If you think AI is scary read on,
if you think AI is taking over the world read on, if you think AI is there to support and improve business I’m about to confirm your beliefs.
Kids will give anything a go as they live without fear of consequences. As you get older things change and when you don’t understand something or can’t explain it you either try to avoid it or dismiss it.
AI is firmly in the avoid it or dismiss it camp for many SMEs as not only do they not fully understand it they have probably watched too many sci-fi movies and think the AI robots will rebel one day. Needless to say that’s not going to happen, not because you will obtain new found knowledge on the inner working of AI and machine learning (TBH, anyone who currently says that they can explain machine learning results should be avoided as they are crazy, its recognised as delivering results beyond human capabilities for a reason) but because you will better understand how, where and when to leverage it.
The simplest way to do this is for me to bring it to life using everyday things
Top of the list is your Google searches. Have you noticed that it recognises what you really meant when you misspell a search or when it tempts you with an advert for something you need. This is a basic form of AI that simply monitors your web activity and either shows you what you were looking for historically or has learnt from other consumers what people also buy to compliment your searched item.
Question : would you let google run your life, decide which products to buy for you? Obviously no, that would be crazy and you would lose control. Thus, google feel free to suggest a way but you are making the final decision.
Car cruise control functionality on cars is a close analogy for how SMEs should be viewing AI adoption. There are many different types of cruise control which change the experience and levels of benefits obtained
Standard – you set the speed
Adaptive – you set the speed and distance from the car in front (it slows you down and speeds you up automatically)
Autonomous (aka Tesla) – sit in the back
seat and fall asleep
Ok so Tesla doesn’t say sit in the back seat but you have probably seen a youtube video of someone doing it.
Question : would you sit in the back seat and let the car drive unsupervised/aided ?
The vast majority of people are now comfortable with adaptive cruise control, while others are intrigued by autonomous driving but will remain firmly in the front seat with hands on the steering wheel or are just put off by the point.
AI for something like demand forecasting is no different to cruise control in that it can be as active/passive/redundant as you want it to be at any given time on any given day.
Its aim is to simply provide assistance in taking the bulk of the work away. Enabling business owners and demand planners to focus on the key decision (aka avoiding stock outs, waste….).
Once you are ready to take the AI leap we tend to find that the logic side of the brain kicks in with … “great, but how do you actually get it”…… “our systems are old it probably won’t be compatible” ..and last but by no means least.. “The costs of this will be huge”.
The good news here is that catsAi is driven to enable everyone having access to advanced technologies. Thus, it’s designed as a retrofit solution that is compatible with all systems and its cost efficient design enables the price hurdle to be more of a skip than a jump.
Are you ready to take the next step in your demand planning strategy?