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Category Archives: Ai

Recommended Reading: AI and the future of music – Engadget

Posted: February 25, 2017 at 3:21 pm

We Are the Robots: Is the Future of Music Artificial? Jack Needham, FACT

Artificial intelligence is invading more of our lives by the day and it’s going to work making music as well. FACT takes a look at the use of robots for creative exploits and if we as a collective audience are ready for AI to compose our tunes.

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Super Smash Borg Melee: AI takes on top players of the classic … – TechCrunch

Posted: at 3:21 pm


TechCrunch
Super Smash Borg Melee: AI takes on top players of the classic …
TechCrunch
You can add the cult classic Super Smash Bros Melee to the list of games soon to be dominated by AIs. Research at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial..
Machine Learning AI Demolishes World's Top Super Smash Bros …Hot Hardware
AI beats professional players at Super Smash Bros. video game …New Scientist
AI beats humanity at Nintendo's Super Smash Brothers – The InquirerThe INQUIRER

all 5 news articles »

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Common misconceptions brand executives have about AI – VentureBeat

Posted: at 3:21 pm

Artificial intelligence is no longer the sole domain of tech companies like Google, Facebook, IBM, and Amazon. Recognizing the potential of exponential technologies like AI and bots, creative agencies like Ogilvy and consulting firms like McKinsey and Accenture now proudly feature AI departments.

The message to brands executives is clear: understand and leverage trends in automation and artificial intelligence, or perish.

According to McKinseys Michael Chiu, As many as 45 percent of the activities individuals are paid to perform can be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies. In the United States, these activities represent about $2 trillion in annual wages. Andrew Ng, chief scientist at Baidu and Stanford professor of machine learning, puts it this way: If a typical person can do a mental task with less than one second of thought, we can probably automate it using AI either now or in the near future.

Breakthroughs in deep learning have driven major advances in machine perception. Computers can now reliably detect and classify objects in images and video, transcribe and translate speech as well as humans, and even generate art, music, and movie soundtracks.

Above: An example of dense image captioning enabled by recent breakthroughs in computer vision. Image Credit: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science / Justin Johnson, Andrej Karpathy, Li Fei-Fei

AI companies like Clarifai, Ditto, and GumGum are leveraging these new technologies to help brands understand content, identify brand mentions, and calculate earned media spend from sponsorships. Other companies like Affinio, Motiva, and Reflektion improve marketing intelligence, automatically optimize campaigns, and streamline customers retail experiences.

Last year, Salesforce acquired an AI startup called MetaMind to integrate into Salesforce Einstein, to automate many sales, CRM, and ERP processes for your business.

The type of A.I. that appeals to investors is not necessarily the same that enterprises will buy. Investors look for 100x returns on capital, so they heavily scrutinize a founding teams technical pedigree, industry expertise, margin defensibility, and broad market potential.

On the other hand, executives dont need (or want) a lesson in computer science, they want to know how this technology can be used as a tool to help them achieve their business goals, points out Ophir Tanz, CEO of GumGum. GumGum is an applied vision company thathas partnered with Fortune 100 brands to curate visual content and optimize brand marketing since 2008.

Tanz highlights just a few of the many applications of computer vision for brands: Retailers can leverage visual search and increase revenue through shoppable imagery; sports teams and rights holders can deliver more accurate valuations of broadcast and social exposure; social media can be scoured and activated like never before.

Normally when brands sponsor major sporting or social events, they cant easily calculate the earned media lift or the ROI on their investment. GumGums vision technologies can identify when brand logos have appeared in social media images or sports videos, making such calculations possible.

While the technical expertise required to successfully strategize for and implement AI technologies for major brands may seem daunting and out of reach, partners like GumGum combine industry expertise, full-service agency services, and AI expertise to help brands ramp up.

Zachary Jean Paradis, vice president of customer experience at SapientNitro, has helped brands in industries ranging from financial services to CPG get started with their AI strategy. He emphasizes to his clients that AI is not a single thing, but rather a series of methods and technologies that allow you to mimic human intelligence. The key question to answer is what intelligence am I trying to mimic?

His recommendation to brands is to start with offerings from foundational mainstays like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Salesforce and then layer in specific vendors, such as Cycorp and Luminoso, for natural language understanding or Clarifai and Sentient for computer vision. In many cases, brands can minimize the amount of bespoke code they need to write.

