WHEN artificial intelligence (AI) is brought up today, a common image that comes to mind for many people is a chatbot or a translator. AI is all that, but more.
Sometimes called machine intelligence, AI is a discipline that has been around for decades but is gaining momentum thanks to the convergence of three major forces – increased computing power in the cloud, powerful algorithms that run on deep neutral networks and access to massive amounts of data.
Amid this explosion of data, we are still constrained by our human capacity to process and make sense of it. The question is, how can we use all we have in terms of computational power to solve this fundamental constraint, and to make better sense of the world? That is the essence of what AI is. It is not about having AI that beats humans in games; it is about helping everyone achieve more – humans and machines working together to make the world a better place.
Yet, with the speed at which technology is advancing, we are only barely scratching the surface when it comes to the possibilities of tomorrow.
At the heart of all AI applications is data – but instead of humans taking on the onerous task of understanding the data, we train AI tools with algorithms to learn from data and provide “machine” intelligence.
Today, smart search powered by such algorithms enable enterprises to analyse, interpret, transform and enrich data that would otherwise be unconnected and hard to make sense of. For example, Microsoft Graph allows businesses to use unique data from their organisation to drive workplace transformation.
For example, My Analytics in Office 365 is like a fitness tracker for your workday, showing how you are spending your time, informed by the Microsoft Graph and powered by AI.
At Microsoft, we believe that people around the world can benefit from AI – but only if AI technologies are available for them.
While developing a chatbot was once considered complex and costly for organisations, today there are many “toolkits” available that make building a chatbot akin to putting together a Lego set.