The late physicist Stephen Hawkins has described the visions about the possible effects of artificial intelligence (AI) as ‘the worst event’ in the history of civilization. So far, a working environment driven by robots with artificial intelligence that one day will be more intelligent than – and replace – humans, has not yet arrived however. Nevertheless, the idea of such a scenario is fascinating but worrying at the same time for many.
Outside of that horror scenario, this ‘non-human intelligence’ also offers many new opportunities and possibilities in most areas of our lives and businesses. Artificial intelligence is not a current trend or hype, it is more of an industrial revolution. Renowned technology giants such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon or IBM are investing billions of euros in this sector. If the promise wasn’t there, significantly lower investments would be made.
Yet AI is still in its infancy and will need many development cycles before robot colleagues can move into offices around the globe. The problem is not the infrastructure, the most important building blocks already exists in that area to a large extent.
Rather, there is a lack of know-how and human capital. For a large part, the technological aspects of AI are developing at much higher than the required specialists and managers are able to keep up with and often exceed current technical know-how. Let us take Germany as an exmaple: according to a representative survey by Bitkom, many positions for specialists and managers with an IT background are still vaccant..
“There is currently a shortage of around 55,000 IT specialists in Germany. Whoever has vacancies for computer scientists or engineers competes with a large number of companies for the same candidates – and start-ups generally cannot pay the salaries offered by established companies”, says Bitkom President Achim Berg.
However, not only the lack of IT specialists is currently stalling technical developments in the field of AI. Many companies lack visionaries and strategists who are able to plan and implement the new technologies in an entrepreneurial context from start to finish. One thing is clear: visionaries are a rare breed even in the most innovative industries and must be identified. Even the best IT specialists are not successful without an existing vision.
The same applies to suitable managers, this market is also empty. In order to achieve entrepreneurial success, it is essential to have a qualified leader on board who is able to take visionaries on board and give them the freedom they need to plan and implement ideas right to the end. IT specialists also often need that ‘chief’ to take the necessary steps to business success with AI.
Only then will you have found the many essential pieces to the puzzle of taking AI beyond simple enterpreneurial ideas.