As businesses begin to take advantage of more and more automation, they’re seeing the fruits of their labor in profitability. Some say that when artificial intelligence and big data are used well, they can become the most reliable predictors of success or failure. The increases in stock market values and the valuation of private companies before they become IPOs have demonstrated that there’s an unmistakable connection between data and value. That should strike a chord related to the CEO role in artificial intelligence.

Data is what makes businesses tick. The downside to this is that when data gets leaked, it can also cause a devastating loss.

As artificial intelligence and big data become more commonplace in business, certain jobs that humans have been performing will no longer be needed. At the same time, new technologies will create newer, different jobs, not only in the lower ranks of employees, but also in management. Boards and managers will need to rethink how to get people trained in new skills. New processes for artificial intelligence and big data may also have an impact in the boardroom and in the C-suite.

Companies will also have to consider the competition factor. There will certainly be a race to see which companies benefit from big data and artificial intelligence and how they are utilized for the best interests of the company. Soon, corporations will be moving further away from human workers and more toward machine or virtual workers, some with the assistance of human intervention and some that work wholly on their own. Companies that act too slowly will fall to the back of the pack, as technology can easily move faster than some companies will be able to restructure themselves.

What Role Will CEOs Play in Implementing an Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem? 

Those who are in the know about the importance of artificial intelligence and big data in the coming years know that there is an urgency about it. Companies will need to automate or be automated. Those that don’t automate quickly enough could quickly be acquired by a company that beat them to it.

A couple of companies have already dabbled with including a machine with full voting rights on the board. Since that seems to be coming along successfully, it probably won’t be long before other companies will follow suit. With every new year that comes along, it’s likely that we’ll see increases in companies that use physical or virtual robots as employees, even in startup companies.

One of the main duties of the CEO role is to increase the revenue for stakeholders. Is this something that artificial intelligence can do using big data without the help of a human being’s intelligence? Many people would say, yes, it can.

Another of the important duties of CEOs is to reduce costs to achieve the business goals. Is that something that can be done using only artificial intelligence and big data. Many would say, yes, it can, and it will.

The answers to these questions call for the answer to a really big question — will CEOs be needed at all? Or can their roles be totally automated and driven by algorithms? And should they be totally automated for the good of the company? One or more senior executives would certainly still be needed to run the company. How would that change the structure of the C-suite?

Boards would likely still need a CFO to monitor and report on finances. There might be a need to have a CHRO to manage benefits and employees. Many companies already have a CIO to manage IT and cybersecurity matters. Some companies also have a CDO, which stands for Chief Data Officer or Chief Digital Officer. Is it possible that someday companies will have a CAIO, or Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer, who would be responsible for defining and implementing an artificial intelligence strategy across the company and not have the need for a CEO at all? It’s quite possible, if not probable.

Many companies are bound to disappear if boards and managers don’t get on board with implementing artificial intelligence and big data well in the core of their businesses. Timing is a big factor, and some answers may depend on whether technology will be ready for certain use cases. Changes will be gradual, but now is the time that boards and CEOs need to be considering how artificial intelligence and big data will affect their board composition, C-suite structure and skills for their workforce.

How Will CEOs Consider the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Their Business?

CEOs have a mighty task before them as they consider how to handle their rapidly evolving workforce. They will need to start working on new economic models, as the current models are quickly becoming outdated.

Urgency is a huge consideration. Because of the rapid changes occurring in the marketplace, it will be better to be the first company making innovative changes that are in keeping with the Information Age than to be the last. CEOs are at the forefront of the employees who have the most to gain or lose in how quickly they respond to creating an artificial intelligence ecosystem. What isn’t wholly possible for artificial intelligence to manage today could be a whole different story tomorrow.

Essentially, CEOs would be wise to start strategizing for how the company can best use artificial intelligence and possibly start exploring the option to add a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer to the C-suite. CEOs will also need to stay in the loop of artificial intelligence updates and innovations.

CEOs may also want to enlist the help of internal and external artificial intelligence advisors so they can stay attuned to how it’s being used for business. Diligent Corporation’s Governance Intel is a tool that will be highly useful for CEOs in this endeavor. The software gives directors and executives the ability to set up a customized catalog of news outlets to help them track companies, industries and topics like big data and artificial intelligence. Corporate news will help identify the connection between artificial intelligence and market trends. They can get news via mobile devices, automated emails, dashboards, curated newsletters and finished reports.

Users can easily set up the parameters to meet their needs and expectations for all the news they need to make better decisions for the company.