If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
In an era of constant change, companies' data and analytics capabilities must rapidly adapt to ensure that the business survives, never mind competes. Organizations seek insights from their data to inform strategic priorities in real time, yet much of the historical data and modeling formerly applied to predict future behavior and guide actions are proving to be far less predictive, or even irrelevant, in our current normal with COVID-19. In order to survive through crises, proactively detect trends, and respond to new challenges, companies need to develop greater analytical agility. This agility comes from three areas: improving the quality and connections of the data itself, augmenting analytical "horsepower" at the organization level, and leveraging talent that is capable of bridging business needs with analytics to find opportunity in the data. Get monthly email updates on how artificial intelligence and big data are affecting the development and execution of strategy in organizations. The quest for better data is not new, but the cost of not having it is easier to substantiate and understand in a time of crisis.
Artificial intelligence carries the promise of making industry more efficient and our lives easier. With that promise, however, also comes the fear of job replacement, hollowing out of the middle class, increased income inequality, and overall dissatisfaction. According to the quarterly CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workplace Happiness survey from October last year, 37% of workers between the ages of 18 and 24 are worried about AI eliminating their jobs. But a recent study from two researchers affiliated with the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) challenged this public perception about AI's impact on social welfare. The study found a relationship between AI-related jobs and increases in economic growth, which in return improved the well-being of the society.
Insurers who invested heavily in innovative technologies like artificial intelligence before the pandemic are now reaping the greatest benefits – but there remains plenty of room to grow. Over the months since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, the group insurance industry has moved from putting out fires towards a new "business as usual," with remote work, redesigned business processes, and limited face to face meetings or business travel. While most insurers are doing their best to ensure business continuity and maintain pre-pandemic customer-service standards, many were exposed to a sudden shockwave of evolved customer expectations and challenges in transitioning employees to a virtual work environment. Group insurance providers were particularly exposed to the unknown, including a possible reduction in revenues due to business closures, layoffs, and group plan cancellations. On the other hand, there were fewer claims as many insured employees stopped seeing their dentists, doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, and so on. While the pandemic has propelled the economic conditions for serious disruption in the group benefits industry, many established insurers have discovered the benefits of innovative technologies in this "new normal."
Most data organisations hold is not labeled, and labeled data is the foundation of AI jobs and AI projects. "Labeled data, means marking up or annotating your data for the target model so it can predict. In general, data labeling includes data tagging, annotation, moderation, classification, transcription, and processing." Particular features are highlighted by labeled data and the classification of those attributes maybe be analysed by models for patterns in order to predict the new targets. An example would be labelling images as cancerous and benign or non-cancerous for a set of medical images that a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) computer vision algorithm may then classify unseen images of the same class of data in the future. Niti Sharma also notes some key points to consider.
For global banking, artificial intelligence (AI) could potentially deliver up to US$1 trillion of additional value each year, boosting revenues through increased personalization of services, lowering costs through efficiencies, and uncovering new and previously unrealized opportunities through the use of data, says McKinsey & Company. In a post titled AI-bank of the future: Can banks meet the AI challenge?, McKinsey says that banks have continuously adapted to the latest technology innovations throughout the years, and as the industry heads towards the AI-powered digital age, incumbents must adopt AI at scale and become so-called "AI-first banks." Several trends are accelerating banks' transition towards becoming AI-first, it says, with the first one being customers' rapid adoption of digital banking. COVID-19 has further boosted the adoption of digital banking with use of online and mobile banking channels surging an estimated 20 to 50% in the first few months of the pandemic. The emergence of digital ecosystems and so-called "super apps" is also changing the way consumers discover, evaluate and purchase banking products and services, it says.
Google has announced the launch of Lending DocAI, a dedicated artificial intelligence (AI) service for the mortgage industry. On Monday, Google Product Manager Sudheera Vanguri said the new solution, now in preview, has been designed to transform unstructured datasets into accurate models able to speed up loan applications by accurately assessing a borrower's income and assets. To streamline the loan application process, dubbed "notoriously slow and complex" by Vanguri, Lending DocAI has been built with AI models that specialize in document types related to loans and is able to automate "routine" document reviews so mortgage providers don't have to. The executive says that in turn, this will speed up the mortgage and loan application workflows, including the processing of loan sources and mortgage services. Lending DocAI can be applied to a range of documents including tax, income, and asset statements, capturing valuable data and potentially reducing the complexity of applying for a mortgage -- both for providers and hopeful borrowers.
San Francisco-based Whisper, which launched in 2017, announced Thursday its flagship Whisper Hearing System. The innovative hearing aid comes with its own'brain' unit, which contains the companies proprietary Sound Separation Engine. This engine optimizes the nearby sounds and transmits them to the earpieces worn by the consumer. An accompanying mobile app ensures that software upgrades are implemented in the system. The user can also use the app to modulate the hearing aid system from the phone.
During this pandemic, we are becoming aware of the strong need for a massive digital transformation that allows the banking system to consciously and responsibly take care of customers, account holders, stockholders and other investing entities. Computerizing the processes in management and control has already passed. It's not enough in 2020 when a considerable part of savings and ordinary transactions are being acquired and processed by the new FinTech platforms and hybrid banks, often without holding a banking license. Some of the most powerful digital-only banks are Revolut, Chime, N26, Up, Monzo, Nubank and Starling. Many banks are exploiting digital tools, which is satisfying, but not enough until they move away from customer/user management as it happens in ordinary banks, face to face and hand to hand, and in private, corporate and retail sectors.
Artificial intelligence is on the horizon and is set to change the way we work. Who will be affected and what skills can you develop to insulate yourself? We are on the cusp of a potentially historic change. Artificial intelligence, in all its varieties and fields of study, is permeating our society and fundamentally altering how business is performed. Companies large and small are looking to artificial intelligence to fundamentally shift how they do business and how they can stay competitive in today's economy.