Hey Siri, increase sales

Hey Siri, increase sales

Imagine what it would be like if you could say “Hey Siri, increase sales” into your phone and things started to happen?  It seems our phones can do almost anything these days.  They are getting smarter and smarter thanks to Artificial Intelligence.  So how far away are we from AI driven CEOs?

The AI movement is happening

AI is still the talk of the town and for what it is Artificial Intelligence is able to deliver some incredibly impressive solutions.

Think:

  • Chat bots
  • Automated financial investing
  • Virtual assistants
  • Self driving cars

Each year, these AI solutions become more and more impressive.  They relieve us of some of the more mundane tasks as well as giving us solutions to problems we never knew existed.

Can AI replace the CEO?

I had a great conversation with David Ward from Mission Dynamics the other day and we discussed the probability of AI replacing the CEO.

Perhaps even the whole board!

The premise was this.  The CEO’s role is to guide the company based on the known strategy and her or his decisions are based on their judgement, expertise and the information at hand.  They understand the regulatory framework, the competitive landscape, they know how their operation works.

One major problem is that people are inherently biased.  We all gravitate to our bias when making decisions and largely our decisions are shaped by our past.

Is it possible then, to automate the majority, if not all of the decisions of the CEO?

For all intents and purposes, what is it that the CEO does that can’t be replicated by an AI bot?

Well, there’s the press conferences and AGMs to attend and don’t forget those large 7 figure pay packets. But…

Decision making on a different level

But if you were able to replace the decision making process of a CEO using a very complex (but plausibly attainable) algorithm, would that provide a better outcome?

Imagine that the digital CEO ingested every single piece of data within the organisation and every piece of available data outside the business that directly or indirectly affected the organisation.  It would be able to run millions of what-if scenarios to discover all (well almost all) of the possible outcomes for so many situations.

These scenarios could be achieved pretty swiftly and it would continuously update as the world around it changed.  The digital CEO would find the most optimal solutions based on key criteria and perhaps even define a particular decision path that would provide the optimum outcome for the organisation in the short, medium and maybe even the long term.

Could AI help deal with the unknown?

It would consider many things including regulatory, resources and cost constraints.  It would also consider the impact of external events.

The pandemic caused many organisations significant problems and they took a long time to work out what to do.  Could a digital CEO have worked out the best response to the pandemic?

Obviously, this wouldn’t be running off a standard desktop PC.  It would need a pretty special piece of kit that could handle billions upon billions of data points and run millions of scenarios per second.  Perhaps not as impressive as Fugaku, but something that can handle plenty of TeraFLOPS.

 

I don’t personally think we will be able to say “Hey Siri, increase sales” in the next 2 years but I do think there is an opportunity to provide a tool to CEOs that would help them make better, more robust decision through the use of AI.