How to Be a Pioneer in Applying AI to Your Industry
To pioneer industry changes using artificial intelligence (AI), Heads of Innovation must develop a growth mindset and ensure those around them follow suit. AI and Machine Learning will revolutionise most industries in the coming years, and those who stay at the forefront of associated changes will be the companies that survive the 4th industrial revolution. Brainpool’s business model surrounds finding niche sectors that have yet to be explored and building new machine learning applications to transform these areas, in conjunction with corporate partners. For example, DAISY AI acts as the first fully automated timber design software powered by AI. Introducing AI to a new sector inevitably comes with risk and uncertainty, but equally delivers the potential for high levels of reward. Do you have what it takes to pioneer similar projects?
The mindset required
So as to remain competitive in an environment saturated by adopters of AI, Heads of Innovation must develop a forward-thinking mindset and follow certain steps to ensure success. Firstly, it is important to identify very specific objectives to focus on, i.e. an area of automation or optimisation. “AI is built to perform narrow…tasks at superhuman levels”  – thus, attempting, or claiming, to integrate AI into processes in a broad-brush manner will not see the technology’s effective use. Ask yourself what the most manual and time-consuming processes are that your employees undertake? These tasks are likely the one’s that will see automation in the next 5 – 10 years.
Secondly, innovators must familiarize themselves with how AI is able to carry out these tasks and address business problems. Whilst detailed technical knowledge is not necessary is this regard, having a clear understanding of the technology’s capabilities is a must – greater understandings lead to “greater chance[s]…of finding the right technologies and creating value for your company” . Likewise, those at executive level must possess similar levels of knowledge to ensure collective agreement and education as to the benefits and workings of transformative technologies . Whilst there exist many online resources for innovators to upskill themselves with, the option to book a Brainpool Workshop is also available – here, you and your team can gain first-hand knowledge from PhD-level AI experts.
Of most importance, however, when developing a growth mindset in the adoption of AI, is the willingness to be experimental . Given the trial-and-error nature of the integration of new tools, it is vital that Heads of Innovation “see failures as…learning opportunities” . Similarly, leaders must be reassured that there remain many unanswered questions  when it comes to AI and a “focus on continual progress, rather than excellence”  is, therefore, far more realistic. Ultimately, it is important to take an agile approach to project development where teams can test and learn, apply emerging technologies as they become available and ensure that continuous improvement occurs until a desired result is achieved.
Case Study: The First Fully Automated Timber Construction Design Software – DAISY AI
In 2018, one of the most renowned timber manufacturers in the UK, Staircraft, engaged Brainpool in a project designed to revolutionise the timber design process. Given an increasing demand for structural floorplan designers, Design AI System (DAISY) acts as the solution to increased lead-times and compromised quality of design. The automated software tool, developed by PhD-level researchers using genetic programming, efficiently produces millions of designs so as to arrive at the optimal structuring of joist and beams on a timber floor. The initial application has been successfully developed by Brainpool’s AI experts in conjunction with construction specialists and engineers from Staircraft. After successfully implementing the floor optimiser tool at Staircraft, DAISY AI ventured to North America to enter the market as a Canadian spin-off company.
DAISY acts to re-invent processes within the design construction industry and, as it learns from continual optimisation, will be ready to tackle other pain-points within construction. The future of DAISY surrounds expanding its capabilities to be able to design walls, roofs, stairs and eventually entire houses with the click of a button. With the right mindset across implementation and executive levels, your company too can pioneer the deployment of AI in novel ways. Brainpool’s network of over 500 experts can provide support and specialist knowledge at every milestone – get in touch today and drive change tomorrow.
Written by Anjali Kapila & Kasia Borowska
    Derler, A., Holmes, B., & Weller, C. (2018, November 13). Growth Mindset Is Essential If Leaders Hope to Adapt to the AI Revolution. Retrieved from Neuroleadership Your Brain at Work: https://neuroleadership.com/your-brain-at-work/AI-revolution-demands-growth-mindset
   Roetzer, P. (2018, November 7). 9 Ways to Become a Marketing Artificial Intelligence Pioneer. Retrieved from Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute: https://www.marketingaiinstitute.com/blog/9-ways-to-become-a-marketing-artificial-intelligence-pioneer