The two board level business problems with AI (here’s how to fix them)

AI is a long way off and yet it’s already right here and will affect every one of the business processes we understand to be key to all of our businesses. I attended a conference in New York last week (watch my daily summaries on YouTube) which had a heavy AI focus for a marketing centric conference which tells you a lot about where things are going in marketing.

My key business takeaways were:

1. the business R&D for AI is already underway.
2. Significant gains will be available to businesses at the front of the curve over the next 36 months.
3. Get started now by trying some AI.

There are plenty of articles out there that go deep on the technicalities of AI. I’m not going to do that.

I’m assuming that you’re reading this as a business owner or at least primarily commercial minded so care about commercial applications right now. The first board level business problem with AI

BOARD PROBLEM 1: AI is difficult to understand

Think about AI in terms of three levels of complexity.


Alan Berkson said ‘Bots are starting to do complicated but complex is the domain of humans.’

One Simple Gain

Still, think about the complicated business processes that employees in your business are tasked with right now. For example, booking a meeting. That role may be a 40–60k executive administration role where meeting bookings takes about 40% of the time. You can now replace that with AI for under $100 per month and free up the admin role for higher value activities.

Watch my favourite 2 minutes of clips from Dennis talking about this at Social Media Week.

Dennis Mortensen talks about Amy, your friendly Executive PA.

BOARD PROBLEM 2: AI is costly to invest in

I’ve ‘employed’ Amy to help book the final 20 interviews of the 100 CEO Interview Project. I copy her in on email threads once we’ve agreed to do the interview, knowing that Amy will take over and determine the time, length of meeting, space between meetings and juggle meeting locations that the interviewee requests. Amy took 3 years to ‘program’ and took me 2 minutes to ‘train’. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll develop a better lens for approaching business processes unique to your company or your industry.

That’s where to start.

What does this all mean?

It depends on your ‘collar colour’.

We have nothing to fear from AI, in fact it will free us all up from some of the mundane and repetitive specialists tasks we now believe is valuable work in both the blue collar and white collar workforce.

This is because the ‘blank collar’ AI worker can be leveraged by you do increase your own productivity. As an individual, you’ll be able to produce 32 hours of work effort in just 8 hours a day. As a business owner with a substantial workforce, there are significant gains coming through teaching machines the simple and increasingly complicated tasks, then redeploying your highest value human assets to only the most complex of tasks.

That’s fine for the US

…but when will it come to New Zealand?

I asked this very question to Craig Hickson, CEO Progressive Meats about how he sees AI and robots in particular playing a part in his workforce of 300+ employees. His answer (Listen from 22 minutes 40 seconds for 5 mins 30 secs.) speaks to the complexities involved in processing a product with many variables while also demonstrating the implementation underway as we speak proving that it’s never too early to get started.

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Contact me to meet contact at iamryan dot vc (with Amy’s help of course :)