Artificial Intelligence (AI) has undeniably revolutionized numerous industry sectors. Gartner predicts that global business value derived from artificial intelligence would reach a staggering $3.9 trillion by 2022. As such, businesses that seek to stay at the forefront of innovation are investing heavily in AI and machine learning technologies.

However, for many boards of directors, AI remains an abstract and misunderstood concept. Thus, it is crucial for business leaders to educate their board on AI to drive investment and innovative growth.

## Understanding AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the capability of computer systems to perform tasks that ordinarily require human intelligence, such as understanding natural language, recognizing patterns, and decision making. Machine Learning (ML), a subset of AI, pertains to the ability of systems to learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed.

AI and ML are not tools that a company deploys once and forgets; they are technologies that continue evolving and learning with every data interaction. They can streamline operations, enhance customer relations, predict trends with higher accuracy, and provide actionable insights leading to data-driven decisions.

## Educating the Board on AI

Education is a critical first step to garner board support for AI adoption. Understandably, board members may be wary of major investments, especially in a field as complex and rapidly changing as AI. Therefore, it’s crucial to demystify AI, highlighting its potential benefits and mitigating perceived risks.

Leaders need to start with the basics, explaining the difference between AI, ML, and other related technologies. They should discuss current AI industry trends, the difference between various AI technologies, and how these technologies can benefit the company.

Leaders also need to discuss the specific use cases where AI could deliver significant value to the company. For instance, AI can aid in predictive maintenance in manufacturing, fraud detection in finance, personalized marketing in retail, and diagnostics in healthcare.

Moreover, it’s advantageous to discuss case studies of successful AI adoption within the company’s sector. These real-world examples can illustrate the potential of AI, providing tangible evidence to board members.

## Investing in AI

After educating the board on AI, the focus should then shift to potential investments. Investment discussions should cover AI infrastructure, skilled personnel to manage the AI systems, ongoing maintenance costs, and potential return on investment.

Companies need to also consider legislative and ethical considerations in AI deployment. For instance, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has strict guidelines on AI and data usage. Understanding these factors helps in building a comprehensive roadmap for AI investment.

Leaders should also involve board members in strategy-building conversations, seeking their feedback and alignment in goals and vision. This will foster trust and shared ownership, easing the way for AI adoption.

## Conclusion

As artificial intelligence remains at the cutting edge of technological innovation, ensuring boards understand its potential is integral to driving investment and maintaining competitive edge. Business leaders have the responsibility to educate their boards on AI, demystifying this complex technology and making a compelling case for its adoption within the company. Their goal should be to create a forward-thinking, ready-for-the-future company. And AI, with all its potential, is a significant step in that journey