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Who owns what?

In any organization, you are going to end up with different divisions. These divisions each have well-defined areas of stewardship…

Until you take a hard look at the boundaries.

For example, take a look at AI. Within an university setting, you might see the business school take AI on within the Management Information Systems degrees. And… you might see the Mathematics department take on Data Science and Machine Learning. Then, Computer Science looks around and wonders… isn’t AI and Machine Learning pure computer science? (Philosophy tries to step in and gets kicked in the head by the other three departments hahaha!)

Does it matter who owns what?

In most of the organizations, it’s a resounding yes. Ownership impacts funding levels, recruitment, research, and the types of projects that are available to the division’s members.

So, pivoting back to the example, where does AI belong? Who owns it?

Everyone. And no one.

  • Business focuses on AI’s application to business.
  • Math focuses on statistical methods and the calculus of back propagation within the models we use.
  • Computer science falls in between, exploring the science of creating and evaluating unique combinations of models.

In other words, we begin to see AI as a continuous spectrum:

Math --- Computer Science --- Business Foundations --- Theories --- Applications

As our understanding of a space grows, the once clear boundaries between divisions becomes weak until it shatters.

And I worry that we don’t know how to handle it.


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