Applying Artificial Intelligence – The Practitioner’s Handbook

 In Book reviews, Featured, Industry News, Our Own World

I am happy to announce that today, Tuesday, 27 February 2024, at 09:00 (Central European Time), TBK Publishing and Biased Publication released the book Applying Artificial Intelligence – The Practitioner’s Handbook written by Dan Rose Johansen.

The Short Summary

AI technology is complicated and hard to understand. Therefore, business leaders, afraid of missing out, hire AI experts and expect them to figure out how to take advantage of the potential. That’s a recipe for disaster.

The book offers the recipe for success and advocates training the staff that are usually involved with process optimisation of the principles of AI. Then, you prioritise the projects according to their business value. When the business cases have been defined, and the change management consequences understood and accepted, we can bring in the AI experts. And AI technology is developing so fast and becoming available in ready-to-use formats that we may not even need so many experts.

The book’s central message is that it’s faster and more efficient to train your staff – they are already familiar with your business issues and opportunities – on the principles of AI, than it is to train AI experts to understand the issues and opportunities of your business. Having done so, you can easily pick those areas where the technology adds the most value and prioritise the projects based on their business cases.

The book explains how you drive your AI projects to successful fruition.

Things Take Time

About three years ago, Dan Rose Johansen asked if I would share my experience writing and publishing books. I accepted the invitation.

During the casual conversation over coffee that followed, he shared his ambition to write a book about artificial intelligence. The hype around this technology was gaining momentum, and he saw companies jumping blindfolded into matters without a clear understanding of the pitfalls. These pitfalls he intimately knew from his own painful experience at his previous job.

In his new capacity as the founder of an AI consultancy, he was constantly called in to save projects that had started on the wrong foot. He wanted to write a book that could guide the reader to harness the technology to its full potential without betting on the farm and abandoning it due to failed implementations.

When sharing my publishing experience, I usually don’t comment on the subjects people want to write about. That is not for me to judge.

Nevertheless, artificial intelligence was a term I was familiar with, and I found it terribly misleading. When we have trouble defining the term intelligence, adding the pre-moniker ‘artificial’ doesn’t help. In addition, everybody was talking about the technology without the faintest idea of what it was.

“AI as a technology is extremely complicated,” he told me. “Therefore, companies start by hiring technical experts. And then the projects fail.”

I was still not intrigued but asked him to tell me more.

“It seems to me that all the hype creates FMO – fear of missing out,” he continued. “Executives believe they need to get on board fast. Not understanding what it is, they hire technical people too soon. Asking AI experts to develop solutions to business issues they don’t understand is the fast track to disaster.”

It sounded familiar. That’s what happens every time new IT technology emerges.

Dan Rose Johansen
Dan Rose Johansen

“So, what kind of book do you want to write?” I asked him.

“A handbook.” he immediately responded. “I want to share how it should be done.”

“Why is that your problem?” I followed up. “Doesn’t it help you as a consultant that projects fail before you get called in as another Red Adair?”

“Maybe it does,” he responded. “However, I would prefer to come in early and help organisations make it right the first time. I believe writing a book about my approach could save time and money for my clients.”
“So, what is your recipe?” I wondered.

“Bridging the gap between understanding the business and understanding IT technology has always been a challenge in optimisation projects,” Dan explained. “With AI, this gap is much more significant. The only way to bridge it is to educate business people about AI technology to the extent that they can identify the most promising areas for its application. Today, organisations do the opposite. They hire AI experts and expect them to identify the most important business opportunities to address. And that approach doesn’t work.”

I realised that we had digressed. We were supposed to talk about writing a book and getting it published. So we came back on track.

I was happy to share my experience but also stressed that it was limited to so-called indie publishing. I had no experience working with book agents and publishers. I write the books and engage freelancers to edit, design the cover, illustrate, and proof. An editorial committee reviews the subject matter, and beta readers are asked for comments. I do all the practical chores involved, such as pagination, distribution, and promotion of the books.

We wrapped up the conversation, and I wished him good luck. And then I thought about Dan’s project some more.

A few months later, we talked again. I now offered to publish his book. He should write the manuscript in English, and I would take care of the rest.

I did it for three reasons.

First, I found the subject relevant to the target group for my non-fiction books. To some extent, we shared the same target audience. Or at least some of mine was a subset of his.

Second, I saw the need for a handbook explaining how business leaders should orchestrate the implementation of a powerful but hard-to-understand technology.

Third, I was curious to learn what publishing someone else’s book would take. Mainly what the role of an editor was like.

Dan agreed, we signed a publishing contract and went off to work.


Kindle is also an app that runs on all platforms

The book is available through Amazon in the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, India, Brazil, Australia, Sweden, Ireland, Mexico, China, and Japan and via its global distribution in another ~100 countries. Through the print and distribution service of IngramSpark, the book will also be available in bookstores and book portals worldwide. An audio version is being considered.


Acknowledgements are extended to Kim Farnell for her meticulous efforts in aligning the content with British English standards, thereby enhancing its readability and accessibility for all readers.

Jelena Galkina‘s proficiency in crafting an engaging cover design has vividly captured the book’s essence, captivating readers at first glance.

Koen Campman‘s adept illustrations have enriched the pages, providing depth and visual allure to the content.

Emma Crabtree‘s thorough proofreading has played a vital role in maintaining the accuracy and clarity of the text, contributing to the refinement of the final product.

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