Avoid Blindly Chasing AI Technology

There was a time when everyone needed a website, then a mobile site, then a mobile app. Now everyone needs an artificial intelligence (AI). Next, everyone will need a neural network cluster.

This is the game of chasing new technology. Chasing technology in hopes that it brings you the value it gives to others. It’s like focusing on scaffolding and chisels when you should be thinking of the cathedral.

How do you use technology to carve a path to new products and services? It’s a simple, shift to thinking of experience before tools.

AI ≠ Magic Pill

There will be many new AI tools that can help you update and build products. But a lot of AI will be sold as a magic pill in which intelligence solves all your problems.

The best of us will fall prey to the marketing message that “AI will fix everything,” and “AI is for everyone.” As humans, we are looking for magic pills. “Jack and the Bean Stalk” was written in 1734. Jack uses magic beans to steal from a giant and gets away with riches. But there is no golden goose in AI. Vision is still required to capitalize on new technology and build exceptional products and services with or without AI.

Kevin Kelly in an article about the “The Myth of Superhuman AI” calls out how artificial intelligence is just one of the attributes of the human brain. The myth is that if we can turn intelligence up high enough it will solve all our problems. But intelligence needs direction.

AI + Vision + Vertical = Wonderful Experiences

New tools mean we can build to new heights. Tools don’t have vision. Creative leaders still need to put in the work to craft vision, then leverage tools to build the future they imagine.

And when leaders do have a version and leverage new technology with a purpose the results are great!

Modern Examples of AI Applied to Verticals:

- Music mastering, LANDR.
 — Emotional recognition platform, Affectiva. (very cool!)
 — Property management, Zenplace.
— Cyber security, Cylance
 — Booking travel and flights, Lola
— Augmented writing for job listings, Textio
 — Personal finance coach, Penny
— Advertising across platforms, Appier.
— Meeting manager assistant, Clara Labs, and Amy by X.ai
— Health care that connects doctors to patients, BabylonHealth
 — And much more.

Carve Your Path, Vision Before Technology

Of course, knowledge of available technology tools will open your mind to more possibilities. And some folks are in the business of building amazing tools to power the future. The trick is not to get stuck with a “me too” approach to creating new products and services.

I’d suggest you don’t pursue using an AI just to use an AI. Focusing on one technology tool can blind you to other possibilities. Start by envisioning the result you want. Then consider how an array of technology tools help you invent and build your product cathedral.


Originally published at Ron Sparks.