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Helm chief executive Dawood Patel urged businesses to adhere to fundamental principles when incorporating artificial intelligence into their operations. Drawing from his extensive experience in developing AI-powered products since 2017, he highlighted the necessity to critically evaluate existing systems and processes before incorporating AI.
Patel, speaking at the MMA Impact Forum, stressed that a thorough analysis is crucial to determine the technical feasibility of AI implementation. For businesses lagging behind in digitalisation, rushing into AI adoption might create more problems than solutions.
“You don’t want to be making major changes to your business just because everybody else is doing it,” he advised.
Addressing the rapidly evolving landscape, Patel outlined five key principles for companies to consider when integrating AI into their operations:
1. Timing is everything
The right timing for adopting new technology varies across industries. Generative AI, for instance, is ideal for fashion labels looking to enhance marketing efficiency, but heavily regulated sectors like banking must exercise caution due to stricter privacy and security regulations. Evaluating needs against potential risks and benefits is essential in determining the opportune moment for AI integration.
2. Build a supportive ecosystem
Implementing AI requires a collaborative effort. Companies must assemble a team willing to take risks and embrace technologies. Patel emphasised the importance of enthusiastic individuals who can support and collaborate effectively, highlighting that without proper support, AI implementations may face significant risks.
3. Cultivate a culture of tolerance for failure
Acknowledging the inevitability of mistakes in AI and tech innovation, Patel emphasised the importance of fostering a culture that accepts and learns from failure. He quoted Einstein, emphasising that mistakes are fundamental to the learning process. Embracing failures as learning opportunities is crucial for sustained innovation.
4. Understand your customers
Putting humans first is a core principle at Helm. Patel stressed the significance of understanding customers’ needs, challenges, and pain points before adopting new technology. AI should enhance the human experience, not replace it. Comprehensive user research ensures that the implemented technology genuinely benefits customers, leading to successful integration.
5. Plan to fail (and plan to recover)
Failure is inevitable in any innovation process. Patel advised businesses to plan for failure, anticipating potential challenges, and creating contingency plans to adapt and move forward. Planning for recovery is as crucial as planning for success, ensuring that setbacks do not become insurmountable obstacles.
In his closing remarks at the MMA Impact Forum, Patel reminded delegates that AI is still in its infancy, and the rules governing its use are not set in stone. He encouraged companies to seize the unique opportunity and responsibility to shape the future of their industries.
He urged businesses to embrace the challenge and lead rather than follow. By understanding and adhering to these principles, companies can navigate the AI frontier successfully and transform their operations for the better.