Is Artificial Intelligence really that great?

 

Is Artificial Intelligence really that great?

By Quentin Griffiths

The terms Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are being thrown around in the boardroom, tenders, news articles and more in recent times.  I think it is fair to say that both are at the top of the hype curve with opinions divided for the adoption of AI/ML in day to day business.

The question I have - is AI and ML really worth all the hype??  I think so, and here is why!

 

Remove the Mundane...

The adoption of AI is a good thing!  I understand the fear around job losses, but believe that rather than replacing humans it will instead enhance the way that we work, removing the mundane jobs which no one particularly enjoys.  This allows us to focus on the parts of our jobs we enjoy, such as innovation, design, communication, development, research etc. 

Yes, it is fair to say that some people may be at risk with their role becoming redundant within their company.  With this risk, also comes opportunity with the ability to upskill or retrain into what is hopefully a much more fulfilling role.

 

Optimise Business Processes...

Following the theme of removing the mundane, using AI to automate repetitive processes increases the entry accuracy and overall efficiency i.e. automated expense claims or invoice entry.  This frees up your staff to focus on the important, value add processes within the business rather than the day to day admin.

Removing this admin component may mean that our working weeks could be reduced significantly, with no loss of productivity or revenue to the business.   Imagine only having a 20 hour working week...it could happen!

 Imagine having AI do all your admin for you...

Imagine having AI do all your admin for you...

 

Make sense of vast amounts of data...

The world is becoming increasingly data driven, with the amount being collected skyrocketing thanks to internet of things (IoT), advertising and social engines.

So, what happens with all of this data?  Interestingly, in many businesses...very little, with the data being to much for traditional data scientists, processes and resources to efficiently manage.  

Automation and AI/ML are key to utilising this data now and in the future with trained models being able to analyse, alert and visually present insights in real time.

The applications for this analysis extend from financial traders to energy systems control rooms - right down to individual consumers.

 

Support decision making...

From the insights presented from the data analysis, AI can support humans in making timely decisions based on reliable and consistent analysis. 

In the example of financial trading, AI driven analytics can provide real time insights into the market, giving traders more time to focus and make decisions.

In the example of an energy control room, AI/ML can pick up on the data that would otherwise go unnoticed (i.e. Calvin time), highlighting a risk of failure long before an operator notices stopping a blackout.

 

And more...

Including;

  • Reduced business costs by incorporating automation.
  • Automating dangerous or tedious work.
  • Creating predictive maintenance schedules rather than reactive or scheduled maintenance.
  • Create new business opportunities through better understanding of customer data

 

Summary...

The use cases of AI are growing everyday, with more and more businesses showing interest in adopting specific applications. 

It is also evident that there are mixed emotions and knowledge that surround AI, with many seeing AI as an evil robot taking over all of our human functions in a business environment...

Over time, this perception will change as the positive aspects of AI are more widely shared. 

I am excited about the prospects of AI...and a 20 hour working week!