Organizational Implementation of AI: Craft and Mechanical Work

by Konstantin Hopf, Oliver Müller, Arisa Shollo, and Tiemo Thiess


Organizational Implementation of AI: Craft and Mechanical Work

Image Credit | Google Deepmind



Recent years have brought major technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI), and firms are expected to invest nearly $98 B in 2023. However, many AI projects never leave the pilot phase, and many companies have difficulties extracting value from their AI initiatives. To explain this contradiction, this article reports on a study of 55 projects implementing AI in organizations. It shows that organizational challenges in implementing AI projects are a result of a paradoxical tension created by two different perspectives on data science work: craft and mechanical work. Executives, managers, and data scientists should actively manage this tension to enable and sustain value creation through AI.

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