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DeepMind's on my Mind...

I've run P&L's in corporates/regions/matrices (limited control), SMEs (lots of control/ownership), and as an entrepreneur (drinking from a fire hose), so I have a fairly good idea of the different characteristics involved in each. They all offer varying degrees of freedom and constraints affecting your ability to grow the business.

But they also share one common thread and that is the amount of complexity involved, whether it's budgeting, tracking, contracting, developing, building, communicating, maintaining, recruiting, reporting...and so on. That's a lot of parameters to stay on top of. And they're all feeding and interacting with each other in a real-time dance that is hard to make sense of with our traditional approach of systems, Excels, Powerpoints and meetings where lagging indicators are used to make predictions about future performance. We need better simulation capabilities to make more informed decisions, and explore adjacent opportunities with minimal outlay. At least I do.

Meanwhile, in plain view, new sets of capabilities are being rapidly unleashed by teams at organisations such as DeepMind, OpenAI and others. Whether it's conversational chat, creating art and imagery through natural language inputs, mastering strategy gamesfrom scratch, or revealing the structure of the protein universe, and many other developments, these foundational AI's are opening doors for industries to dramatically accelerate performance. More eruption than disruption. And these new capabilities give rise to new platforms on which entrepreneurs develop new services for existing and emerging markets.

In the next couple of years, these capabilities will begin to find their way into everyday business operations, allowing managers at all levels to be able to simulate the performance of their business in minutes or hours, taking in all types of parameters including technical, regulatory, ESG, partnerships, contractual, skills, financial models and so on.

The services built on these AI's will be cheap, widely available and will create an avalanche of opportunities and challenges for how organisations currently plan, predict and make decisions on future investments and alliances. We will be able to simulate precisely the benefits of participating in ecosystems by modelling all of the possible combinations, returning insights rapidly with minimal human interference.

As the clock ticks into ‘23, multiple AI functions will become embedded in everyday use, radically changing how businesses are run. They will converge, overlap, give rise to new intuitive capabilities that in many cases will be free, or baked into existing suites of business productivity tools, much like font control. Some will deny what's coming, some will wait for others to take the lead, and others will act as the pioneers.

Boards will have to quickly come to terms with the new capabilities offered to the businesses that they govern, allowing them to steer the company toward higher levels of performance, and into new markets with minimal outlay. But to do that, they will have to incorporate more AI-centric thinking into their own duties.

AI is not one thing. It's lots of things. It's everything, everywhere, all at once. If we can predict protein folding then we can certainly fold organisations. There are far fewer parameters to model.

Until that time in the not too distant future, it's another Sunday so time to rake through the systems and spreadsheets to prepare for Monday morning's Sales meet, to predict the next six months of business...

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