The Future of AI Is About to Make You Unfit as C-level and Board Member
Updated: Jul 18
According to a study by MIT, companies with digitally savvy boards have on average 38% higher performance on revenue growth than companies without digitally savvy boards. They also significantly outperform the rest of the market on return on assets and market cap growth.
So why are the boardrooms and C-suites still crowded with people who lack basic skills on artificial intelligence?
There's a new troublesome kid on the block. It's called the EU Artificial Intelligence Act. It is still on proposal stage, but we can safely assume that it will be concluded in 2022, and in full force no later than 2024. I guess we all remember how GDPR became a common headache 2018, and it may seem easy to think that the new AI regulation will be "just another version of GDPR", and can hence be solved by a compliance department. There is a significant difference, though; data privacy is a neccessary restriction on the use and abuse of information about you and me as humans and individuals. Artificial intelligence, however, is about machines automizing human skills, and these technologies will play significant roles in future business ideas and models.
If you are in a C-level or board position, you should consider knowledge about AI as compulsory as having a computer. In fact, when the AI Act comes into full force in 2-3 years and you still don't have this knowledge, you will by definition NOT be eligible for a C-level or board position. So, I rather suggest you start building your skills right now.
The good news is that it is actually quite easy to learn the basic of artificial intelligence, and there is an abundance of resources, even for free, available within seconds from your smartphone or computer. Alternatively, find yourself a mentor. Not a kid with social media skills, but a business savvy advisor with broad technology competence, someone who can help you build the relevant skills and at the same time help you build the bridges between your business and technology.
To summarize, as C-level or board member, this is what you need to do:
Step 1: Get yourself a mentor who can help you to translate and understand the implications of AI for your business
Step 2: Understand the implications of the new AI Act
Step 3: Repeat. AI is a highly volatile topic. You are never done upskilling.
...and there is no valid excuse.