16th Apr 2024
3 Min Read

AI mistakes are OK

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart
IC & Engagement

Artificial intelligence – and its impact on our world – can no longer be ignored. Head of digital Tony Stewart shares his insights into how we can embrace the potential of AI while remaining mindful of its pitfalls.

Many business have introduced AI to resounding success. As Boston Consulting Group outlines, the likes of Duolingo, Porsche, Delta Airlines and Home Depot are using the technology in widely different applications – from fine-tuning car door seals, to upskilling workers for analytical roles – and to great effect.

The result? These companies have significantly improved the customer service and employee experience they offer, and are driving product innovation, too. Now, they have a distinct competitive edge.

But as Gina Chung, formerly a Vice President of Innovation at DHL and now Vice President of Corporate Development at Locus Robotics, notes: “the first day for AI is the worst day.” She’s alluding to how many AI platforms will initially make mistakes.

No pain, no gain

That’s something that other leading businesses have learned the hard way: Air Canada had to honour refund policies invented by their AI customer service platform, and New York City’s chatbot advised businesses to break the law. Yes, really. Less artificial intelligence, more artificial information.

But this should be expected, not ridiculed. It's easy to point the finger at emerging tech when it goes wrong and use that as an excuse to dismiss it entirely.

The path to success is often a bit of a cha-cha. We should learn from the setbacks and use them to better understand the technology and how it can apply to what we’re doing in our businesses.

These examples should instead inspire teams to explore what their AI tools are capable of, helping us discover what's possible. And through that play and innovation, you may be surprised by all the ways that AI might be relevant to you, your business and your everyday tasks.

Our reflections

What happens after that first ‘worst’ day when introducing AI? Rather than ditching the opportunity because of some initial discomfort, let curiosity and a sense of play win, and explore the world of AI with a sensible level of caution – because learning from our slip-ups as we go is how meaningful change happens.

When introducing AI into your business, remember that:

  • AI deployments are most successful when humans and tech learn from each other; when organisations commit to continuous improvement and leaders encourage their teams to experiment early and often
  • An open-minded approach to AI can lead to unexpected use cases
  • Implementing responsible AI principles is essential. Avoid a lot of AI mistakes by getting your governance right.

If you’d like to explore the opportunities and positive impact artificial intelligence can have on organisation, get in touch.

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