Artificial Intelligence Digital Transformation

Artificial Intelligence: The Interface to Digitally Transforming Your Life

15 January 2018

Artificial Intelligence: The Interface to Digitally Transforming Your Life

There is no doubt that the need for companies to get serious about digitally transforming their business and production processes is critical to maintaining their competitive edge. The customer is driving the need to be able to get to market faster with products that are competitively priced with the features and capabilities they demand. Artificial intelligence (AI) is at the core of being able to realise success.

The results of a Gartner global survey of over 3,000 CIO’s confirms the importance of AI focused initiatives. 25% of businesses and organisations have either deployed AI techniques or have it in their short-term capability improvement plans. The trend is increasing. Compared to a baseline established in 2015, this decision to implement AI is up 10%. We have talked about digital technology and the smart community before on this blog. Let’s extend those thoughts and bring artificial intelligence to bear.

Big Data is Driving the Need for AI

Anytime we talk about Big Data, AI is more and more becoming part of the conversation. The reason is twofold: knowledge can be extracted from data and data treatment needs knowledge to be performed. And knowledge is the raw material of AI.

As Big Data is key to a company’s digital transformation, AI becomes naturally a critical part of their successful digital transformation.

Thus, it is competitively smart to start adapting your data strategies taking into account the capabilities of AI to make that data work for your business. Price Waterhouse Cooper provides evidence of the importance of businesses to start thinking AI in a 2017 survey that established that 72% of business leaders believe AI to be a competitive advantage. That should be a motivation for you to step up your game.

AI for Business in the Proper Perspective

In the case of data strategies, AI is a means to gain insights from that data that we, as a human, would not be able to do anywhere near as quickly or accurately as the new digital methods provide.

So, in that sense, AI augments human intelligence through the creation of algorithms (the innovative human mind at work) that teach the machine to learn and reason from that data and enable us to build predictive models and decision support systems.

These form the basis, for instance, for a more comprehensive system of “digital twin” models of the physical Smart Factory production line. This digital twin enables a stronger competitive position, reduces costs, and gets products to market faster. We talked about this at some length in this recent article.

AI:  A New Way of Thinking

Applied AI comes to us today in the form of digital assistants, chatbots, predictive or prescriptive models, decision support systems. There is much more to come but, as the Gartner hype cycle has indicated, the climax remains to come. So, let’s look at how AI works today tooking the example of our automobiles:

  • The tools we use in everyday life are a great example of assisted intelligence. Self-driving cars are a thing of the future but, consider the GPS-based navigation systems in your vehicle or smartphones. They provide you with the knowledge that your brain would be hard pressed to commit to memory such as how to get to the location to which you’re traveling. Add to that the knowledge of road and traffic conditions on your route provided by external inputs that you used to get from radio stations and you have an assistance to find the optimum path..
  • Augmented intelligence. Let’s face it, there are things you know exist but have no clue as to how to it works. Ride-sharing services are an example. There are AI techniques that focus on the data generated by ride-sharing apps. Ride-sharing businesses are active today because AI enables the people that run the company to know how to organise their assets beyond just what they have in their inventory.
  • Autonomous intelligence is coming in the future. Academia has taken up the cause by establishing laboratories like the one at Virginia Tech University that focus on maturing that AI tech to the point where it can safely be used on the smart roads in development today. Yes, soon, cars, trucks and motorbikes will be able to talk to the highways on which they travel. It can be mind-boggling at times.

AI is in a position to transform every market vertical from consumer to enterprise and government levels. The motivation for industry is to get in on their share of the potential $70 billion market.

I've been an AI professional since the 80’s, at the confluence of business, IT and R&D. Business processes will recover efficiency with Decision Support Systems based on AI. Assess, understand, predict and act !
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