AI Function- It’s hard to miss all the attention and hype artificial intelligence (AI) is getting these days. Everywhere you turn there are articles on a myriad of AI-related topics, such as deep learning, machine learning, cognitive computing, computer vision and natural language processing (NLP). These terms are frequently used interchangeably despite meaning very different things — a sign that many people still don’t understand this field. Every conference or event is now an “AI Summit.” More startups are now “AI-based.” And analysts consistently publish new AI statistics that further fuel the hype.
Have we reached an all-time high AI saturation point? What happens if AI doesn’t live up to all this hype? Is it possible that more businesses are now becoming AI-powered businesses? And if so, how did this happen?
AI Is Everywhere
The reality is AI is now everywhere. In some ways, it’s been a logical progression. The eras of big data and cloud have finally converged, creating a significant paradigm shift that has enabled AI to become practical and accessible to both consumers and businesses. The volumes of data that have amassed now have purpose in training sophisticated deep learning models. The cloud provides access to scalable, parallel processing at low cost, enabling cloud vendors to create machine learning algorithms and deploy an artificial intelligence as a service (AIaaS) model.
AI is rapidly becoming a utility function much like electricity and water.
I challenge you to do something today that does not leverage AI and machine learning. Watching your favorite show on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video? Machine learning powers their recommendation engines. Speaking to your Siri, Alexa or Cortana assistant? That’s NLP translating your voice to action. Driving your car and using Waze or Google Maps? Machine learning algorithms are analyzing real-time traffic data to suggest the best routes. Using a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft? Machine learning is determining the wait time and pricing. Use a financial platform like Betterment or Wealthfront? The robo-advisor algorithms automatically rebalance portfolios to increase returns. Getting fraud alerts on your mobile phone? Machine learning algorithms are detecting unusual spending patterns.
The understanding that AI is here and now is elusive to many who believe it’s science fiction. But consumers use it more than they realize. While only 34% think they use AI-enabled technology, 84% actually use an AI-powered service or device, according to a 2017 study by Pegasystems Inc.