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) …
How hot has Summer 2018 been around the globe? The speed of evolution in this industry segment is almost without precedent. Firms that had revenues worth tens of millions of U.S. dollars just a couple of years ago are talking about reaching a billion in revenue in just a couple of more years. But the reality is that it's the perfect storm – or heat wave – of innovation and capital intersecting at just the right time. Of course, it doesn't hurt that enterprises have already captured most of the potential value from offshore labor arbitrage.
If I had a penny for every time Artificial Intelligence was mentioned during the recent NASSCOM India Leadership Forum, I could buy a lot of Bitcoins. Both hype and hope abound around AI and its impact on different industries' business models. Let's take a look at AI the healthcare industry. Adoption is increasing, helping solve a number of problems for patients, doctors, and the industry overall. AI engines are helping doctors identify patterns in patient symptoms with data and analytics, improve diagnoses, pick the right treatments, and monitor care.
AI is certainly being used to attempt to solve many of the world's big problems, such as health treatment, societal security, and the water shortage crisis. But Everest Group research suggests that 53 percent of enterprises do not – or are not able to – differentiate between AI and intelligent automation and what they can do to help them compete and grow. This trivialization of AI is both eye opening and frustrating. While it's true that automation of back-office services is one strong case for AI adoption, there are many more that can deliver considerable value to enterprises. Examples we've researched and written about in the past year include intelligent architecture, front-to-back office transformation, talent strategies, and AI in SDLC.
Looking back at the last decade of digital transformation – the use of technology to radically improve performance or change the enterprise – the one constant has been an ongoing shift in focus and priorities. Looking forward to 2019, a number of trends are emerging that IT leaders will want to consider as they make their plans for the new year. Are you on the same page as your peers? This year, many digital projects suddenly matured from experimentation to enterprise implementation. In the year ahead, business leaders are likely to scrutinize their digital investments more closely.
"While healthcare enterprises are still in the nascent stages of AI adoption, the scale of opportunity in AI demands C-level vision," said Abhishek Singh, vice president of Information Technology Services at Everest Group. "AI presents unique opportunities for healthcare enterprises – allowing them to improve customer experience, achieve operational efficiency, enhance employee productivity, cut costs, accelerate speed-to-market, and develop more personalized products. In the case of the leading healthcare organizations, their CEOs and CIOs are acknowledging the transformative power of AI, rapidly building appropriate AI strategies, and building a robust, overarching business plan to harness its benefits."
With IT infrastructure complexity at an all-time high, most enterprises fear that their IT services can't keep pace with their business requirements. Nearly three-fourths of them cite infrastructure limitations as a key hurdle in their digital transformation, according to the consulting and research firm Everest Group. Acknowledging that efforts to align the services provided by IT with business goals are far from novel, the consulting firm points to the marriage of artificial intelligence, analytics and infrastructure management as a potential solution to this perennial challenge. Everest's analysts term the combination of these three technologies "aware automation," noting that by underpinning automated systems with AI and analytics, IT infrastructures will be able to automatically adapt and reconfigure their services in response to user demands. "The trinity of analytics, automation and AI can make the infrastructure run the way business needs it to, without requiring significant oversight or bandwidth," says Ashwin Venkatesan, the Everest Group's practice director.
In this era of digital disruption, attracting and retaining customers through enhanced customer experience is top of mind. Furthermore, enterprises that drive initiatives to enhance EX are also four times more profitable than those that don't, as discussed in a recent Harvard Business Review study. Everest Group, a leading industry analyst firm, which previously rated IPsoft as the leader in IT operations automation, has collaborated with IPsoft on this new research report. The study shows how different cognitive AI tools can be used together to enhance the experience for all employees within an enterprise. It provides a case study from a leading hotel company which uses IPsoft's Amelia as a virtual agent to quickly resolve employee IT service desk queries.
Everest Group, a leading consulting and research firm, has placed Genpact (NYSE: G), a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation, in its Leader's quadrant in the 2018 PEAK MatrixTM for Property & Casualty (P&C) insurance service providers. Genpact achieved the greatest positive year-on-year movement on the PEAK Matrix, and also received a Star Performer designation. The report evaluates 18 P&C insurance industry service providers in terms of vision, capability, market impact, and other areas. Everest Group emphasizes Genpact's digital technology investments, including Genpact Cora, its artificial intelligence (AI)-based platform, and the company's recent strategic P&C sector acquisitions. In the past year, Genpact has acquired BrightClaim, National Vendor, and OnSource, which enhance Genpact's end-to-end claims management capabilities.
Insurers are rethinking their business ethos to become protectors instead of payers. The insurer of the future is aiming to develop a customer-centric value proposition. Carriers are looking at developing innovative products that are contextualized to meet evolving customer needs. And the insurance distribution strategy is shifting to adapt to new product offerings, client needs, and digital technology-led disruption in the ecosystem. Not surprisingly, insurers are adopting AI and related technologies to drive these capabilities.
Building on the success of UiPath Academy launched in April 2017 which counts 30,000 students of the RPA Developer Foundation Diploma course, Academy 2 is the first free-of-charge online Advanced Diploma for RPA Developers. The curriculum offers developers practical RPA development exercises focused on proven use cases, enabling them to master the UiPath RPA platform in a controlled environment. This is delivered alongside a series of webinars preparing users for a certification exam. Utilising UiPath's methodology of automation best practices, Academy 2 also provides in-depth teaching on how to develop scalable enterprise-grade RPA deployment. Also at UiPath Forward Americas a powerful line-up of early RPA adopters will present to an attendance of more than 700.