IBM has said it plans to spend $240 million over the next 10 years to develop an artificial intelligence research lab with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Anytime these two powerhouses collaborate and put their money where their mouth is, we should at least pay attention and consider the significance.  AI is popping up in conversations everywhere as all type of organizations and industries are seeing the significance of AI.  I don’t even have to look very far… Mom said her Amazon Alexa was one of the best presents she has ever received (and that’s solely for the ease of the alarm!).

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

Artificial intelligence is certainly a hot topic!  However, it isn’t just hype.  Proctor & Gamble improved unplanned downtime by 10-20% with AI.  Siemens is using AI to optimize industrial facilities and are employing it for a wide variety of other applications in areas such as energy distribution, electric motors, and rail technology.  There are a vast number of uses.  Start thinking about how it could affect your industry.  

Are any of your current partners (suppliers, IT/ ERP etc.) researching AI?  You do not have to do it alone.  Do you want to lead these efforts or pay attention to what is going on around you?  Or, perhaps like IBM and MIT, you want to create a new partnership?  It is a strategic decision.  One way or another, if you aren’t at least paying attention, you will be passed by.