I’m almost embarrassed to write this post. Having co-founded an early AI based software company, I have seen both the great power and many of the challenges in effectively leveraging these technologies. However, I often despair when I read much of the literature and sale pitches about exploiting AI and ML technologies.

Too often, the way these technologies are exploited focus on the artificial and not the intelligence in “artificial intelligence.”

Most of it is naive. Too many don’t understand how to effectively leverage AI. They don’t recognize what it takes to train and implement these systems. Or they leverage the output very poorly.

My friend, Tamara Schenk, recently complained about a prospecting outreach, from one of these companies, supposedly exploiting their technology. They suggested an introductory meeting late afternoon, Pacific time. A few seconds of research would tell you Tamara lives outside Frankfurt and late afternoon is likely to be after midnight her time.

AI doesn’t necessarily prevent us from doing terribly stupid things. Poorly implemented, it can even accelerate and amplify our stupidity.

Yet, too many in sales and marketing think it is the answer to their prayers. All they have to do is buy the tools, and they will immediately successful.

And too many vendors exploit that ignorance.

AI doesn’t displace the need for critical thinking and astute implementation and precision execution. In fact, these technologies are best leveraged. In wickedly smart, focused organizations.

AI and ML can help us see patterns and recognize opportunities that may have been difficult to understand without the technology. These technologies can give us deeper knowledge and insights about our customers, helping us more effectively reach the right customers on the right issues at the right time.

But our success is dependent on how effectively we understand and leverage it.

Stated otherwise, a fool with a tool is still a fool.