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) …
It is 1955, and in the corridors of RAND (Research and Development) Corporation, America's non-profit global policy think-tank, a printer is printing out a map using punctuation marks and symbols. Maybe, but it was also the moment that inspired the development of a phenomenon that is touted be the fundamental determinant of future societies - Artificial Intelligence. Herbert A. Simon, a political scientist, Allen Newell, a researcher in computer science and cognitive psychology and Cliff Shaw, a programmer par excellence, came together after that fateful moment of observing the printer. Simon realized a machine's manipulative capabilities that could simulate decision making, akin to the process of human thought. Thus began their journey to create the Logic Theorist, a program engineered to mimic the problem-solving skills of a human being which are also revered as'the first artificial intelligence program.'
Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (the second of seven) is a look at artificial intelligence. Future posts will look at other tech areas. An expert might be reasonably good at predicting the growth of a single exponential technology (e.g., the Internet of Things), but try to predict the future when A.I., robotics, VR, synthetic biology and computation are all doubling, morphing and recombining. You have a very exciting (read: unpredictable) future.
Artificial intelligence (AI) comes in many shapes and sizes. No longer reserved for enterprises, small businesses can leverage conversational chatbot technology in particular for everything from sales and support to maximizing cash flow. It's time to embrace the chatbot revolution. For small to midsize businesses (SMBs), adding a dash of conversational intelligence to your organization is a great way to both drive customer engagement and help streamline your in-house operations with a contextual helper. Chatbots are embedded in all sorts of chat and collaboration experiences today, and you can find thousands of them in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, Skype, and a host of other applications and services we use to communicate and get work done.
One of the most commercially realistic technologies these days is conversation technology, the chatbots. The idea of helping people through the complexity of their interactions, their business interactions through chat is a powerful idea. Some recent experience with chatbots that have gone feral, chatbots that have gone wild, and adopted racist guises. Calling a bot racist is a problematic idea, but let's just call it what it is. The Microsoft Tay bot [was] released into Twitter to learn the mores and foibles of human language and to adopt those lessons of conversation and then start automating conversation.
Artificial intelligence for customer care is a hot subject. One industry analyst recently shared that, starting a few months ago, more than 75% of the firm's customer inquiries were to discuss just one topic: Using AI to improve customer care. What are some key insights regarding customer care and AI? AI can help further address self-service outcomes by helping you deepen offers through more natural and intuitive interfaces. "How may we help you?" will become the most common question companies ask in their self-service offers compared to today's largely static interfaces. The nature of AI is such that you can infuse it into existing business processes.
Narayana develops AI applications that can cut down customer problem resolution by a factor of 10. This is what I heard and saw from Bejoy Narayana, CEO of BoodsKapper, at the recent SAP Financial Services Innovation Summit held at the SAP Leonardo Center in New York. The Texas-based startup develops AI applications on SAP Cloud Platform designed to not only ferret out what customers want quickly, but also communicate in their preferred medium – using any texting app or moving to a telephone conversation. "No one likes calling customer service, and we believe that experience can be much better by training the software to behave like the ideal customer service representative, getting to the point quickly to provide a solution for busy people," said Narayana. "Modeling the actions of a company's best customer agent, we can train the AI engine to be up and running in weeks just as you would a new employee.
Retailers are utilizing AI systems to develop better personalization, grow their audiences and analyze unstructured data. For example, the outdoor and equipment apparel company, The North Face, is using an interactive online shopping experience powered by IBM Watson cognitive computing technology. The system was developed using IBM Fluid's Expert Personal Shopper (XPS) software to create a more engaging, personalized and relevant shopping experience. XPS aims to help consumers discover and refine product selections based on their responses to a series of questions. AI plays an integral role in enhancing marketing systems by feeding "very directly into many marketing functions and processes, including ROI [return on investment] and accountability, ad personalization, voice assistants and programmatic" approaches, according to the NewBase report.
With virtual assistants answering our emails and robots replacing humans on manufacturing assembly lines, mass unemployment due to widespread automation seems imminent. But it is easy to forget amid our growing unease that these systems are not "all-knowing" and fully competent. As many of us have observed in our interactions with artificial intelligence, these systems perform repetitive, narrowly defined tasks very well but are quickly stymied when asked to go off script -- often to great comical effect. As technological advances eliminate historic roles, previously unimaginable jobs will arise in the new economic reality. We combine these two ideas to map out potential new jobs that may arise in the highly automated economy of 2030.