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 got me thinking about how lenders are applying technology to underwriting, particularly tying the need for real-time data and the need for speed versus the completeness and accuracy of the data. At Lendit, Bluevine, the balance sheet small business lender, touted their ability to pull and analyze bank transaction data, not a trivial exercise. First you need a business's permission to access the data. Even if you have that permission, you have to interpret bank statements, which are highly variable between financial institutions and not user friendly. For example, Merchant Cash Advance could show up as MCA, MerchCash, or Advance, or some other form.
We are currently working on an AI in procurement research series that we'll be releasing over the next few months. For now, though, check out this webcast that we did with KPMG where we spelled out 23 different procurement AI areas that are being deployed out in the field. In it, KPMG had a few nice graphics that overlaid various AI technologies onto different procurement business processes. For example, machine learning can be helpful in classifying spend-related text (including unstructured and semi-structured) to any target spend taxonomy within spend analysis for strategic sourcing, but it can also be used to perform real-time auto classification within an e-procurement "guided buying" scenario.