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Key learnings from the CCMM AI Virtual Forum

How can you demystify and leverage artificial intelligence for your business?

On March 18th and 19th, Melka Consulting participated in the virtual forum on artificial intelligence (AI), co-developed by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Scale AI and Forum AI Québec. This event brought together multiple stakeholders of the ecosystem and plenty of subjects related to AI were discussed. Executives can be puzzled as to where to start when it comes to artificial intelligence. Melka Consulting is here to point out a few key takeaways from the two-day conference.


The importance of collaboration

Although we already leverage artificial intelligence in our daily routine (Google search, Face ID, smart personal assistant, etc.), much more can be accomplished. A global survey by McKinsey revealed that only 16% of businesses have taken their AI initiatives beyond the pilot project stage.


Businesses in Montreal have a comparative advantage when it comes to AI as they can leverage the rich local AI ecosystem. In the last five years, Montreal has attracted about 40 businesses in artificial intelligence. As expertise can be scarce and limited in your company, collaboration with research institutes, AI solution providers and the government becomes crucial.


Finally, many local partners such as Scale AI, IVADO Labs, Maxa AI and Mila can help businesses fund and develop tailored solutions. Such partners and many others can help accelerate the transition and the deployment of solutions through reliable tools.


Benefits for your company

Multiple use cases across all industries can increase the productivity of your company, including:

It is important to choose and prioritize the most impactful use cases for your business based on your company’s strategic positioning: What use case could make the company significantly more competitive? To understand what is possible, you must first analyze the available data, which will help identify where AI can have the most impact in your organization. Furthermore, a bottom-up approach to choose a use case can be beneficial, as executives often do not have the complete visibility on available data and potential operational improvements.


Challenges to overcome

Before adopting artificial intelligence, multiple challenges can arise:

  • Prioritizing efforts: Artificial intelligence should be used where it has the most impact for your company. Through strategic planning, Melka Consulting can help you identify the revenue drivers and cost savings opportunities that will allow you to build a competitive advantage through AI.

  • Data: The backbone of any AI solution is data. It is necessary for companies to be sophisticated enough in their digital transformation to have access to quality data for their AI initiatives.

  • Change management: To ensure AI is adopted in your company, it is important to train managers and employees on the impact of artificial intelligence. Training will also help manage expectations and limit the reluctance to change.

  • Ethics: A critical point of view in the evaluation of algorithms is crucial to ensure the solutions developed remain ethical, which should then become an ongoing process.

What’s next?

Artificial intelligence is more accessible than you might think. Executives must dare to start looking into use cases for their business through pilot project and proof of concept in an iterative process. Here’s how you can start:

  • Understand your competitive positioning: Define what you would like to accomplish through AI through strategic planning.

  • Insert yourself in the artificial intelligence ecosystem: Meet with experts to understand the potential AI opportunities for your business.

  • Add artificial intelligence as a pillar of your digital transformation strategy, which can be outlined through strategic planning.

  • Dare to start, as the biggest risk moving forward is to not innovate.