Whether upgrading legacy or buying new, health IT leaders grappling with AI challenges and opportunities

Even the most advanced AI platform relies on smart people to make the most of smart technology.

Jeff Rowe | Nov 14, 2017 12:00 am

Among the many “buzz” technologies increasingly grabbing the attention of IT executives, including in healthcare, is artificial intelligence (AI).  While many stakeholders are convinced of the potential advantages AI can bring to IT operations, questions remain as to how best to deploy it into legacy infrastructure, as well as how to incorporate it into existing and future workflows.

Recently at ITBusinessedge, writer Arthur Cole suggests, “It is getting more and more difficult to find a platform or application suite that does not incorporate some form of intelligence at this point, although the degree to which this can be attributed to simple ‘AI-washing’ is unclear. What does seem likely is that everyday IT management functions will fall under the purview of an increasingly intelligent automation stack within the next few years.”

But one big ongoing question for IT managers, he says, is figuring out what tasks to surrender to software and what to keep under human control. “Without careful coordination, the enterprise could very well wind up with multiple intelligent platforms all tripping over themselves trying to harness the resources needed to execute their programming.”

One transitional step Cole points to for enterprises “to start consuming AI-driven APIs, which gives apps key capabilities like natural language processing, image pattern recognition and speech-to-text/text-to-speech. Following that, tools like Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) provide the means to expose data as an API endpoint, which in turn benefits training and testing capabilities to help workers navigate the new operational paradigm.”

Beyond mere deployment and integration, Cole continues, “AI will also have to work its way into the culture of the enterprise, which is dramatically more challenging.” For one things, employees must be prepared for the change, and managers should expect some resistance.

Finally, he says, to take full advantage of what AI has to offer, Cole says all involved must “recognize that AI will produce changes to the core business model, not simply provide a more efficient means of achieving today’s outcomes.”