As transformative as AI is for many industries, the technology is not magic. One mistake non-technical brand executives make is to assume that artificial intelligence is some kind of silver bullet, according to Ryan Detert, CEO of Influential. Some executives think AI is a sentient being, like in Terminator. They ask if it can think and tell them what to do. We have to explain that AI is simply a better way to turn data into actionable insights.

Such misconceptions are not necessarily the fault of the executives. Many startups capitalize on the knowledge gap in AI to hype up marketing fluff such as executive brains that can predict the future and automatically increase revenue. No wonder executives are confused aboutwhat AI can and cannot do.

Detert and his team help brands improve the performance of sponsored social media posts by matching campaign and brand content to the right influencers based on personality, context, and timing. Normally, sponsored posts by influencers suffer from a 20 to 30 percent drop in engagement rates. By leveraging AI powered by IBM Watson, Influential is able to instead drive gains of 20 to 30 percent across ad recall, positive sentiment, social engagement, clickthrough rates, and ROI. The key industries thatbenefit from this targeted influencer marketing are consumer product goods (CPG) and entertainment businesses.

Its not that hard fordevelopers to leverage Watsons cognitive services, but non-technical teams without the requisite software development, data science, or machine learning capabilities are often mystified by the process. Due to lag of time and the ever-moving landscape, most corporate companies move slowly, Detert notes.

In the cost-benefit analysis of whether to build or buy, enterprises typically move faster with an experienced vendor or consultant. After all, if McKinsey has to write guides to teach executives the basics of software development, perhaps fast-moving technology projects are best managed by experts.

Building competitive AI from the ground up requires expensive specialized talent and volumes of proprietary structured data. Luckily for most brands, this is not yet necessary.

Many brands, like Disney, Uniqlo, and the New York Times, have successfully experimented with chatbots on Facebook, Slack, or Kik, while others have dipped their toe into voice-based technologies by releasing Alexa Skills for the Amazon Echo.

Paradis of SapientNitro points out that plenty of chatbot enablers exist, includingIBM Watson, Nuance, Microsoft Bot Framework, Googles API.ai, and Facebooks Wit.ai.

While the tech industry does not perceive brand usage of mainstay vendors as real AI, such experiments nevertheless solve important business problems and are essential for executives to stay educated and competitive in digital.

In the liquor and spirits industry, companies are legally required to put up an age gate to protect minors from digital content. No matter how much you optimize the birth date input form, manual input by users leads to massive drop-off rates, particularly on mobile.

Above: Allowing consumers to input birth dates via voice improves conversion rates for CPG companies like Anheuser-Busch.

Thats why Anheuser-Busch, the worlds largest beer producer and the company behind Budweiser, implemented a voice input option alongside the regular form. In testing, these new designs improved the consumer experience and conversion rates. In development, the technology needed to proactively handle misspoken or misunderstood words while also equating December 23rd 1994 to 23rd of December 1994 and many other permutations.

According to Lucas Herscovici, vice president of consumer connections of Anheuser-Busch, the company was able to go from idea to implementation in less than 3 months. The bulk of the time was spent validating with legal and compliance and negotiating with vendors, while the actual technical integration took less than 3 weeks.

By corporate standards, thats a fast turnaround time.

When we first introduced websites, they were a train-wreck. They didnt work well technically or design-wise, Paradis reminds us. Similarly, AI is in a young adult, awkward teenage phase. Some technologies will do very well out of the box, some will be a challenge.

From C-suite executives to front-line managers, business leaders will need to identify where AI can and cannot make an organizational impact and continuously prototype, prototype, prototype in order to raise their AI IQ, in Paradis words.

McKinsey estimates that the benefits of implementing the right automation and AI technologies can be 3 to 10 times the cost. Thus, the ability to staff, manage, and lead increasingly automated organizations will become an important competitive differentiator.

As with any technology wave, there are leaders and laggards in AI. Paradis of SapientNitro observes that the single industry thats leading end-to-end is financial services. Companies hes worked with in the space are leveraging AI and bot technologies for customer engagement, process automation, fraud and risk mitigation, business analysis, and improved executive decision making.

Not all industries have seen the same benefit. In telecom, weve seen the introduction of chatbots, but they didnt perform to the level that was expected, Paradis says. Similarly, he sees challenges for consumer packaged goods (CPG) and quick-service restaurants (QSR).

