Summary of Expanding AI’s Impact with Organizational Learning

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Expanding AI’s Impact with Organizational Learning summary

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has topped lists of business trends for years – but organizations still struggle to see significant bottomline benefits from AI implementations. A 2020 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study offers insight into why: a correlation between significant financial benefits from AI and organizational learning. In an MIT Sloan Management Review white paper, a team of experts from BCG and MIT Sloan Management Review describe what leading companies are doing to reap the potential benefits of AI.

About the Authors

Sam Ransbotham is a professor in the information systems department at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, as well as guest editor for MIT Sloan Management Review’s Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy Big Ideas initiative. Shervin Khodabandeh is a senior partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and the co-leader of BCG GAMMA (BCG’s AI practice) in North America. David Kiron is the editorial director of MIT Sloan Management Review, where he directs the publication’s Big Ideas program. François Candelon is a senior partner and managing director at BCG, and the global director of the BCG Henderson Institute. Michael Chu is a partner and associate director at BCG, and a core member of BCG GAMMA. Burt LaFountain is a partner and managing director at BCG, and a core member of BCG GAMMA.


Organizations see financial impact from artificial intelligence (AI) only when they embrace learning with AI.

Managers at 70% of companies understand the ways AI can create value, and 57% of companies have experimented with or implemented AI initiatives – but only 10% of companies are actually gaining financial benefits from it. Organizations that see AI only as a tool for automation and cost cutting fail to realize significant financial value from their implementations. AI can also serve as a tool for learning, enhancing the organization’s ability to perceive conditions and respond quickly and precisely to them. And AI systems themselves can – and must – learn, in order to fulfill their potential. Companies are winning with AI only when they embrace learning with AI. 

Organizations that are reaping significant benefits from AI do three things: first, they allow humans and machines to interact in multiple ways; second, they enable both humans and machines to learn from these interactions; and third, they embrace change: change necessary to implement AI and change that follows from learning with AI.

Mutual learning multiplies the likelihood of gaining...

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