CHAPTER 6Systems of intelligence

The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.

Thomas Edison


For over a decade, big-tech companies have invested heavily in artificial intelligence (AI), and numerous pre-digital incumbents are starting to do the same. There is a shared belief between researchers and business leaders that artificial intelligence will open the door to fantastic growth opportunities, and we agree, but with a caveat. Pursuing artificial intelligence for the sake of it is a dangerous route to take, as it will be filled with wastefulness and disappointment. In many cases, it seems that these investments are technology led, meaning the implementation of artificial intelligence is itself the primary concern, rather than the business outcome. Investing in technology must be business led, not technology led, and artificial intelligence is no exception. Throwing artificial intelligence at everything, or ‘AI washing’, won’t solve all your problems. You need a well-defined business case. Also, before making an investment in artificial intelligence, you need to understand the technology and its potential, and, more importantly, its limitations.

Artificial intelligence is software and can be broken down into two overarching categories: weak and strong artificial intelligence. Weak artificial intelligence is software that can undertake ...

Get Chasing Digital now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.