Can AI Generate Corporate Strategy?

Daniel Shapiro on automating corporate strategies using artificial intelligence, looking at some recent progress in automatically generating strategies in the face of uncertainty

Every day, progress in artificial intelligence is addressing tasks currently performed only by humans, and it’s worthwhile to take a short-term view of what this all means to your company.

Games like chess have been tackled by artificial intelligence with amazing results, but there was this big gap between those games – where everything about the game state and consequences is known before making a decision – and the reality of life where, like poker, there is only a little bit of information available to the decision-makers, and the quality and quantity of information used to make decisions varies wildly. We humans face this situation of high uncertainty every time we cross the street or eat a hamburger, but it doesn’t seem to bother us. Until recently, computers have had a lot of trouble dealing with games that give the decision-maker incomplete information about the state of the game. Also, developing strategies in real-time is harder than deciding if you want to bet or fold. Strategic plans can have multiple steps that need to be properly sequenced, and these plans can include contingency plans.

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