ai-transformation-croppedEven if you believe you’ve already read too much about automation and AI, it’s critical to remember that we’re only in the opening innings of a very long game in which many of our fundamental assumptions about work and business will be profoundly challenged.

Make no mistake, we’ve entered a new era of radical transformation, and technology leaders everywhere will be held responsible for helping their companies make the right choices. 

Increasingly, the C-suite looks for guidance from senior tech executives as they develop strategies for staying relevant and competitive in rapidly shifting markets. Every sector of the economy is experiencing the impact of this newest wave of transformational change.

CIOs, CTOs, COOs and other senior corporate executives are being asked to identify areas of the enterprise that are ripe for automation and AI. The World Economic Forum recently published an excellent article highlighting the findings of an earlier McKinsey report that takes a deep dive into the most likely areas that will be transformed dramatically by automation and AI. 

Essentially, it boils down to this: Any task that can be automated will be automated within the next five to ten years. Repetitious tasks, whether they are physical or mental, are all candidates for automation. 

Once those tasks have been automated, AI will take over managing and supervising the actual work. People won’t be working for robots, but an incredibly wide range of automated tasks will be managed by algorithms. 

We are truly on the cusp of a brave new world, and all of us in leadership roles are likely to play significant roles in determining the speed, pace, scope and success of these genuinely transformational strategies. Are you and your teams keeping pace with the amazing changes taking place around us?

I recently picked up a copy of Amy Webb’s important new book, The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity. Amy’s book is an eye-opening look at the major players in the emerging AI industry. According to Amy, the old rulebooks for business and industry have been discarded, and a new set of rules is quietly emerging. I urge you to read Amy’s book and share it with your reports. 

As I’ve said before, we’ve all got a stake in the outcome of this game. Are we making the best choices? Do we have the information we need to make intelligent decisions? Are we doing what’s right for our companies and for the world? 

I know these are difficult questions, but we need to ask them and search for the right answers. If we don’t, who will?