PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Artificial intelligence has already provided multiple clinically relevant applications in ophthalmology. Yet, the explosion of nonstandardized reporting of high-performing algorithms are rendered useless without robust and streamlined implementation guidelines. The development of protocols and checklists will accelerate the translation of research publications to impact on patient care. RECENT FINDINGS: Beyond technological scepticism, we lack uniformity in analysing algorithmic performance generalizability, and benchmarking impacts across clinical settings. No regulatory guardrails have been set to minimize bias or optimize interpretability; no consensus clinical acceptability thresholds or systematized postdeployment monitoring has been set. Moreover, stakeholders with misaligned incentives deepen the landscape complexity especially when it comes to the requisite data integration and harmonization to advance the field. Therefore, despite increasing algorithmic accuracy and commoditization, the infamous 'implementation gap' persists. Open clinical data repositories have been shown to rapidly accelerate research, minimize redundancies and disseminate the expertise and knowledge required to overcome existing barriers. Drawing upon the longstanding success of existing governance frameworks and robust data use and sharing agreements, the ophthalmic community has tremendous opportunity in ushering artificial intelligence into medicine. By collaboratively building a powerful resource of open, anonymized multimodal ophthalmic data, the next generation of clinicians can advance data-driven eye care in unprecedented ways. SUMMARY: This piece demonstrates that with readily accessible data, immense progress can be achieved clinically and methodologically to realize artificial intelligence's impact on clinical care. Exponentially progressive network effects can be seen by consolidating, curating and distributing data amongst both clinicians and data scientists.