Written on 05 Oct 2020.
Karim Chaabouni, Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a true revolution at the heart of everyday and corporate life, and a powerful means of changing society, but it is also a tool to be mastered, understood and shared. It will be an everyday thing for future generations. But how do we turn it into a growth accelerator? How can we use it to have a positive impact on the world?
Three years ago, EDHEC launched an AI course, led by Professor Michel Philippart, focusing on the impact of artificial intelligence on companies and society. It was offered to 700 second-year students from around 20 countries on the Masters in Business Management programme in Lille. Its aim was to familiarise these managers of the future with the fundamentals of AI and enable them to make a positive contribution to the digital transformation of companies and society.
On Friday 18 September, this year’s students had the opportunity to attend a day of lectures with industry experts. They were then split into teams to work on ten research projects to do with artificial intelligence, on topics as vast as When digital and AI are revolutionising medical practices. Shift paradigm or trend? and AI and the ‘quality’ written media.
Karim Chaabouni, a partner at strategy consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and a graduate of Master EDHEC 92, opened the day’s events with a 45-minute conversation with students. Having specialised for 20 years in the data and digital transformation ecosystem, connected objects and the customer experience, he emphasised that 10% of the AI-driven transformation is down to algorithms, 20% to technology and 70% to process transformation.
The human factor is key. This is what BCG calls ‘the bionic company’ – one that combines artificial and human intelligence.
Here are some of his valuable insights:
The impact of the COVID-19 crisis
Global shocks can rapidly change the economic landscape and the competitive environment. Businesses that make bold decisions in difficult times can turn adversity into advantage. This crisis will significantly accelerate three major trends already underway prior to the epidemic: new ways of working, e-commerce, and the regionalisation of supply chains, bringing them closer to places of consumption.
AI will be a must in the post-COVID world
It will help companies to adapt to these trends: industry 4.0 will see new, small production units, closer to the end consumer. In e-commerce, thanks to machine learning and advanced data analysis, AI will detect new consumption patterns and enable companies to offer ‘hyper-personalised’ products to customers. In cybersecurity, AI will better protect the networks of people working remotely, who are more exposed. The winning companies will be those that have been able to invest in these new skills.
The success of these transformations lies in what BCG calls responsible AI
Trust, transparency, education. And humility... The ability to execute is paramount.
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