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) …
Perhaps the single biggest implication of reopening national economies is that responsibility and thus liability for dealing with the covid-19 pandemic will shift from the public to the private sector. Fortune 500 CEOs and small business owners alike will soon be making decisions that affect the health not only of their business but also their people (employees, contractors, customers, suppliers)--which in turn affects the health of their families, friends, and neighbors. With so much at stake, how should business leaders plan for operating in the post-stay-at-home phase of the recovery? The current crisis is driven by a health problem: we don't yet have a treatment or a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Managers have little control over that.
General AI (Artificial Intelligence) is coming closer thanks to combining neural networks, narrow AI and symbolic AI. Yves Mulkers, Data strategist and founder of 7wData talked to Wouter Denayer, Chief Technology Officer at IBM Belgium, to share his enlightening insights on where we are and where we are going with Artificial Intelligence. Join us in our chat with Wouter. Yves Mulkers Hi and welcome, today we're together with Wouter Denayer, Chief Technology Officer at IBM. Wouter, you're kind of authority in Belgium and I think outside the borders of Belgium as well on artificial intelligence. Can you tell me a bit more about what you're doing at IBM and What keeps you busy?
Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Blockchain will have a significant impact on work in the next decade and beyond. But if you believe the sci-fi hype or get bogged down in the technology, it can be difficult to relate them to today's workplaces and jobs. Here are three everyday examples of their potential, expressed in terms of the business challenge they are addressing or how consumers will experience them. I don't mean to over simplify – these are powerful tools – but I think their potential shines through best when they're expressed in their simplest terms. What do you imagine the restaurant of the future to look like?
As we began the new decade, technology is changing by leaps and bounds. The initial predictions for 2020 point to a serious integration of AI and human experience to study how Intelligent Automation technologies can be used to augment an enterprise experience. In 2020, many factories of AI models and data will emerge helping AI technology and associated commercial solutions on a large-scale facilitating the enterprise. For instance, AI solutions in the customer service industry find its use cases in e-commerce, education, finance and related industries on a large scale. Digital IQ will rise in this decade.
The San Francisco–based business says all of its 49,000 employees can continue working from home for the rest of the year. But as regions relax stay-at-home rules and the company reopens in phases, employees who are cleared to return will start their day by logging online for a daily wellness check. They'll be asked things like whether they're experiencing any potential symptoms of covid-19 or have been in contact with anyone infected. If they're cleared, the app will assign them a 30-minute window arrival time, designed to avoid employee bottlenecks at the elevator banks. "We realized almost right away there was a choke point, and that was the elevator," says Elizabeth Pinkham, head of global real estate at Salesforce.
As businesses slowly start reopening their doors with the ongoing imperative of sticking to stringent social-distancing rules, more organisations are likely to be willing to embrace automation projects. A new survey carried out by Internet of Things (IoT) company Pod Group shows that almost three-quarters of business leaders in the UK expect the pandemic to spark a new wave of automation in the workplace. Although most organizations were already thinking about automating some of their tasks prior to the crisis, some sectors – those that are most public-facing – are giving automation, from software bots to actual robots, a lot more consideration than before the pandemic. In arts and culture, for example, only a quarter of leaders were considering automation before COVID-19; as a result of the crisis, this proportion has now increased to three-quarters. SEE: An IT pro's guide to robotic process automation (free PDF) Similar jumps have been seen in education, healthcare or retail, highlighting how businesses expect automation technology to potentially replace a considerable proportion of their labor force over the next few years.
AI will fundamentally change the workplace. In the near future, AI enabled machines will be involved in everything from onboarding customers and employees, through to customer service. We are at the very beginning of this journey. The biggest changes are being felt at the largest companies. A 2019 report by Gartner revealed that enterprise use of AI has grown over 270 percent from 2014 to 2019.
Are you standing or sitting too close to your co-worker? Soon a bracelet might vibrate to let you know. Companies are rolling out wearables that will buzz or light up when co-workers aren't maintaining social distance in the workplace. They're part of a flood new technologies intended to help companies adapt their workplaces to keep people safe amid the global pandemic. "People are moving around, and you want to have a gentle reminder to maintain social distance," said Campbell Macdonald, the chief executive of Proxxi, a Canadian company that is selling such bracelets.
Singapore has rolled out a new digital check-in system to boost its contact tracing efforts and stem the spread of COVID-19, making it mandatory at certain locations across the island. The move comes weeks after the launch of a contact tracing app that has since garnered more than 1.4 million downloads, but well below the government's hope to reach three quarters of the local population. Called SafeEntry, the digital check-in system collects data that can be used to facilitate contact tracing should an individual who visited the location be tested for COVID-19. QR codes are displayed at the entry and exit points of a venue, which visitors must scan and input their name, national identification number, and mobile number. Alternatively, they can use any identification card that carries a barcode such as their driver's licence, work permit, or student pass, which then is scanned by staff stationed at the venue's entry point.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated business transformation, remote working practices, and in many cases, has forced business owners to rapidly rethink their operations and services to stay afloat. For some, this has unfortunately led to staff furloughs and redundancies in order to cut costs. For others, businesses are working on a limited basis with as many employees as possible being asked to work from home to adhere to social distancing measures implemented worldwide. Lockdowns are slowly being eased, and with the loosening of restrictions on travel and non-essential employees being allowed to return to work, it is still possible that social distancing will be recommended -- alongside improved standards of hygiene -- before offices fully reopen. Therefore, business owners need to start thinking now about the different ways increased distance and cleanliness can be implemented with as little disruption to workflow as possible.