Considerations for Board Members navigating AI Experimental Models

What Board Members Can Learn from Apple’s Latest AI Announcement
The release of Apple Intelligence marks a significant trend in AI experimentation involving various model types: AI models, usage models, business models, and future mental models. This blog post explores these developments and highlights the critical lessons and actions board members can take to drive innovation and strategic renewal.

Key Insights from Apple’s AI Announcement

AI Models:

– Advanced, generalist AI models (like GPT-4o, Gemini 1.5, Claude 3 Opus) often outperform specialized models in specific domains.
– These frontier models are expensive to train and operate, paving the way for smaller, more efficient models that can run on devices like PCs or phones.
– Apple focuses on smaller, optimized models for practical tasks, offloading complex queries to larger models in the cloud.

Models of Use:

– Advanced models act like versatile tools, excelling in varied tasks but often behaving unpredictably.
– Apple’s approach centers on narrow, practical applications of AI, aiming for straightforward and user-friendly interactions.
– Different AI usage philosophies reflect companies’ strategies: advanced models offer broad capabilities but can be frustrating, while constrained models aim for reliable, specific functionality.

Business Models:

– AI access pricing varies, with some advanced features initially offered for free.
– Sustainable business models for AI are still evolving, with trust and privacy being critical for user acceptance.
– Apple emphasizes privacy, ensuring local AI on devices handles personal data securely.

Models of the Future:

– The concept of AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) drives some companies like OpenAI, influencing their development priorities.
– Apple focuses on practical AI applications for today’s users, contrasting with the ambitious, futuristic goals of AGI proponents.
– Diverse AI development approaches promote innovation and adoption, helping determine the most effective models over time.

Key Lessons for Board Members

1. Experimentation and Flexibility:
   – The diversity of AI approaches underscores the importance of experimentation. Companies should be open to trying different AI models and applications to find what works best for their specific needs.
   – Flexibility in adopting various AI strategies can provide competitive advantages.

2. Balancing Innovation with Practicality:
   – While advanced AI models offer broad capabilities, their unpredictability can be a drawback. Practical, focused AI applications often provide more immediate and reliable benefits.
   – Balancing cutting-edge innovation with practical, user-friendly solutions can enhance product offerings and customer satisfaction.

3. Cost Management:
   – High costs associated with training and running frontier AI models need careful consideration. Smaller, efficient models can provide significant functionality at lower costs.
   – Evaluating the cost-benefit ratio of different AI implementations is crucial for sustainable growth.

4. Privacy and Trust:
   – Trust and privacy are paramount. Companies that prioritize data security and transparent AI usage policies are more likely to gain and retain customer trust.
   – Ensuring robust privacy measures can be a key differentiator in the market.

5. Future-Proofing and Vision:
   – The pursuit of AGI by some companies reflects a long-term vision. However, focusing on achievable, practical applications today can provide immediate value while keeping an eye on future advancements.
   – Developing a clear, practical vision for AI integration including Sustainability, that can guide strategic decision-making.

6. Sustainability Integration:
   – Integrating AI with sustainability efforts can drive long-term value creation. Boards should prioritize AI projects that not only enhance business performance but also contribute to sustainable practices.
– Adopting AI-driven solutions to improve operational efficiency and reduce environmental impact can support holistic and timely transitions towards sustainability.

Integrating Insights with Board Dynamic Capabilities

Corporate board members play a crucial role in guiding businesses towards innovation and strategic renewal. By merging insights from the current AI landscape with the framework of Board Dynamic Capabilities, boards can enhance their practices to impact corporate renewal and performance significantly.

Sensing: Anticipating Market Trends and Emerging Threats

Key Lessons and Actions:
Experimentation and Flexibility: Boards should encourage a culture of experimentation with AI models and applications to anticipate technological advancements and market shifts.
Invest in Diverse AI Models: Explore and invest in both advanced and smaller, efficient AI models. By understanding the strengths and limitations of various AI models, boards can better anticipate and respond to market trends.

