Three simple elements are driving adoption of artificial intelligence and creating the opportunity for any organization or individual to use this technology to drive human progress.
AI Work-AI has developed from the early years of pure research to something we will take for granted as part of our daily business and home lives. Three big trends drive the adoption of AI. Let’s take a brief look at each of them and what they might mean for your organization today, tomorrow and in the future. AI revolves around these simple things:
- People: The availability of large numbers of skilled people.
- Software: The availability to the above people of tools and software languages embedded in commodity off-the-shelf software (COTS) or open source/zero-cost-to-use software.
- Hardware: The relative low cost of high performance computing, storage and connectivity, all available as commodity product, from a desktop PC to the cloud.
Each of these alone would not be enough to bring about “the life of AI.” It is a chain of technology that together brings about the perfect ecosystem to deliver the AI storm.
You may hear that AI is not a new thing. But, back in the day, the number of people capable of producing AI software was very few indeed. The software was hard to create and there was little support for developers, for example
- You would have needed to consult with the highest levels of research personnel, professors and industry-leading R&D facilities.
- You would have needed high-cost hardware and access to this over an extended period of time.
- The volume of data you could access at a reasonable cost was minimal.
So, as recently as the early 1990s, an AI developer was an extremely rare talent working in what was likely to be high-end pure research.
So, what has changed? Let’s ask: “OK Google – How many developers are there in the world?’ An answer is found in this Computerworld article and, while this story was published in 2013, the number was 18.2 million. This number was anticipated to grow to 26.4 million by the year 2019. To give some perspective, if the developers all went to live in one city, it would be the second largest city in the world.
The point is, when I am asked, “What is the biggest single enabler to Artificial Intelligence?” The answer is people. Skilled people. I am going to finish this section with that word. In a blog about AI, what is the single most important thing? People.
Bear with me, clunky sentence coming up… Circumstances create situations that afford an environment ripe for change. In other words, sometimes the time is just right. Malcom Gladwell covers this so very well in his outstanding and award winning book Outliers. For me, the adoption of AI is driven by two currents within the software world.