James Bowen
James Bowen
CEO, Experiential Simulations

crystals.jpgAI system voted Entrepreneur of the Year? Not yet, but recently Alibaba founder Jack Ma predicted that an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system will be voted CEO of the year within 30 years.  But can an AI system winning Entrepreneur of the Year within 50 years? Is that possible or is there something inherent to startups such that an AI system will never win over a human entrepreneur?


AI comes in a few different flavors including machine learning approaches and expert systems. Machine learning tends to work well in environments where it can learn from past data. Typically, it finds patterns in the data and is able to abstract from those patterns, hopefully acquiring the ability to apply the past pattern of action to a new situation. A weakness would then be operating in a situation that is new and unique and thus might not be represented in the data set, thus inferences extrapolated from the data are not applicable to the new situation. A machine learning situation would then evolve its learning.


The questions then become: is it possible to learn from all past entrepreneurial startups such that enough patterns are developed for all future startups? And, is any startup truly unique?


Serial entrepreneurs are sought-after individuals, whose success can be duplicated based on learnings and the ability to reason out new situations.


With large organizations, there is more structure and change tends to be slow. With startups, much is evolving and sharp pivots at times.


Does this suggest that startups are different enough from large companies that an AI system cannot apply its learnings from patterns found in existing data and thus wouldn’t be Entrepreneur of the Year?


With startups, there are always unique elements such as different management team combinations, different business model possibilities, or different technology possibilities. Therefore, the question, which I would like your comment on, is: Will there be some percentage of startups that are truly unique and new such that AI will not handle decision-making or implementation well? Alternatively, does it even matter; can we generalize entrepreneurial insights and models such that an AI system could be Entrepreneur of the Year?


Share your thoughts in the comments below and check out our experiential simulation for teaching entrepreneurship.


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