Her – Jason Busch makes the link between Scarlet Johansson and procurement technology

When I first discovered Jason Busch and Spend Matters back in 2009, I was impressed by his combination of deep procurement knowledge, particularly around technology, along with his wit and ability to introduce quirky, offbeat and amusing angles to writing about procurement. It was something I hadn’t seen anyone else doing, so I shamelessly copied him, we became business partners a year later and the rest is history.

And his post last week following his Valentine's date with his lovely wife Lisa showed he hasn’t lost the knack of combining several different themes and levels of seriousness in one excellent article.

Read his thoughts on the highly regarded new Spike Jonze film Her, which is set in a near-future world where artificial intelligence (AI) has moved on and Joaquin Phoenix can feasibly fall in love with Samantha, the operating system of his phone. She is an AI-driven all-purpose helpmate who gradually gets closer and closer to him in many ways...  OK, with Samantha’s voice provided by Scarlet Johansson, the concept has a head start, but it all seems very plausible. Ask many people to choose between their boy/girlfriend / husband / wife or their iPhone and you might get some interesting hesitations or worse, I suspect!

But this isn’t just a film review. Jason then takes it into how AI improvement might – no, will – affect our business and procurement world. For instance:

Why not, before an RFI is issued, have our trusty Samantha flag or recommend new suppliers based on patterns in past performance or external market condition data? “Jason, based on the quality issues that are cropping up combined with latent IP theft concerns we’ve had with suppliers in Shandong province, perhaps we look elsewhere for injection molding and assembly suppliers for that new component in the upcoming product launch. I have a few in mind based on moves our competition has made in recent weeks, based on new container data coming from China and US customs reporting.”

And as Jason says, this is not science fiction in the sense of imaginary or even potential technology. All the elements of this type of assistance and intelligence already exist. It won’t be long before they are put together in ways that will change the possibilities for procurement and supply chain management.

That is exciting yet scary at the same time, and we might follow up Jason’s thoughts here next week. But in the meantime, do read all of his fun yet challenging and thought provoking piece here.

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