Articles about artificial intelligence often begin with an intention to shock readers, referencing classic works of science fiction or alarming statistics about impending job losses. But I think we get closer to the heart of AI in 2018 when we think about small and mundane ways in which AI makes work just a little easier.

And it’s not necessarily the AI experts in your organization who will identify these mundane problems that AI can help solve. Instead, employees throughout the organization will be able to spot the low-hanging fruit where AI could make your organization more efficient.

But, only if they know what AI is capable of doing, and what it should never do. For example, I manage the finances for a team that travels very often, and I’ve been grateful for the intelligent guesswork that my expenses software extracts from receipts using machine learning: the merchant’s name, the dollar amount spent, taxes, and likely expense categorization.

Finding opportunities for this kind of clever improvement, saving human time and energy, is not just a leadership challenge. It’s a search best undertaken by as many people within the organization as possible.

A fast-growing area of artificial intelligence is machine learning, in which a computer program improves its answers to a question by creating and iterating algorithms based on data. It is often regarded as the kind of technology that only the most clever and most mathematically-minded people can understand and work with. Read more from hbr.org…

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