Never Say Never

Here is an interesting article I encourage you to read. It is in eWeek and titled “Why Most Executives Believe Their Companies Aren’t Ready for AI“. When you read this, think about how far we have come technologically in the past 30  years. In the 1980s many believed that scanning documents was a fad and would never take off, the technology was far too expensive for general use, and the software too complicated for the average person. Yet today, everyone is not only taking digital photos of whatever they want – paper included – they are editing, saving, sharing/posting, and even making videos.

My point is this, in the article there is a discussion about Artificial Intelligence (AI) how AI will replace humans in some job areas like diagnostics, analytics, and jobs Confusedthat are very routine or repetitive in nature. The discussion continues to point out that AI is a tool and we have to address it as a tool – albeit one that has far more potential than anything we have seen before. We are seeing this now with robotics in the factory, robotic process automation (RPA) in the back office, and even autonomous vehicles – not to mention the advance in robotics to mimic humans. (This about Robbie the Robot and the Robot from Lost in Space or Rosey from the Jetsons.)

During the course of this discussion, it is mentioned that AI is bringing changes to the workforce and how we do business but questions how disruptive it will be and what will it take for executives to position their companies to be ready for it. The reason cited is a lack of understanding or misunderstanding as to what AI really is now, and what it will be in the future. There is a position presented by Kai-Fu Lee, the CEO of Sinovation Ventures that states “The idea of AI becoming some kind of super-intelligence taking over the world is overblown; it won’t happen.”

In My View

I have witnessed and been part of many technological advancements in my career, including the early days of AI. While I feel this article rings true on many levels, I have come to believe that nothing is impossible and that the impossible – as improbable as it may seem – just takes a little longer. Fifteen years ago discussions of nano-technology, rockets that can be used, safely land, and be reused again, driverless cars, micro technology used to track goods and even people were philosophical in nature yet here we are today witnessing their realities coming to fruition.

Could AI become some kind of super-intelligence? In my mind, anything is possible. Is it possible that AI can take over the world as we have seen in the movies? If we are not careful with it, as with any other technology, while it is improbable, it very well might be possible. Never say never because we never really know for sure, until it happens.

Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement, and Journalist on Information Technology for Document Strategy. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.

Bob can be reached at and his website is


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