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Is Your Company’s Data Actually Valuable in the AI Era?

Jan 19, 2018

AI is coming. That is what we heard throughout 2017 and will likely continue to hear throughout this year, writes NEXT Canada Academic Director Ajay Agrawal along with Faculty Avi Goldfarb and Joshua Gans. For established businesses that are not Google or Facebook, a natural question to ask is: What have we got that is going to allow us to survive this transition?

In our experience, when business leaders ask this with respect to AI, the answer they are given is “data.” This view is confirmed by the business press. There are hundreds of articles claiming that “data is the new oil” — by which they mean it is a fuel that will drive the AI economy.

If that is the case, then your company can consider itself lucky. You collected all this data, and then it turned out you were sitting on an oil reserve when AI happened to show up. But when you have that sort of luck, it is probably a good idea to ask “Are we really that lucky?”

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