Innovation has been on my mind lately.

The elevation of AI as a technology of import has been accompanied by the use of the word “innovation.” Unfortunately, most discussions are more of a “buzzword bingo” game than a true engagement of innovation.

Innovation has been part of my career since I was hired directly into R&D right out of school, but I didn’t really understand it until I was introduced to the work of Peter Drucker, who says: “Innovation is an effect on the economy and society, a change in the behavior of customers, of teachers, of farmers, of doctors, of people in general.”

Drucker provided clarity by focusing not on technology, but on the behavior of users and customers. To innovate, we need to help customers change their behaviors in a way that enables them to achieve their goals.

This is why AI is such an incredibly powerful innovation tool. When connected to the data generated by the activities of individuals and/or organizations, and properly trained on desired outcomes, AI learns which activities best achieve those outcomes. It can then help, through recommendations or agile automation, attain goals faster and better than humans alone. AI becomes a driver of innovation when it measures, learns and changes user behavior.

Once we get past the buzzword bingo phase of AI innovation, great things are going to happen.

 
Written by

Scott Nelson

President & Chief Digital Officer, Board Member

Scott Nelson is the president and chief digital officer of Tamarack Technology. He has more than 30 years of strategic technology development, deployment and design thinking experience working with both entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies. Nelson is a sought-after speaker and contributor on topics related to IoT and digital health. His involvement in technology in the local and national technology community reflects an ongoing and outstanding commitment to technology development and innovation.

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