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) …
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now being adopted for automation in various sectors -- from diagnosing medical conditions to regulating traffic and help drive vehicles. It is also used for running chatbots for customers to spotting signs of fraud in financial transactions. This new technology is also being adopted to read people's emotions and to "speak" to them as voice assistants. A majority of experts, however, are not sure whether AI should be so widely adopted without proper and adequate safeguards. They have expressed their concerns while talking to Pew Research.
Before we get into the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and where it is set to take digital commerce, I think we should begin by unpacking a definition of digital commerce – what does it mean? It can be defined as the process of selling and buying products and/or services using digital channels. It includes the people, processes and technologies necessary to execute the offering of product, promotions, pricing, analytics, customer acquisition plus retention, and customer experience at all touchpoints throughout the buying journey. This definition can be applied to all sectors of business irrelevant of area of operations, so it includes banking, retail, automotive, etc. Sector is irrelevant in a world of digital transformation at the speed of COVID – all businesses seek digital channels to market their goods. Today, digital channels have been expanded to relate to digital transformation that is inclusive of people, processes and technologies used throughout the customer buying excursion.
Technology forecaster Forrester have found nearly half of Asian managers surveyed expect permanent increases in their full-time remote workforce; many will seek to use AI-enhanced workforce engagement tools to try to increase workplace communication to reduce the new distance this creates. As part of the Global AI Agenda 2021 program, in association with Cornerstone OnDemand, MIT Technology Review Insights surveyed more than 1,500 senior decision-makers and technology leaders to understand how AI is being used in organizations in Asia and globally to accelerate revenue growth and digital collaboration, and to augment human resource capabilities. Globally, corporates are deploying AI tools and analytics in increasing numbers, to squeeze more productivity out of manufacturing, help employees understand customer requirements more precisely, and support business outcomes. Like many technology adoption strategies, digitally-enabled insight is traditionally seen as a bottom-line tool--for example, more visibility across a supply chain allows a manufacturer to quickly identify places to trim costs. Like many strategic pivots over the last 18 months, the impact of covid-19 has sped this up.
Many worries can surface at 3 a.m. as you wake up and stare at the ceiling. Among them is managing your money. But what if a nice, helpful robot was taking care of all that. Oracle released its Money and Machines Report 2021, and after a year during which we've seen some people work against the collective good, it looks like AI has emerged as a more trustworthy choice when it comes to managing finances. Sixty-seven percent of Oracle's respondents said they would trust robots more than humans when it comes to their money, and 59% said they would trust robots even more than they would themselves. Finance professionals might lose sleep over this.
AI's potential impact on the U.S. economy could reach into the trillions of dollars, according to a report published this week. Signal AI, which offers a decision augmentation platform infused with AI, interviewed 1,000 C-suite executives in the U.S. for the study. The report found 85% of respondents estimate upwards of $4.26 trillion in revenue is being lost because organizations lack access to AI technologies to make better decisions faster. According to the Signal AI survey, 96% of business leaders said they believe AI decision augmentation will transform decision-making, with 92% agreeing companies should leverage AI to augment their decision-making processes. More than three-quarters of respondents (79%) also noted that their organizations are already using AI technologies to help make decisions.
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own; they do not reflect my employer's. All data used in this article come from Kaggle Data Science Survey. All observations are from my experience working in data science teams in big and small companies. Large companies are losing about 20% of their data scientists; many of them probably went to startups, while some might have left the sector. Comparing to an average turnover rate of 13% in technology, which is the industry that has the highest attrition, it's clear that the data science teams at big companies are facing a serious retention problem.
According to new research from Google Cloud, manufacturers around the globe have accelerated their use of digital technologies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 1,154 senior manufacturing executives polled for the report, "Google Cloud Industries: Artificial Intelligence acceleration among Manufacturers," 76% said they have embraced "digital enablers" such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and cloud. "We used to count the number of AI and machine learning projects at Ford. Now it's so commonplace that it's like asking how many people are using math. This includes an AI ecosystem that is fueled by data, and that powers a'digital network flywheel,'" said Bryan Goodman, director of artificial intelligence and cloud, Ford Global Data & Insight and Analytics, in the report.
Prior to the pandemic, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning had been predicted to grow. But just how far has that demand increased, or has it even reduced due to the COVID-19? Interestingly, while some industries are finding that the use of AI and machine learning is accelerating, others have seen little or no change in attitude. For businesses that are noticing a higher value in AI during the pandemic, many are recognizing opportunities to prepare for the future whilst also considering the changes necessary in their workplace. However, the fact that some businesses' attitudes to AI have not changed – or changed minimally – since the pandemic, shows that some sectors have a much higher need for AI than others.
Self-driving vehicles are no longer a thing of the future, as autonomous buses, taxis and cars are beginning to hit the road. And despite some hesitancy, there are signs that the public may be opening up to autonomous vehicles--as we recently reported, 62% of people surveyed believe autonomous vehicles are the way of the future, according to a consumer Mobility Report. COVID-19 has had a positive impact, as city planning and safety in public spaces haves forced many to reimagine the role of autonomous vehicles in our lives. Still, putting actual trust in these vehicles is still a major obstacle. While 52% of those surveyed say they are excited by the concept of autonomous vehicles, and 72% predict that most people will use them by 2041, they're not ready to get into one--yet.
This is the consensus view of an MIT Technology Review Insights survey of 210 members of technology executives, conducted in March 2021. These respondents report that they need--and still often lack-- the ability to develop new digital channels and services quickly, and to optimize them in real time. Underpinning these waves of digital transformation are two fundamental drivers: the ability to serve and understand customers better, and the need to increase employees' ability to work more effectively toward those goals. Two-thirds of respondents indicated that more efficient customer experience delivery was the most critical objective. This was followed closely by the use of analytics and insight to improve products and services (60%).