Your next boss: A computer algorithm?

Machine learning will make companies much more nimble and adaptable than they are today. The biggest problem with most organizations is that the intelligence of the whole is less than the sum of the parts. People can only collaborate and communicate so much, but learning algorithms can fill that gap by continually communicating among themselves and looping you in as needed.

Machine learning will help you know your customers better. If you have millions of customers but not millions of customer service reps to work with them, algorithms learning about them are the next best thing.

But it goes far beyond that. If you look at the companies that are farthest along this road, like Google and Amazon, they use machine learning in every nook and cranny of what they do.

For example, everyone knows about Amazon’s recommender system, but an equally important use of machine learning at Amazon is demand forecasting: predicting how much of each of millions of products people will want to buy, so Amazon can stock them in the appropriate quantities.