The integration of AI into your business’s operations will be so profound that it will be someone’s full time role to oversee it. Even if your role can’t be replaced by artificial intelligence, it can be replaced by someone who knows how to use artificial intelligence. So get that someone on board, or become them yourself.
One day, your business will have a chief AI officer, and the sooner you create that role, the better. That’s the recommendation of Daniel Linden, co-creator and chief AI officer of chiefaiofficer.com, suitably titled DanThePrompt on Twitter. He and his partners, Mike Koenigs and Chris Daigle, help companies adapt AI, by training and certifying C-suite level, ambitious and curious individuals who will take this role. Implementing security and data standards and running courses to empower businesses with AI leadership, Linden knows this role can help entrepreneurs and corporations unlock the full potential of their company during fast-paced technological change.
I asked Linden about the role of chief AI officer, its importance, and why your business needs one.
What is a chief AI officer, and what do they do?
“The position of chief AI officer is responsible for guiding businesses through the complex world of AI, defining job roles, setting standards, and ensuring that they stay ahead of the curve, capitalizing on the immense potential of this cutting-edge technology,” said Linden. While a chief executive officer has three goals: set the vision, put the right people in place, and make sure there’s enough cash, according to Linden the CAIO has as many as ten.
1. Unlock new opportunities
The CAIO works to find and see the opportunities that are everywhere. Opportunities to, “make employees more productive, save money, save time, or have less skilled workers become skilled.”
CIAO’s need to know what to look for in relation to the size and vision of their company. According to Linden this includes, “futureproofing with a different tech stack, redefining job roles or scaling up to completely new levels.”
2. Streamline processes
Many companies are simply too late to incorporate automation and artificial intelligence, which means they might miss the efficiency gains that can be made. They haven’t built their core processes with AI in mind and reworking it now doesn’t seem worth it. “The CAIO figures out where processes can be streamlined within the company,” said Linden.
“This might mean creating prompts for a copywriter or setting up a generative AI chatbot for customer service.” The CAIO improves operations so they run without waste.
3. Drive innovation
Whatever processes the CAIO creates now will evolve over time. The goal is that they are in control of this change, not caught off guard. Linden creates certification and strategy for driving innovation now and with whatever is to come.
Driving innovation is key to this new role, explained Linden. “The CAIO makes sure the tools, LLMs and strategies are future-proofed; fit for purpose right now with flexible capabilities, keeping in mind that more change is inevitable.”
4. Diversify into new markets
Things are different now, meaning in some ways there has never been a better time to expand into new markets and even go international. “Language is no longer so much of a barrier, and companies of all sizes can leverage AI to penetrate markets that were previously unreachable,” said Linden.
“One client has started selling their US-based SaaS to Japanese customers, all powered using AI tools that didn’t used to exist,” he added. The CAIO finds these pockets of potential.
5. Implement the vision
“Our flagship strategy helps identify the goals and next steps of a company with ambitions of using AI,” said Linden. Together, they imagine what the future could look like, go back to first principles, and plan ahead from there. AI shouldn’t be a distraction from serving your customers. Unless you’re pivoting down a brand new track, which is potentially an option for the future, make sure it contributes to your overarching vision in line with your existing values.
Whatever your strategy for using AI, follow a structure. Once an initial testing period has passed, there should be records, tracking, metrics and progress markers. You have to be able to see the efforts of your hard work.
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