I see people starting to talk about a “Chief AI Officer” role in the future, but I think it will take a much different form…

Automation already cuts through everything without meriting a unique C role — GenAI is just the most current (and best-marketed) species in a long line of AI-derived automation. Having a chief implies it’s a fundamental silo of the business when it’s really a platform the breadth of the company can build on.

Plus, we reached peak “C-anything-goes-O” during the last decade, and we still never truly had Chief Internet Officers, did we?

“AI” in all its forms will become part of every department’s plans, but the onus for actual strategic enterprise adoption on an executive level will fall on a “Head Of AI” position. Pun aside, where the Head site is up to each organization. At the start, it will likely become a title bestowed on existing positions. But, as the skill set solidifies, it will be a job requirement in its own right.

“Head Of AI” will be equal parts AI Engineer, Domain Architect, Risk Manager, and Program Manager. It’s a renaissance position that really doesn’t exist today. Ironically, it is heavy on soft skills—a big part of the role is understanding and driving change across the organization’s personalities as much as its processes and technologies. It will not be easy and will take enormous internal lobbying, education, and good old-fashioned change management. In other words, hiring a few ComSci PhDs won’t win the game. (Although it doesn’t hurt.)

What do you think of this one?