Choosing AI vendors must be tough

AI is here. And it works.

But choosing a vendor must be tough. It is because AI has many uses in all industries and there are so many vendors!

There are several categories of vendors:

  1. AI technology vendors that offer ML technology to build models
  2. AI app developers who build software applications that use these ML models to power software applications.
  3. AI consultants who offer modeling or other expert services to help you use ML in your business.

Be clear about what you are dealing with as there is also a type that tricks you in confusing applications for platforms, or worse, who try to confuse you in the complexity of AI to get paid as experts.

This is complex. How do you go about separating fiction from reality?

Three questions to ask.

#1. Can I see?

Insist to not use a presentation or a proposal but rather see the real thing.

If the vendor cannot show, move on…

#2. Can it do?

Ask to see results using your own data. Yes, it is reasonable to pay the vendor cost that they would incur if they were to do it for you. But this will tell you the time and effort it takes will give you a realistic estimate of what you will incur if it was to be done by you.

If it is expensive or cumbersome, move on…

#3. Can I do?

Artificial Intelligence is not what you buy once but rather what is continuously build on. Would you have to go back to the vendor for changes? Check if you can repeat it to do it yourself.

If you cannot, move on…

All vendors have an important role in your success. The important thing is to know what you are dealing with!