Earning Your Black Belt in AI

We selected our name KUNGFU.AI because although Kung Fu is a form of martial arts, it also means “discipline or skill achieved through hard work or practice”. In the world of artificial intelligence, practice and discipline will be skills required of those who succeed in making the capability a difference-maker.

And in another parallel to the martial arts world, AI increases in complexity as you advance along your AI journey. Those just beginning to consider AI are most likely looking at small or simple use cases or be focused on learning the basics while the more advanced are likely to be running multiple deployments, conducting research and teaching others.

When the modern martial arts uniforms were introduced in the early 1900s, belt colors were limited to black and white. The white denoted that the student began empty, ready to acquire knowledge and the black signaled the knowledge had been acquired. Over time, other colors were added to symbolize the increased complexity and mastery the student had obtained.

At KUNGFU.AI, we are on a mission to democratize AI, in part by helping decode the process of AI adoption, from education and data strategy to hiring C-level staff to lead a team and multiple deployments. As such, we are proud to introduce the KUNGFU.AI Belt System, a system that maps the AI journey to common martial arts belts to help clients and teams better understand levels of competency as they work towards AI mastery.

As clients and teams move along their AI journey – from the foundational work of identifying use cases and initial deployments to the more complex building out a team – the below can help map that journey.

Color Martial Arts Symbolism Steps on the AI Journey
Beginner; seeker of knowledge
  • AI-curious
  • Education
  • Looking for business use cases
  • Commitment to data
  • Values/Impact
Represents the sun on the seed; new life
  • Established analytics practice
  • Data analyst
  • Proof of concept
  • Research & Development
  • Individual commitment
  • Data hygiene
Strengthening of mind and body
  • Data scientists
  • Strategy established
  • Begun or completed digital transformation
  • Data governance policy
  • Initial deployment
  • Cultural buy-in
  • Ethical considerations
The seed sprouts; a significant moment
  • Commit to AI
  • Proven value
  • Plans to scale
  • Internal team
  • New roles defined
  • Change management in progress
  • Cultural buy-in
  • Leadership buy-in
  • Foundational AI ops
  • Multiple deployments
  • Exec-level data hire/appointment
  • Model versioning
Mastered technique; confident presence
  • Change management complete
  • Significant value from AI application
  • Initial internal team
  • Using AI internally and externally
  • Organizational commitment
  • AI Ops established
  • Maintenance of gold sets
Undergoing changes; preparing for advanced capabilities
  • Model explainability
  • Changing process
  • Changing organization structures
  • Re-skilling staff
  • CAIO
  • Establish a center of excellence
Reflection; confidence
  • Pivot strategy based on learnings
  • AI thought leadership
  • Increased company value
  • Reuse/organizing around AI
Caution; show restraint with advanced capabilities
  • Global ethics policy
  • AI Ethicist
  • AI for good
Mastery; begin to teach others
  • The ultimate target
  • Teaching others

For us, the belt system is something that will evolve and grow as our industry and AI technologies advance. We see this as a way to help clients assess their progress and progress along their AI journey and we will be rolling out some special ways to help clients celebrate their milestones.

Reach out to us to assess where you, your team or your projects are in the belt system or how to get started earning your AI black belt.