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What Differential AI is, and the role it plays
"Differential AI" is the fourth pillar among the five pillars of effective AI. Distinct from its counterpart, incremental AI, which primarily seeks to enhance existing human tasks using AI technologies. In contrast, differential AI, sometimes referred to as "aspirational AI," aims to achieve transformative and groundbreaking outcomes that wouldn't be feasible without the incorporation of advanced artificial intelligence capabilities.
HSO Cloud Services CTO, Andrew Welch, a seasoned expert in the field, illustrated the tremendous potential of differential AI. One of the most notable instances cited was Alpha Fold, a remarkable creation emerging from Alphabet's DeepMind lab. Alpha Fold is designed to predict protein structures with remarkable precision, enabling significant advancements in various domains, including disease research and drug development. The key differentiator here is that Alpha Fold can make predictions that would be virtually impossible for humans to achieve within a reasonable timeframe. It is, in essence, an exemplar of how differential AI can push the boundaries of what is conceivable and attainable in the realm of scientific discovery and innovation.
Differential AI in law enforcement
Another compelling illustration of differential AI's capabilities revolves around professional service firms. These organisations, which include law firms, accountancy firms, and management consulting firms, are typically in the business of providing valuable advice and insights to their clients. In an era marked by global interconnectedness, these firms often cater to clients located across the world, necessitating a deep understanding of diverse regulatory frameworks and market conditions.
Differential AI, in this context, proves invaluable. Organisations can harness AI-driven data indexing and analysis to gain insights into regulations from various jurisdictions, such as those of the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, etc. Using data-driven intelligence, they can offer clients tailored advice and strategic recommendations that account for specific industry dynamics, geographic locations, and future developments. This proactive approach not only enhances the quality of service but also allows professional service firms to establish themselves as industry leaders, setting a new standard for client engagement and support.
Furthermore, other compelling application of differential AI in the context of law enforcement and asset tracking. Andrew described a scenario in which a law enforcement agency or investigative organisation needed to trace assets related to an individual or entity subject to embargo or investigation. In this scenario, the assets included a yacht, owned by a company concealed behind multiple layers of ownership, potentially linked to a prominent figure. Differential AI's capability to uncover complex connections and track such assets across various global ports has the potential to revolutionise law enforcement and investigative processes. This example underscores how differential AI can play a pivotal role in enhancing public safety and security efforts by providing the tools to effectively and efficiently manage complex investigations.
Getting the balance right by crafting your AI portfolio
However, before you can embark on the journey of implementing differential AI, it's essential to consider a multitude of factors, including risks and prerequisites. Factors such as the availability of data, technological readiness, expertise, and financial resources can significantly influence the success or failure of differential AI projects. These factors need to be carefully assessed and addressed to ensure that your organisation is adequately prepared to undertake ambitious AI initiatives.
You must also carefully align your business goals, technology objectives, and risk tolerance when crafting your AI portfolio. Striking the right balance between incremental and differential AI projects is crucial. This balance allows you to use the power of AI to improve existing operations and explore new, transformative possibilities while managing the associated risks effectively.
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Ownership and leadership in AI initiatives
So, who within an organisation should be responsible for taking the lead in leveraging AI? Andrew emphasised the importance of broad involvement. He stressed the discussion about AI's role within an organisation should engage a wide array of stakeholders. However, within this collaborative framework, it is vital to have an individual or a team take ownership of AI initiatives.
Typically, this ownership role is best suited for forward-thinking business leaders or individuals within the organisation whose responsibilities encompass innovation and process modernisation. These individuals are often the driving force behind the exploration and implementation of AI solutions that can deliver tangible benefits. Notably, the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is undergoing a profound transformation in this context. CIOs are transitioning from being primarily responsible for managing IT infrastructure to becoming strategic leaders focused on extracting maximum value from AI technologies.
The evolution of the CIO role is exemplified by the shifting emphasis on strategic leadership, which involves understanding how AI can be strategically applied to achieve organisational objectives. Collaboration with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and cloud strategists is essential to ensure that AI initiatives align with the organization's overall technology strategy.
The Promise of Differential AI
Differential AI represents an exciting and aspirational frontier in the realm of artificial intelligence. It offers the potential to accomplish feats that were once considered unattainable and opens the door to groundbreaking advancements in science, industry, and public safety. To harness the power of differential AI effectively, you must carefully evaluate your organisations readiness and risk tolerance and strike a balance between incremental and aspirational AI projects. This holistic approach, led by forward-thinking leaders, will enable you to leverage AI's transformative potential to the fullest.