Artificial intelligence has yet to permeate the IBEX 35


Cinco Dias | February 20, 2020

Cinco Dias

The Cinco Dias article, “Artificial intelligence has yet to permeate the IBEX 35,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Jesús Arévalo on the skills required of leaders to integrate artificial intelligence into their organizations. The article is excerpted below.

Artificial intelligence remains one of senior management’s unfinished businesses. And it seems to be a pending issue for the boards of directors of the companies in the IBEX 35. A survey performed by the consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates among 68 board members and CEOs, revealed that only 15% of board members have advanced knowledge in artificial intelligence. This report highlights how important it is for boards to understand the impact that artificial intelligence has in their business models, and that companies that define cooperation scenarios between people and machines will benefit more than those using technology in a shortsighted manner.

56% of respondents believe that the two main drawbacks of applying this technology in their companies are vulnerability in terms of cybersecurity and making wrong decisions.

What is clear, is that artificial intelligence will change the way in which we work, and experts stress that its impact will not be so much replacing jobs but increasing and improving human capabilities.

According to Jesús Arévalo, search and evaluation executive consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates, there are a number of critical attributes that are essential in order to integrate artificial intelligence into organizations. In this regard, in addition to technical skills, the leaders in this environment are required to have strategic ambition or, in other words, they have to be disruptive, pragmatic and realistic to link their business strategy to the capabilities of artificial intelligence, in order to work crosswise and ensure that the integration of all this technology is performed across the company as part of a unified strategy. They also have to be communicative and able to work with the other areas of the company, generating synergies, without forgetting their entrepreneurial skills in order for the new technology to permeate the company. Therefore, talent is scarce in this field, and leaders must find creative ways to integrate artificial intelligence solutions and to pursue talent and a leadership strategy based on the focus of each organization. “It’s not easy to attract and retain talent, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, and it can be done”, says Arévalo, who highlights the shortage of qualified professionals in this field.

“To make the most of the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence, we need data, processing capacity, and leaders who are able to manage them, and, in this sense, the key is in the data and in people, since processing capacity has already been democratized”, says this expert, who underscores its extreme gender imbalance, which is more pronounced in this field than in technology in general, since less than 10% of these experts are women.

According to Jesús Arévalo, one of the challenges faced by this environment is its extreme gender imbalance, which is even more pronounced in AI than in technology in general, since less than 10% of these experts are women.

To read the full article in Spanish, click here.

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Artificial intelligence has yet to permeate the IBEX 35