The Case for Chief AI Officer

 
The Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer, also known as CAIO, is the corporate executive in charge of artificial intelligence (AI) strategy and implementation.

 

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What a Chief AI Officer Does

Andrew Ng contends companies need to understand what AI can do and how it relates to their strategies — or risk being left behind. Ng knows better than most what a Chief AI Officer does. He founded the Google Brain Deep Learning project and later went on to start Coursera, where he’s determined to teach AI to the masses. Before both of those roles, Ng served as the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab.

In a Harvard Business Review article, “Hiring Your First Chief AI Officer”, Andrew Ng advises,

“AI is still immature and evolving quickly, so it is unreasonable to expect everyone in the C-suite to understand it completely. But if your industry generates a large amount of data, there is a good chance that AI can be used to transform that data into value. To the majority of companies that have data but lack deep AI knowledge, I recommend hiring a chief AI officer or a VP of AI.”

The Chief AI Officer, according to Ng, does the following:

  • Sets AI strategy and roadmap.
  • Applies AI to help existing lines of business and create new products or lines of business.
  • Leads intrapreneurial innovation initiatives that before would never have been possible.
  • Make sure AI gets applied across silos
  • Attracts, develops, and retains AI talent
  • Keeps up with leading-edge AI technology developments
  • Adapt existing AI tools to the enterprise.

Why do you need a Chief AI Officer?

AI evangelist Andrew Ng warns, “A hundred years ago electricity transformed countless industries; 20 years ago the internet did, too. Artificial intelligence is about to do the same.”

Pause for a moment. Imagine life without electricity. Yeah, that’s why you need a Chief AI Officer.

“AI is still immature and evolving quickly, so it is unreasonable to expect everyone in the C-suite to understand it completely. But if your industry generates a large amount of data, there is a good chance that AI can be used to transform that data into value.” — Andrew Ng, “Hiring Your First Chief AI Officer“, Harvard Business Review.

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