AI, ML or DS...whatever it is, I want it.

Since 2006, I have worked within companies that have integrated AI (or machine learning or data science) into their solutions. These companies have ranged in size from micro start-ups all the way to large multi-nationals. As to their level of success, I will let their board members and customers be the judge of that. This article is a group of things that I wish I had felt able to say to the various business leaders in those companies. I am writing this as as open letter, as it felt like the right way to do it.

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Dear Leadership,

You say you want AI in your product. Actually, the word want is too casual. You must have it. It is the best thing. Investors are asking why we don’t have it. We could raise more money. We have the data, we can use it better. Our competitors have it. Our customers would pay for. I know that the list of reasons could go on and on.

You are smart leaders. You admit that you don’t know everything about the technology and how to implement it. But you have hired smart people, and surely we can figure this out.

Here are a few things I’d like you to think about as we attempt this:

  • We are not Google or Apple. Our team are nubes, even if you have just hired that amazing CTO or VP engineering or (insert cool techie title here). We still need to ramp up. Unless you have the stomach to lay out the cash to hire the entire vertical from one of the big guns in this business, then that’s just the way it is. Even when you hire in, we are integrating them into an existing team that don’t have the knowledge base you just acquired. I could tell you stories of long hours trying to convince people to do things differently in order to put ML into product.

I hope that you made it to the end of this letter. I think that you are pretty great for wanting to do things differently. Please show your staff the same respect that we are expected to show you.

Sincerely,

Your ML PM

An ML product manager. Bio on LinkedIn. Opinions expressed are my own.