If you’re a CEO, a CTO, product manager, a member of a start-up or an investor in a project that includes AI, you need real answers and practical solutions to some hard questions and problems:

  • How well do we understand our customers and the value we bring to them?
  • How good does the AI system need to be to drive customer business success?
  • Do we bring the right mix of skills to the AI project?
  • AI applications rely on data, knowledge, cohesive and creative teams, and lots of technology—do we really have what it takes to succeed?
  • What’s the right mix of human to machine?
  • Can I trust the AI systems to get it right?
  • When errors and failures happen, how will they be handled and with what consequences?
  • Is this project worth the time, resources, and investment that it will cost?

I’ll be covering these topics, and much more, in an upcoming book based on based on the material in this blog.

Why do we need a book on AI application methodology now? Because the field is at a crossroads: AI technology is ready for the mass market, but the lack of a discipline of applied AI is creating problems. Specifically, there is increasing— but, as you’ll read here, unnecessary—friction as diverse organizations start to deploy at scale. A consequence: in recent months we’ve started to see widespread cracks in the applied AI armor, for example in this TechRepublic article claiming that 96% of organizations run into problems with AI/ML projects or this review of ten 2020 AI failures.

I’m writing The Art of the Applied—and the posts that will become part of the book—with writing help from Dr. Lorien Pratt, co-founder of Quantellia, LLC, inventor of machine learning inductive transfer, and an international speaker on applied AI. Lorien is also a co-organizer of the annual Responsible AI/DI Summit, where I have appeared as a featured speaker. Dr. Pratt has also had a distinguished writing career, as a co-author with me, as a telecom analyst, as a ghost writer for organizations like Forbes, Bloomberg, Stratecast, Pipeline Magazine, and most recently as the author of the groundbreaking Link: How Decision Intelligence Connects Data, Actions, and Outcomes for a Better World. I’m delighted that Lorien is working with me to help to capture my insights (and to bring along a few of her own) to this important book.