Data Scientist as Talent, Transformation as Strategy, Ethics as Innovation

Pearls of Wisdom from Episodes 46-50 of the AI & Intelligent Automation podcast

Seth Adler

Key questions answered: Why not let your talent figure out your transformation? What is #automationanxiety and why you should care? How is transformation not your business strategy? What can you learn from IA failures? What’s a market to get into now?

Data Scientist As Employee

Why not let your talent figure out your transformation?

Episode 46- Anthony Ryan, eir

“There are easier ways to consume machine learning and AI but it has an awful lot to do with the size of your organization and the resources that are available to you. I'm talking about programming skills but more importantly to data analysis or data scientist skills– to be able to configure algorithms.”

Implementing true artificial intelligence solutions throughout your enterprise at global scale is the light at the end of the tunnel. Many have chosen to take a big bite, bring in consultants and integration partners and attempt to jump start their intelligent automation journey. Some have succeeded. Some have failed. Anthony suggests an alternative root of directly hiring data scientists to start grass roots hacking away at your enterprise issues. Some that choose this approach will fail. Some will succeed.


Automation as self-reflection

What is #automationanxiety and why you should care?

Episode 47- Lee Coulter, IEEE

“This is us being human. There's anxiety. In fact, I wanted to actually file a patent or a trademark on #automationanxiety because it's a real thing. People have automation anxiety and for good reason. This anxiety is diffused and very hard to put your finger on. Some of it's pretty easy– I don't want to lose my job– that's the direct employee. As we get further along the automation journey and look at the levels of the organization we begin to enter into an area where we're threatening people's identities.”

#automationanxiety is a thing because people don’t want to lose their jobs. But this isn’t, “I lost my position at that company.” It’s, “What I do for a living no longer exists. Who am I?” This is precisely why some of the biggest and best organizations are spending a gargantuan amount of time figuring out how to shepherd their best talent from their current position to their next position– even if that end point isn’t fully defined.


Transformation As Business Strategy

How is transformation not your business strategy?

Episode 48- Tony Saldanha, Former P&G

“The World Economic Forum is right when it basically calls digital transformation the fourth industrial revolution. Just like electricity or computers or mechanical engineering disrupted industry previously. What we have learned is that digital transformation should be your business strategy.”

Transformation is not someone else’s job. It’s incumbent upon the enterprise to transform to its next phase. Because the current phase of the enterprise will soon be obsolete. If there is not transformation roadmap, create one and sell it to the C-Suite and the Board. If they don’t buy it, find a place that’s either already got one…or who will use yours. You’ll be working there sooner or later anyway.


Failure As Inspiration

What can you learn from Inetlligent Automation failures?

Episode 49- Six Sigma Roundtable

“The bots that we've got live– the first one we started was the last to deliver, and it took us pretty much six months on what was a basic copy and paste process.”

This anonymized quote should make you feel better about wherever you are on your intelligent automation journey. Are you at the beginning? Are you back at the beginning? So is the executive above. And just from this quote, you can tell that the integration partner chosen was not a fit– or just not a great integration partner. You can tell that the enterprise blew past the PoC and into automating processes before it knew what processes to automate. And you can tell that the enterprise just wants to automate anything and everything as quickly as possible without a well-defined strategy outlined ahead of time. Don’t do any of these things.


Ethics as innovation

What’s a market to get into now?

Episode 50- Aimee Van Wynseberghe, Foundation for Responsible Robotics

“Instead of ethics being a hassle or being this constraint, there is an opportunity to see ethics as an opportunity for innovation.”

Small picture, don’t get burned by what obviously will be regulated. Big picture, provide solutions to what obviously will be a market.