Artificial intelligence systems will be able to give managers real-time insights about their business operations, as well as detect early warnings of problems before they occur, writes SCS Dean Andrew Moore in an essay commissioned by Sloan MIT Management Review.
Moore was one of 14 thought leaders invited by the management journal to inaugurate its new Frontiers section, which will explore how technology is reshaping management.
In the essay, Moore explains how AI will be able to recognize anomalies — not just in business data, but in how employees are behaving — that can provide managers with up-to-date information about what is happening in their enterprises and suggest problems or opportunities that are just beyond the horizon.
For instance, he cites how analysis of maintenance and flight logs is helping the U.S. Air Force anticipate equipment failures in its aging fleet of F-16 fighters — work spearheaded at CMU by Artur Dubrawski, director of the Robotics Institute's Auton Lab. Likewise, he talks about how simple cameras and microphones can provide critical insight into the thinking of employees and customers — similar to the work that Amy Ogan of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute is doing to assess the effectiveness of classroom teaching.
"As a manager, I absolutely detest being surprised," Moore concludes. "And like everyone else, despite the petabytes of data at my fingertips, I too often am. But AI doesn't get overwhelmed by the size and complexity of information the way we humans do. Thus, its promise to keep managers more in the know about what's really happening across their enterprise is truly profound."