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Let’s talk about what’s AI Product Management, its difference from traditional product management, how AI integrates into the current PM process flows, and what kind of companies you can end up working in.
For many AI enthusiasts, the past few weeks heralded a very exciting era for Artificial Intelligence. We have seen exciting use cases actually becoming a reality with the whole slew of AI products launching one after another.
We all knew it was coming .. but we didn’t know it will come this fast!
From convincing Generative AI tools like Runway, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, reinventing the way we approach media creation, to AI-super powered search engines like Microsoft’s Prometheus and Opera AI, and even natural language processing tools (aka chatbots) like ChatGPT scoring in the 90th percentile of the bar exams, it’s not an exaggeration to say that we’re at the precipice of massive technological change - one so deeply integrated in the way we live, it might mark a significant start of a closely knit AI-assisted lifestyle. Forever.
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And while it’s exhilarating to be at the forefront of an unknown frontier, it comes without saying that it’s not all positive.
One other very interesting headline is the ‘Godfather of AI’ leaving Google to warn of its dangers. He said in an interview with New York Times:
“The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that,” Hinton said in the interview. “But most people thought it was way off. And I thought it was way off. I thought it was 30 to 50 years or even longer away. Obviously, I no longer think that.”
— Geoffrey Hinton, dubbed as ‘Godfather of AI’ (2023)
AI integrations will virtually affect all human industries from finance, healthcare, to governance, and education. Again, AI is generally designed to make entire processes faster, cheaper, and more optimized — something that real people once were doing, held roles for, and are now starting to become obsolete.
Just recently, IBM paused the hiring of 7,800 jobs in anticipation of AI taking over a wide variety of jobs.
Regardless, experts say that artificial intelligence will take jobs but also create new ones.
’By 2025, the World Economic Forum predicts that 85 million jobs will be displaced by automation and technology, but it will also create 97 million new roles.’
So while there’s a valid criticism of how AI can fit into current economic models, there’s also a need to look into the overall impact and long-term growth that it will bring. In a previous article, we dug deep on whether it’s still worth pivoting into tech.
With all these said, it also underlines one important forecast: the rise of AI will bring a similar rise in AI products that will enter the market — each requiring an AI Product Manager to serve as its ship captain.
For the rest of this blog post, let’s talk about what’s AI Product Management, its difference from traditional product management, how AI integrates into the current PM process flows, and what kind of companies you can end up working in.
AI product management is a specialization in developing and managing products that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technology, such as machine learning (ML), deep learning, or natural language processing (NLP). AI product managers oversee the entire product lifecycle, from ideation and research to development and launch, while collaborating with cross-functional teams of engineers, data scientists, designers, marketers, and business stakeholders.
This is not to be confused with AI-assisted Product Management. As AI tools become more powerful, we can predict the mass adoption of these tools even inside product teams.
But this is not AI Product Management. Just because a Product Manager uses AI does not make someone an AI Product Manager. They must primarily work on AI-powered products to be considered one.
Unlike traditional product managers, AI Product Managers need to have a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of AI and ML, such as data collection, annotation, modeling, testing, deployment, and monitoring.
They also need to have a clear vision of how AI and ML can create value for the users and the business, and how to measure and communicate that value effectively. AI Product Managers may also face unique challenges and opportunities in their role, such as dealing with uncertainty, bias, ethics, and explainability of AI and ML systems to stakeholders.
AI Product Managers also need to approach their products differently. Being in a volatile and relatively lesser-known product space, there are some aspects of product development that make it different from the rest.
Here are some of the reasons why:
As AI product management involves using AI and ML to enhance, improve, create, and shape products that solve real problems and meet customer needs, there are bound to be differences in how problems, processes, and solutions are approached.
However, it still falls under the umbrella of Product Management so there are hardcoded similarities as well.
Here are some of the ways AI does it differently:
AI is transforming various industries and sectors, from healthcare to manufacturing, by enabling new capabilities and efficiencies. Because of this, we know that AI-centered products will flood the market in an attempt to capture a portion of the market share.
These are new and untried commercial spaces and precisely what makes AI product management very exciting.
Here are some of the newest use cases in AI that showcase its potential and diversity.
There are two main ways to become an AI Product Manager. First is to have extensive domain knowledge or experience. This route makes product management skills secondary, where you aim to position yourself as a product space expert and a primary source of market insight. Second is to be an existing product manager from a different space and shift to building AI products.
Whichever route you choose, building a product from scratch is an essential experience that will prove to be valuable as you build your career in AI. After all, there is no better way to prove that you can be an effective AI Product Manager besides building an AI product yourself.
And Co.Lab is the best way to get practical product management experience.
Ultimately, the AI Product Management space is an exciting field to be in. And we can expect it to get heated even further in the future. There has been a lot of game changers that made us reexamine the previous ways we do a wide array of things, and we can expect more.
To prove the point, did you know this blog post was 70% generated by AI?
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