Board Capabilities:
Developing Market Intelligence: Boards must stay informed about technological trends, such as advancements in AI, to anticipate market changes and emerging threats.
Continuous Learning: Engage in ongoing education about AI and its potential impacts on the business to stay ahead of competitors.
Scenario Planning: Use insights from AI experimentation to develop scenarios that prepare the company for different future market conditions.

Pivoting: Leading Strategic Rethink

Key Lessons and Actions:
Balancing Innovation with Practicality: Boards should focus on integrating both cutting-edge and practical AI applications to ensure the company remains agile and competitive.
Enhance Privacy Measures: Boards must prioritize data security to build and maintain customer trust, which is crucial for long-term sustainability.
Evaluate Business Models: Boards should regularly assess different AI business models to ensure they align with the company’s strategic objectives and market positioning.
Integrate Sustainability: Prioritize AI-driven solutions that support sustainable practices, reducing environmental impact while maintaining operational efficiency.

Board Capabilities:
Strategic Flexibility: Develop the ability to pivot quickly in response to technological changes and market demands.
Strategic Realignment: Lead the organization through strategic shifts by effectively communicating the vision and benefits of AI integration.
Innovation Leadership: Champion innovative thinking and initiatives that explore new technologies and business models.
Sustainability Focus: Emphasize the importance of integrating AI with sustainability efforts in strategic decisions.

Aligning: Fostering Resource Alignment, Performance Monitoring, and Collaboration

Key Lessons and Actions:
Focus on Guiding for User Experience: Guide to ensure that AI solutions enhance user experience, which can drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Establish Clear Communication Channels: Boards must ensure that effective communication channels are in place to align AI initiatives with the company’s strategic goals and operational activities.

Board Capabilities:

Resource Allocation: Ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to AI initiatives that align with the company’s strategic goals.
Performance Monitoring: Implement robust mechanisms to track the performance and impact of AI initiatives on the company’s goals.
Business Model Monitoring: Continuously monitor the effectiveness and sustainability of AI business models to ensure they support long-term strategic objectives.
Collaboration and Communication: Encourage collaboration across departments to ensure that AI integration supports both strategic and operational objectives.
Stakeholder Engagement: Actively engage with stakeholders, including employees, customers, and partners, to foster a collaborative environment and ensure alignment with AI-driven initiatives.
– Sustainability Integration: Align resources and performance metrics to support AI initiatives that promote sustainability and operational efficiency.

Board’s Pivotal Role in Steering Innovation and Sustainability

Innovation and Renewal Guidance:

– Boards must champion innovative thinking by supporting initiatives that explore new technologies and business models. This includes fostering a culture that encourages risk-taking and experimentation with AI.

Redefining Strategies:
– Boards should lead efforts to redefine corporate strategies that leverage AI for competitive advantage. This involves setting clear strategic priorities and ensuring that AI investments align with these priorities.

– Integrating AI with sustainability efforts can drive long-term value creation. Boards should prioritize AI projects that not only enhance business performance but also contribute to sustainable practices.


By developing dynamic capabilities in sensing, pivoting, and aligning, boards can steer their companies towards innovative thinking and redefined strategies. Embracing AI integration and prioritizing sustainability will ensure long-term corporate renewal and performance. Boards must play a proactive role in fostering a culture of continuous learning, strategic flexibility, and operational alignment to navigate the complexities of the modern business landscape effectively.


Introducing Apple Intelligence by Apple

Apple new AI feature by the Verge

What Apple’s AI tells Us: Experimental Models by Ethan Mollick

Board Dynamic Capabilities  academic paper by Engstam, Forzelius, Magnusson, van Der Heyden and Torre.

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This blogpost is also shared at the blog of of Boards Impact Forum

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This blog post was originally shared at the blog of Digoshen,  and the blog of the Digoshen founder

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