The exciting possibilities of boring AI


We all know about the paradigm-changing use of AI for Netflix recommendations, chatbots that impersonate customer service agents online, and the dynamic pricing of hotel rooms. Such efforts are the value creation engines of countless large, successful companies. But organisations can also adopt a decidedly less splashy and, at face value, more pedestrian use of AI--to process documents faster and simplify operational procedures. Although this use is aimed at reducing costs rather than transforming industries, 'boring AI' is actually quite exciting--because it confronts issues that all companies wrestle with, and because the gains in productivity are real. Recent research by PwC on automating analytics found that even the most rudimentary AI-based extraction techniques can save businesses 30–40% of the hours typically spent on such processes.

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