The technology sector has always been prone to hype and promises of silver bullets. Marketers get ahead of engineers and evangelize over the promise of the Next Big Thing. Conferences dedicated to the new hot topic mushroom everywhere. Journalists write features about it while analysts plan white papers. Venture capital firms scour the planet for startups specializing in it. Firms tell you that they’re all about the Next Big Thing.
Play it again, Sam? Well, you sure have heard it all before. It’s happened with RFID, with service-oriented architecture, cloud, blockchain, 5G and dozens of other hyped technologies, and today it’s happening with artificial intelligence, or AI.
AI is great, and it’s certainly one of the most promising areas for changing the future of computing and business automation – even if we sometimes need to remind ourselves that it has been around as a concept for about half a century. The temptation when there is so much buzz around a topic is to pretend that it is some sort of universal panacea with broad applicability. But, with apologies for being a party-pooper, let’s be straight here: it’s not needed for 80 percent of what an ERP does.
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