companies, industries and sectors and will be encountered as a mass phenomenon in the near future. In addition to a mature master plan to use and apply this technology successfully or even to train it, qualified experts are required. However, these should not be recruited through short-term actionism – especially since the art is to find them. Rather, a strategy could be to install an HR pipeline and strategically plan the personnel ceiling. In addition, professional advice can help to sound out the market for missing jobs.
About the author:
Andreas Wartenberg has been an executive search consultant for more than 25 years, filling management positions in the technology sector and other industries. Mr. Wartenberg set up and led national and international teams before joining Hager Unternehmensberatung as a Managing Director in 2008. He is a leading topic expert in the DACH region in regard to all aspects of technology management and digitalization within all type of corporations. Since early 2015 the Hager Unternehmensberatung has become a partner of Horton International. Andreas Wartenberg is currently Chairman of the Board at Horton Group International. Web: www.hager-ub.de
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