Chair of Technology and Innovation Management

Guest lecture by Dr. Michael Spira on “Artificial Intelligence and Innovation”

As part of the MSc lecture “Strategic Technology and Innovation Management“, we welcomed Dr. Michael Spira.

As part of the MSc lecture “Strategic Technology and Innovation Management“, we welcomed Dr. Michael Spira (Project Leader and AI Ambassador at Boston Consulting Group) who spoke about “Artificial Intelligence and Innovation” on January 29, 2020.

In his talk, Dr. Spira highlighted the strong impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) is likely to have on businesses across industries. Whereas Netflix, for example, creates content based on customer preferences, leveraging its real-time access to customer behavior, Nvidia uses a virtual driving environment that accelerates self-driving tests by a factor of 1,000, slashing both development costs and time. The latest BCG Global Innovation Survey establishes that firms expect digital-related innovations such as Big Data analytics and AI to have the largest impact on their industry. Moreover, leading firms increasingly use Big Data, analytics and AI in their innovation processes.

After defining and providing an overview on several AI applications, Dr. Spira referred to the AI paradox: Although it is deceptively easy to launch AI pilots and achieve powerful results, it remains hard to scale AI. Scaling AI does not simply mean to train algorithms with more data – it rather requires firms to adjust their operating and entire business model, including machine infrastructure, organizational structure, team composition etc. To overcome these challenges, Dr. Spira presented and explained an iterative transformation approach and provided industry examples. The discussion with students revealed many practical insights that will help managers to realize the full potential of AI.

We would like to thank Dr. Spira for his great presentation! We are looking forward to welcoming him back at WHU!