To fully utilise AI, news media companies need these 6 action items

By Chandler Wieberg

INMA

Austin, Texas, United States

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Harvard Business School’s Karim Lakhani, co-author of Competing in the Age of AI, has six calls to action for news media regarding AI:

  • Understand and actively anticipate the transformation of our economic and social environment.
  • Drive business and operating model transformation consistently and provide clarity from the top down.
  • Invest heavily in not only technology, but also in innovation process and technology as well as organisational architecture. 
  • Use pilots as opportunities to build internal capabilities and with a process and plan to implement and scale.
  • Build inclusion, privacy, transparency and security from the ground up.
  • Help the increasing part of the population in greater need.

Karim Lakhani brought AI to the news media level with these calls to action.
Karim Lakhani brought AI to the news media level with these calls to action.

During the first day of the INMA World Congress of News Media, Lakhani, the Dorothy and Michael Hintze Professor of Business Administration at the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard, told members the hype surrounding AI is there for good reason. He has seen entries both in terms of start-ups and established companies of all sizes trying to make a play in AI for several reason:

  • They see opportunity for AI to solve problems.
  • The cost of AI innovation has dropped drastically. 
  • Several decades into its development, the world is connected to the point of taking full advantage of all AI has to offer.

Companies are in a virtual circle: The more data they get, the better algorithms they get, which leads to more usage, which leads to more data, better algorithms, better service, he said. This virtual circle is why all of these companies keep wanting data and increasing their scope. 

The AI factory focuses on predictions, pattern recognition, and process automation.
The AI factory focuses on predictions, pattern recognition, and process automation.

“The AI factory feeds data and models systematically into the software enabled operating core of the firm,” Lakhani said. The data accumulated drives improvement, experimentation, innovation, and personalisation. 

The AI factory is going to focus on the patterns to find what can happen next and what should happen next: 

  1. Predictions

  2. Pattern recognition

  3. Process automation

Digital transformation at news media companies has changed rapidly in the last decade.
Digital transformation at news media companies has changed rapidly in the last decade.

After diving into examples from NASA, Amazon, and Ant Financial, Lakhani gave news media companies this advice: “If you’re going to do digital, if you’re going to do AI, you actually have to fundamentally change and rearchitect your organisation.” Companies need to change as well because if they add digitisation to their current processes, they just doing to get better at the old processes, which will not scale their business.

The World Congress continues Tuesdays and Thursdays through May. Register here for future and recordings of past sessions.

About Chandler Wieberg

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