How Businesses Are Learning to Love Artificial Intelligence – AI
The Internet of Things (IOT) is accelerating the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in all aspects of our lives. The amount of recorded data that defines the daily habits of most people in the US is staggering now. As the use of IOT enabled items moves beyond the introductory stages, businesses can expect the quantity of data to grow exponentially.
Data analytics was viewed as a discrete science for primarily structured data sets like past consumer purchases. What about unstructured data like social media posts, videos, or texts that might hint at potential consumer sentiments regarding a brand or product? A Harvard Business Review article discusses how the use of AI is enabling businesses to process structured and unstructured data sets at speeds beyond imagination.
As Babson professor and analytics expert, Tom Davenport explains, humans are traditionally necessary to create a hypothesis, identify relevant variables, build and run a model, and then iterate it. Individuals that are the most skilled known as Quants, can typically create one or two good models per week.
Using AI machine learning, thousands of quantitative models can be built per week. The article cites the example of digital ad placement by firms like DataXu that use machine learning to generate up to 5,000 different models a week, making decisions in under 15 milliseconds, so that they can more accurately place ads that consumers are likely to click on.
E-commerce is driving many of the AI innovations. Anyone that registers and shops on Amazon understands that each purchase is tracked and analyzed enabling Amazon to present you with products that more closely match your preferences. TechRadar discusses how The North Face®is using AI to create a more engaging, personalized, and relevant shopping experience for its online visitors. The North Face leverages Fluid’s Expert Personal Shopper software that is powered by IBM’s Watson cognitive technology to create the desired experience.
The TechRadar article also mentions the use of AI in managing repetitive customer service tasks. Although people are routinely annoyed by talking to a machine when seeking assistance, AI systems have advanced to the point where callers may not be able to discern whether they are interacting with a person or a machine. Developed by IPsoft, Amelia is an AI platform that can understand, learn and interact as a human would to solve problems. Amelia reads as natural language, understands context, applies logic, infers implications, learns through experience and even senses emotions.
Jonathan Crane, CCO, IPsoft, commented: “At present the effects of IPsoft’s Amelia are largely being felt by larger companies which are the first to adopt and implement new systems and embrace a shift in working practice.
However, not all demonstrations of AI have been viewed positively. The most glaring example of AI gone awry is Microsoft’s Chat bot Tay. On March 25, 2016, Microsoft issued a public apology for the reprehensible language used by Tay on Twitter posts. Microsoft explained that a segment of Twitter users executed a coordinated attack on Tay that resulted in the offensive posts.
The future appears even more exciting as AI plays a larger role in businesses around the globe. As with all things new, AI will stumble and fall during its infancy but smart businesses will prepare to integrate elements of AI into their business as the technology enters adolescence and matures into adulthood.
Randall Smith – 1stel Marketing Analyst