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Published on February 6th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise


How to Choose Your First AI Project

Emergent Insight:

Where do you start with AI and increase your potential for success? Andrew NG from Harvard Business Review shares some spot-on advice that includes good doses of common sense and design thinking as well. Start small. Choose something of value to your specific industry. Understand stakeholder expectations. This is needed for every new initiative.

Original Article:


Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to transform every industry, just as electricity did 100 years ago. It will create $13 trillion of GDP growth by 2030, according to McKinsey, most of which will be in non-internet sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, energy, logistics, and education.  The rise of AI presents an opportunity for executives in every industry to differentiate and defend their businesses. But implementing a company-wide AI strategy is challenging, especially for legacy enterprises.

My advice for executives, in any industry, is to start small. The first step to building an AI strategy, drawn from the AI Transformation Playbook, is to choose one to two company-level pilot AI projects. These projects will help your company gain momentum and gain firsthand knowledge of what it takes to build an AI product.

5 traits of a strong AI pilot project

Tapping the power of AI technologies requires customizing them to your business context. The purpose of your one or two pilot projects is only partly to create value; more importantly, the success of these first projects will help convince stakeholders to invest in building up your company’s AI capabilities.

When you’re considering a pilot AI project, ask yourself the following questions:

Does the project give you a quick win? Use your first AI pilot project to get the flywheel turning as soon as possible. Choose initial projects that can be done quickly (ideally within 6-12 months) and have a high chance of success. Instead of doing only one pilot project, choose two to three to increase the odds of creating at least one significant success.

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Emergent Enterprise

The Emergent Enterprise (EE) website brings together current and important news in enterprise mobility and the latest in innovative technologies in the business world. The articles are hand selected by Emergent Enterprise and not the result of automated electronic aggregating. The site is designed to be a one-stop shop for anyone who has an ongoing interest in how technology is changing how the world does business and how it affects the workforce from the shop floor to the top floor. EE encourages visitor contributions and participation through comments, social media activity and ratings.

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