AI and the Need for Speed

How AI affects organizations’ use of and relationship to time — in reacting, managing, and learning — may be a tough adjustment.

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Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy

The Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy initiative explores the growing use of artificial intelligence in the business landscape. The exploration looks specifically at how AI is affecting the development and execution of strategy in organizations.

In collaboration with

BCG
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Artificial intelligence (AI) holds substantial promise for organizations to reduce costs and increase quality, but how AI affects organizations’ use of and relationship to time — in reacting, managing, and learning — may be the most jarring.

Certainly costs and quality changes are nontrivial:

  • After initial development, AI-based systems may substantially reduce variable costs. Organizations can replace or increase productivity of expensive knowledge workers as AI supplants many tasks. With AI, a thousand radiologists cost the same as one. With AI, each customer can have his or her own customer service representative. Currently expensive bottlenecks may dissipate.
  • With machinelike precision (pun intended), decision making can be consistent. Without those pesky humans adding entropy, processes can work the same every time. Each of the AI radiologists performs exactly the same as the others, reaching the same diagnosis. Each AI customer service representative recommends the same resolution. And with this uniformity in place, organizations can incrementally refine and improve, ever increasing quality.

But while costs and quality are important, improved AI also heralds changes to a fundamental business limitation — time. For example:

  • Current mortgage approval processes typically take 30-45 days. “Getting a loan, even a preapproval, doesn’t happen overnight.” Why couldn’t it happen overnight? With data increasingly available to support all the information that goes into a loan application, AI approaches may be able to dramatically reduce the time required to get a loan. If you find a house you like in the morning, the mortgage application process doesn’t need to be the holdup to getting the keys that afternoon. Mortgage brokers (if they continue to exist) will simply need to be able to swipe credit cards.
  • Lawsuits can take considerable time to resolve. On average, doctors spend nearly 11% of their careers with an unresolved malpractice claim. Some of the time is in gathering data. Some is in delays due to court congestion. Some is due to deliberation and settlement. How much of this could be shortened with AI reducing discovery and decision-making time?
  • Medical diagnosis itself can also take substantial time during which the patient is not being treated. In primary care settings, the diagnosis of childhood cancers can be difficult, particularly due to the low incidence rate; but “shorter lag time could improve the prognosis, and … prolongation of the diagnosis period will badly affect the prognosis.

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Topics

Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy

The Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy initiative explores the growing use of artificial intelligence in the business landscape. The exploration looks specifically at how AI is affecting the development and execution of strategy in organizations.

In collaboration with

BCG
See All Articles in This Section

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