A few months ago, an old college roommate that I don’t see often came to visit me. My friend builds very high-end systems that help the world’s largest retailer predict which deals they should present you based on the multi-variable behavioral traits they have accumulated about you. These systems use incredible natural-language capable “bots” which evolve into better workers the more human interaction they have.
It was a fascinating conversation and got me thinking about AIs future influence on the world of private equity. Obviously hedge funds have used very sophisticated AI algorithms to parse through terabytes of data enabling them to make better investment decisions. Could our back office, deal execution, and business development teams all be replaced by (gulp) an artificially intelligent computer?
Today the answer is no. However, Bloomberg recently ran an article about how “AI is laying a claim to the future of investing after many false dawns going back decades.” It’s now becoming understood that they make clever work partners when coupled with the situational perception that human can readily add.
Chris Mims of the WSJ wrote an apt titled piece called Without Humans, Artificial Intelligence Is Still Pretty Stupid. In it he argues that AI will work together with humans but that our role will be to help AI work better. “Whether it’s winning at games like Go or keeping watch for Russian influence operations, the best AI-powered systems require humans to play an active role in their creation, tending and operation. Far from displacing workers, this combination is spawning new nonengineer jobs every day, and the preponderance of evidence suggests the boom will continue for the foreseeable future.”
So what are some of the best AI enabled tools business development professionals can use to generate more deal flow? Some of them are probably well-known names. [Read more…]