I recently had the opportunity to present at the Puerto Rico IT Cluster’s CIO and IT Leadership Virtual Conference on May 14, 2021. The event brought together Puerto Rico’s private and public sector leaders to engage in dialogue on the role of IT as a principal driver of digital transformation and innovation and economic development for the Island.
The topic I addressed was AI – The Keystone of Digital Transformation. I introduced the session with quote from Brazilian entrepreneur, Jair Ribeiro, which reads, “Artificial Intelligence is to digital transformation what electricity was to humanity in the past.” While it may sound a bit dramatic, it’s actually quite true. Electricity enabled a completely new model in how people lived and worked, and led to the invention of labor-saving devices, which gave people more time to innovate, do better and move productivity forward – without having to do so only during daylight hours.
In the same way, AI is also moving humanity forward – illuminating the bright minds of scientists, physicians, engineers and business leaders with data-driven intelligence to support medical breakthroughs, scientific achievements and new ways of growing businesses. In essence, Digital transformation is the Fourth Industrial Revolution and AI is the linchpin.
As I addressed during the conference, AI is a self-learning system that is able to interact with humans, solve problems and perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. And, it does all of this without requiring coding or rules. AI promises to make things happen faster, easier, more cost-effectively and accurately, while simplifying complex processes.
AI is enabling companies to better reach their customers in digital marketplaces, and get right to the heart of customer needs in direct-to-consumer engagement. It’s also enabling new digital products and services that expand upon existing offerings for new revenue streams; and it’s helping companies monetize their data – the lifeblood of today’s business.
While Jair Ribeiro compared digital transformation to the invention of electricity; he wasn’t the only one. Andy Ng, a famous computer scientist of Google Brain fame, once said “AI is the new electricity.” It’s certainly sparking a revolution in how business and humanity is moving forward.