Why AI is a Disrupter in Technology
The phrase “disruptive innovation” is widely misunderstood since the principles of the theory are often twisted. Besides, the refining of the idea in the last twenty years has clouded the meaning. It is often thrown around in the board room meetings, team meetings, and client meetings without understanding the impact a disruptive business idea has on the market.
A QUICK RECAP
American scholar Clayton Christensen coined the phrase in his books, Innovator's solution, and Innovator's dilemma. He elucidates on two varied yet compelling concepts – “Sustainable technologies” and “Disruptive technologies”. Clayton made the distinction between the two quite clear.
In a particular predictable timeframe, sustainable technologies allow businesses to improve efficiency at an incremental level. An Aloe strip to the razor blade, protective cushion to the running shoes, Display units with better picture quality, Audio equipment with surround sound, etc. The products are made better for existing customers with the help of technology.
Disruptive technologies challenge the existing market stakeholders by creating a market which where none existed. The disruptive innovators convert non-consumers into consumers. Two decades ago, IBM invented the first smartphone. It launched the Simon phone in 1994 with several features like touchscreen, email, and a few other applications.
However, IBM has failed to address various issues Simon suffered. The device was heavy and thick and considered by many a sophisticated cordless phone. Despite the attempts to creating a new consumer base, it failed to disrupt the market.
Soon, Nokia, Sony, Motorola, etc. have dominated the cellular phone market with flip phones in the mid-90s. The world has long forgotten about smartphones, till apple in 2007 announced a smartphone that could replace laptops. An innovative business model has caused the disruption nearly 13 years after the introduction of the technology. Apple leveraged the technology march other phones have made concerning the hardware, improved the quality, and has offered a phone that does not compete with the incumbent cellular phone manufacturers but with the laptops.
In a particular predictable timeframe, sustainable technologies allow businesses to improve efficiency at an incremental level
Artificial Intelligence disruption
After Alan Turing has proposed a test as a measure of machine intelligence in the 1950s, A.I. has a peculiar evolutionary tale. Over the past few decades, several technological advancements have started to migrate from the research labs in garages to households across the world. Every technology is undergoing a great deal of refinement. However, the present-day consumer is less skeptical. The users are familiar with the technology and, how the technology works is not a primary concern anymore. Hence the innovators are grappling with the answers to what the technology can do for the users.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been employed as sustainable technologies by companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Gaming simulations, image recognition, and speaker identification are the witnesses to the advancements made by the technology.
Where is A.I. headed?
The impact A.I. has made on our daily life is just the beginning. Most of the refinements are data-driven and not by algorithms. For example, “Receptiviti” analyses the texts and voice messages. It analyses the speaker's personality, mental state, emotional state, etc. The SocialFlow is a fascinating platform that allows the campaigners to leverage machine learning to create impactful social media campaigns. Infinite Analytics is a unique tool that helps personalize the products for users.
The New York Times has deployed A.I. to scan and analyze the images and words to archive all the photographs covering over 100 years of its history. Netra is another technology company that offers an exciting prospect of improving visual search experience and efficiency.
The above mentioned are a few of the countless examples where the fundamental characteristics of A.I. deployed have quietly changed the way we function. However, the core principle of A.I. is to make judgments that were exclusive to humans. The AI systems are likely to transparent without the cognitive biases where the decision is made by analyzing data sets to ensure efficiency.
Some disruptions succeed and some don’t
Disruption should be a driving force for businesses. It is important to note that success is not the definition of disruption. Afore-mentioned IBM’s smartphone launch is an example. However, failures do not exhibit the deficiencies of the disruption theory. The tech giants are investing in innovation hubs. Startups are salvaging everything around them to innovate and launch a business model that changes the world is functioning today. As the businesses embracing technology is increasing, it is interesting to see where the deployed AI might take us.
Every technology makes a transition to becoming a mainstream tool from being an elite niche. Artificial Intelligence is on the cusp of a similar metamorphosis. While the discussion between the possible long-term opportunities and exploratory threats in AI continues to happen, the technology in its limited form has been sustainable. However, similar to other disruptive waves, the A.I. technology in its limited deployment has created an impact that is impossible to ignore.