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How AI is Driving Strategic Decision-Making in Business and Government

How AI is Driving Strategic Decision-Making in Business and Government

By Monica Mendoza
April 3, 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been in the news a lot recently, thanks to the recent launch of several impressive generative AI tools such as GPT-4 and Synthesia. Just a couple of years into the generative AI revolution and it’s become difficult to find any leading public or private organisation that doesn’t use AI in, at least, a few of their processes.

Still, despite the growing use of AI in day-to-day tasks, only a minority of businesses use it for strategic decision-making. A recent McKinsey   Government agencies historically lag the private sector in the adoption of such innovations, so we can surmise an even lower figure for government agencies.

Yet, the status quo is now bound to change. The process was already set in motion decades ago. While the capabilities of the latest wave of AI applications are impressive, those who have been following the development of artificial intelligence closely know that a small but growing number of government and business organisations have been pushing the boundaries of AI use for years, with some even having used artificial intelligence tools in their strategic decision-making for half a century.

From optimizing operations to forecasting trends, earlier generations of AI have already revolutionized how businesses and governments formulate and execute strategies. The unleashing of generative AI technologies will only further democratise and deepen the use of artificial intelligence in top-level decisions. Here are some proven strategic use cases for AI that we are going to see much more of in the near future:

1) Smart Cities

AI is inseparable from smart city technology, playing a lead role in reducing the dependence on humans for managing urban spaces. Most of the world’s leading cities already use AI-driven technologies and smart sensors to directly address daily issues like traffic congestion and air pollution, but the role of AI goes deeper than this. In Singapore, for instance, planners have leveraged AI to determine key requirements of future urban projects, optimising infrastructure and making it more responsive to the needs of human inhabitants. Similar concepts have been explored on a smaller scale in industrial parts and controlled urban settings worldwide.

2) Energy Management

You may be familiar with the simple AI-driven energy management systems used to optimise energy usage for computers and other smart devices. A growing number of power grids are, likewise, being managed with AI to provide entire regions with improved energy efficiency. These systems are only becoming more sophisticated and better at allocating electrical output at all times, and they will be a key part of any serious attempts to reduce global carbon emissions.

3) Predictive Analytics for Policy Setting

AI-powered predictive analytics algorithms have been enabling businesses and governments to forecast trends and create evidence-based plans for decades. Larger businesses have been using AI to predict market trends and anticipate customer behaviour. New developments in generative AI are likely to increase the use of artificial intelligence for strategic organisational decision-making, reducing risk and increasing systemic stability.

4) Supply Chain Optimisation

Both public and private organisations have long used AI algorithms to analyse vast datasets for supply chain optimisation. By harnessing the power of AI, organisations can solve many issues related to procurement to distribution, with unprecedented precision and efficiency. Integrating other new breakthrough technologies like blockchains alongside AI can potentially revolutionize supply chain management even further by injecting more trust and autonomy into supply chain processes.

5) Fraud Detection and Cybersecurity

Malicious online actors have always abused emerging technologies to engage in fraud, and AI-driven cybercrime should come as no surprise. AI use, however, is one area where cybersecurity experts may have a slight edge over fraudsters. For years, AI algorithms have been used by large organisations to detect fraudulent activities by analyzing transaction patterns and anomalies. Recently, these antifraud systems have been consistently evolving to combat the growing threat of AI-powered criminals, with remarkable results.

6) Customer Service Automation

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants have been around for years, but the lack of generative AI capabilities made them far less capable than they are today. The new capabilities of current AI-powered customer service solutions not only solve old gripes with AI bots but may also end call centres as we’ve known them. Next-generation AI bots are already providing organisations with round-the-clock voice, email, and chat customer support while doing away with the immense costs associated with maintaining human customer service capabilities.

7) Financial Trading

AI algorithms have been used to analyze market data in real time and make trade decisions as far back as the 1970s. These systems could be viewed as the first key application of artificial intelligence that supplanted human decision-making in the real world. Today, AI systems are responsible for most trading activities in financial markets worldwide, affecting almost every human alive today.

Towards the Ethical Deployment of AI in Business and Government

While government agencies and businesses have long relied on AI for creating wins in efficiency, the “human-like” results made possible by the latest generation AI applications also raise concern. Responsible and equitable deployment of new AI technologies may necessitate transparent governance frameworks and reevaluate the advantages of human decision-makers. As AI continues to evolve and take on more roles within wider society, businesses and governments will need to work together to ensure that it serves the wider public interest.

Monica Mendoza is a content writer and marketing professional. She spends a lot of time studying how technology continues to transform lifestyles and communities. Outside the office, she keeps herself busy by staying up to date with the latest fashion trends and reading about the newest gadgets out on the market.



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Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.

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