Project Management and the Emergence of Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial intelligence is changing the way we live and work. From facial recognition, eye recognition to digital robots, the depth of artificial intelligence is growing rapidly. Perhaps, we have not yet seen digital robots or facial recognition, but artificial intelligence interacts into our daily lives in other ways.

Examples that we would be more familiar with include: UBER, autopilot system on commercial flights, spam filters, email categorisation between normal, social and promotion (if you are using Gmail), fraud prevention intelligence used by banking institutes and social networking such as Facebook and Instagram.

As a Project Manager, it is important that you take note of the increasing development and demand for artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence will impact upon how you can deliver projects on time and within budget. Artificial intelligence can possibly be applied to projects that you are managing for your clients. Consider the possibility of applying artificial intelligence to improve the operating efficiency and delivery of improved customer service to your projects.

 

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a solution that has been gradually developed over the years that simulates our thoughts and our actions. Typically, the solution provided is a machine that can imitate our actions and thoughts faster. From an IT perspective, the artificial intelligence solution is in the form of a program or mobile application. In recent years, we have seen many programs such as spam filters and mobile applications for the health, travel and food industries that have made our lives simpler.

Artificial intelligence comes in many forms. Interesting Engineering [1] have identified three types of artificial intelligence. The first type of artificial intelligence is known as the Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI). This is the weak stage of AI which is the stage that we are at now. The artificial intelligence that we see today is based upon the machines having the ability to be able to perform artificial intelligence to the stage of singular tasks only. The second type of artificial intelligence is called Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). AGI is still an emerging field that has not been properly developed. This type of artificial intelligence is designed to act in a similar manner to the human brain. However, there is still knowledge that needs to be learned about the brain before AGI can be fully developed. The final type of artificial intelligence is known as the Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI). Artificial Super Intelligence is a futuristic model based upon the assumption that this type of artificial intelligence is more superior than a human. The focus on ASI is to create intelligence that can respond better and master areas where humans have failed.

Artificial Intelligence Trends

According to Towards Data Science [2], there are multiple artificial intelligence trends that could impact upon your role of project management and meeting the future needs of companies. Trends like digital intelligence, process intelligence, digital workers and business process improvement are just a few of the trends that are developing in 2020.

Forecasts for Artificial Intelligence

Fortune Business Insights state that the market size of global artificial intelligence (AI) was USD 20.67 billion in 2018. They predict that the global market size is projected to reach USD 202.57 billion by 2026. Based upon their prediction, the market is moving upwards at a CAGR of 33.1% during the forecast period. [3] The drivers for this projected market size increase is the increase in the number of AI engineers in the future which is fueled by demand for more artificial intelligence development, business demanding improvements in operating efficiencies and customer services to retain a competitive advantage in the market place.

 

How does it affect Project Management?

Project Management is going to change. The profession has evolved over the past 50 years and is now more efficient and productive with increased project management tools. It’s about adapting and embracing technology to then focus on strategy & human interactions like stakeholder management to deliver successful projects [4].

Whilst there aren’t many project management tools with AI, here’s what our future could look like [5]:

  • Predictive analytics
  • Actionable insights from data
  • Eliminate repetitive administrative tasks
  • Enhance visibility & detection of early risk
  • Task prioritisation
  • Re-planning project
  • Resource handling & matching

Artificial intelligence is here to stay, and we expect that artificial intelligence will improve in the future. Embrace artificial intelligence in your role as Project Manager.

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