Introduction

As a child, I loved being called intelligent. It made me feel recognized as someone who could do wonders. Intelligence has always been seen as a uniquely human characteristic – a differentiating asset that sets us apart from all other animals. At times, we are generously willing to include certain animals like dolphins, chimpanzees, and dogs as intelligent. However, until recently, we have not regarded a machine as intelligent. We associate the word intelligence with our unique ability to learn, make decisions, and solve complex problems. We know from our experience that intelligent people are valued for their creative problem solving expertise and paid top salaries in most organizations.

Just a few short years ago, artificially created intelligence was regarded as impossible but today it is dramatically altering our lives. If intelligence can be artificially created then what has changed? During the industrial revolution, machines were invented to outsource human (and animal) physical and muscular power so that we humans were relieved of physical labor. Will artificially intelligent machines relieve humans in our thinking and decision-making capacity – to what extent and in what areas? What does it mean for individuals, our society, and future? These are intriguing and challenging questions with answers that are even more fascinating.

We believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the most profound innovation by humans, with a far deeper and wider impact on our lives, than all preceding innovations from the steam engine of 1712 to the Internet. AI has the potential to transform the very role of humans in our society. As a result, it is extremely important for everyone, especially for business decision makers, to understand the power, significance, and relevance that AI will have not only on our lives but also on business and society as a whole.

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