Artificial Intelligence, Robots and SMEs: Possibilities, Problems and Prospects

When we refer to Artificial Intelligence (AI) we are using short hand to define technologies including natural language processing, image recognition, machine learning (ML), data analytics, cognitive computing, and more. Many observers argue that this AI space has the potential to change everything from industrial processes to social media networks in use today, and for all our futures to be defined by access to these systems.Likewise when we think of Robots we are considering quickly deployable, task-agnostic, smaller, mobile machines that accompany humans at work or at play. Both AI and Robots reflect a radically transformative world of production and service provision through industrial automation. The technological shift that is occurring affects large, medium and small firms, but in different ways. As the world of business relies increasingly on small runs, fast logistics, and flexible operations, how will SMEs be affected? How can the SME population take advantage of these shifts given their resource constraints? This webinar will explore how these new, dynamic technologies can enhance the SME effect positively by being ‘smarter’, ‘healthier’ and ‘richer’ firms equipped with productive AI and Robots. It will also investigate how SME owner-managers can prepare for the disruption of jobs that SMEs specialize in, data management, supply chains, dependence on larger firm contracts, and reduce the threat of being part of a business digital divide of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in accessing and using these technologies.

Data: This webinar was held in February of 2019 and is relevant for the upcoming INSME Annual Meeting on AI. | - Click here for the Insights!

Relator: Prof. Jay Mitra

Professor of Business Enterprise and Innovation, Essex Business School, University of Essex & Adviser to the Board, Forum for Sustainable New Venture, United Kingdom

Jay Mitra is Professor of Business Enterprise and Innovation and Director of the Venture Academy at Essex Business School, University of Essex. He has acted as a Scientific Adviser to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) as the Head of the Scientific Committee on Entrepreneurship for the OECD’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and the LEED (Local Economic and Employment Development) Programme at its Trento Centre and in Paris. He is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Luneburg, Germany, a has been a Visiting Professor at University Externado, Colombia, the Institute of Management Technology, India, the School of Management, Fudan University, and the School of Public Policy at Jilin University, both in China, and at Bologna University, Italy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the UK. Jay Mitra also leads the International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) a unique network and forum for researchers, policy makers and business practitioners working on entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development issues ( He is the editor of the new Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies’ published by Sage.

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