Artificial Intelligence drives new business models in Latin America

Original article was published by everis US on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


Alberto Otero | Head of Digital Technology | everis Américas

Artificial Intelligence drives new business models in Latin America

A few years ago, few companies had started their transformation efforts. However, our most recent study entitled “Artificial Intelligence in Latin American Companies,” conducted jointly with MIT Tech Review in Spanish, showed that organizations in Latin America are beginning to understand the opportunities that Artificial Intelligence must create business models and new sources of value. To keep moving forward, it is of utmost importance to understand the current challenges. Only then will it be possible to determine the route to the region.

Most of the organizations participating in the study recognize the potential of Artificial Intelligence to transform their businesses. However, the adoption is in its early stages. Companies still focus on developing technology in operational efficiency and customer service projects, which is important but small with all the possibilities technology can offer.

In the response analysis phase, we were able to identify the main obstacles faced by the use of Artificial Intelligence in Latin America. One of them is that there is a disconnection between business challenges and their resolution through AI so that the potential of this technology can be driven when decision-makers develop a more strategic vision. Most companies still do not relate AI with business cases or clearer financial returns.

This leads us to another very important challenge: the ability to invest. Nine out of ten respondents believe they do not have enough budget for AI projects. Also, the current macroeconomic situation in the region is a factor that is limiting the budget available for new technologies.

Besides these two factors, there is still a need to promote and disseminate Artificial Intelligence among the organizations’ managers, since there is a significant gap of knowledge regarding the real possibilities of applications.

The study also exposes an evident challenge related to talent. All the companies interviewed agree that the lack of talent is one of the main challenges when developing more ambitious AI projects. The demand for skills is much higher than the supply available in the market, which occurs in all countries, especially in Latin America.

Therefore, it is important to promote the creation of a talent ecosystem around the organization, which allows the combination of a network of knowledge and learning that encourages the adoption of technology. In this type of ecosystem, the organization regularly works with partners, technology suppliers, research centers, universities, or startups to develop joint projects, thus promoting the knowledge and development of Artificial Intelligence that goes beyond the company’s boundaries. In this way, a network effect is created that benefits both the organization and the users of this ecosystem.

The data’s availability and quality also call most interviewees’ attention because they are considered the necessary factors for the technology to work effectively. Organizations must have robust data collection and governance structures that ensure data security and privacy so that data is collected, aggregated, and combined ethically and aligned with the business and the organization’s interests.

A particularity of Artificial Intelligence compared to other digital technologies, and which is beginning to be part of all discussions about the implementation of projects, is that its use presents many challenges and ethical issues. This opens a new perspective for companies that, once focused on business challenges, now find themselves with the task of understanding and acting responsibly on topics such as privacy, fairness, inclusion, accountability, transparency, algorithmic discrimination, and data ownership.

In some countries, the regulatory environment is adapting to this new reality, with Brazil’s General Data Protection Law (LGPD) and the adoption of the European General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD) by many of the companies contacted. This indicates that companies’ adoption of regulations will establish a common framework of shared principles that ensure AI’s safe use.

All these issues are addressed in detail in the everis report. Optimistic results are presented in terms of change in companies’ views regarding the possibilities and value Artificial Intelligence can provide. A broader vision obtained through the interviews allows us to identify that most companies recognize the potential of technology and are convinced that it will be fundamental to their organization’s future.

In the coming years, the challenge will be to move from proof of concept, limited use cases, and silos structure to technology diffusion throughout the organization. This widespread adoption is the next step for those organizations that want to catalyze AI’s value as a technology that can redefine processes related to users and even business models.

As large Latin American companies’ capacity to use AI grows, so will society’s impact. AI’s possibilities to scale and customize solutions represent an excellent opportunity to bring services and products to more people in a more economical way. Social challenges such as financial inclusion and improved health care for much of the population can be addressed in new ways by making intensive use of AI. As a result, technology has enormous potential to positively impact the lives of millions of people in the Latin America region.

Know more about the use of Artificial Intelligence in https://www.everis-studies.com/artificial-intelligence