CPG brands are challenged not just by AI, but by competing in an era driven by customer experience when they dont own many of the customer touch points. Many of them own the marketing experience, but not the retail experience, which means they are missing critical purchasing behavior about their products. At the same time, many retailers are introducing private label products that are directly competitive.

CPG products are also generally too simple to turn into connected products. Adding sensors or Bluetooth connectivity would make their products prohibitively expensive without adding much utility for consumers. While companies like Google and Facebook generate petabytes of data from their consumers every move, CPG companies are in the dark with consumer usage data.

AI can still be used by CPG companies to improve marketing insights and strengthen product innovation pipelines, but the data gaps across the industry make application of data and AI very limited, says Paradis.

The same applies to QSRs, which have historically been slow to collect the requisite data to power AI initiatives. Many QSRs such as McDonalds are cash-driven businesses, making consumer purchasing trends harder to track.

Self-service kiosks can close inefficiencies and reduce costs, but AI will not cost-cut you into leadership, warns Paradis. Instead, companies need to radically rethink how AI can free up humans to deliver on the highest value activities.

The majority of sales of McDonalds in Europe go through a kiosk. Theres only a single pay register, Paradis says. But there are hosts and hostesses to welcome you at the door, walk you to the kiosks, explain your menu options, and bus your table. Instead of eliminating humans, McDonalds can deliver a more amazing experience.

This article appeared originally at Topbots.

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Zero One: AI Transforms the Contact Center – MSPmentor

Posted: February 24, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Like wood stacking up behind an arrowhead, Salesforce, Microsoft, Google and other tech titans are gathering behind artificial intelligence, or AI. More importantly, line-of-business executives (LOBs), the new shot-callers in tech, now expectAI to deliver real-world results, particularly in the contact center.

All of this means tectonic change is coming, and just about everyone better brace for the impact.

The contact center and other operations touching the customer are emerging as the sweet spots for AI in the enterprise. In a Forrester survey, 57 percent of AI adopters said improving the customer experience is the biggest benefit. Marketing and sales, product management, and customer support lead the AI charge.

In February, Salesforce unveiled Einstein AI for its Service Cloud contact center offering. Customer service agents will lean on Einstein AI to give them information about a particular customer when they need it, as well as escalating cases using machine learning. Managers will tap Einstein AI for insights about their contact center operations, in order to make changes and boost customer satisfaction scores.

AI in the contact center isnt new. At Dreamforce last year, Humana, a healthcare insurance company, showcased its use of AI for listening to customers in the contact center and flagging elevated tones. In turn, the AI bot Cogito informs the customer service agent to change tactics.

Related:Zero One: Are You Ready for AI?

Best use cases for deep learning and AI occur in contact centers with lots of historical customer service data, such as email transcripts and chat logs, said Mikhail Naumov, co-founder and president of DigitalGenius, an AI tech company. Contact centers dealing with lots of repetitive questions are also ripe for AI.

Microsoft, too, is driving AI into its core products, from Cortana Intelligence Suite to Dynamics 365. Speaking atChannel Visionariesin San Jose, Calif., in January, Larry Persaud, director of Azure strategy, gave an example of an AI chatbot helping an agent lock in a hotel reservation. Microsofts AI technology also improves the Uber customer experience by ensuring drivers match their profile photos and securing passenger information.

We want our partners to understand what this really means for the future [and] to learn about the business and technical aspects, Persaud said. Data and intelligence are very tightly coupled. Were adding machine learning aspects, readying AI into our data platform.

Related:Zero One: Can the Channel Pivot to Digital Business in the Cloud?

Theres no question AI tremors will be felt across the channel landscape.

My bet is well see huge progress in the next 12 months, said Tim Fitzgerald, vice president of digital transformation at Avnet Technology Solutions. It will impact substantially the as-a-service commerce, transaction experience and the ability to support localization and personalization on a specific customer level.

Echoing Microsoft, Googles Sergey Brin, speaking at theWorld Economic Forum Annual Meetingin Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, in January, said Googles AI technology called Google Brain probably touches every single one of our main projects, ranging from search to photos to ads to everything we do.

As major platform vendors embrace AI, particularly in the contact center, its important to maintain a little perspective, said Forrester analyst Ian Jacobs.

Todays AI chatbots in the contact center are good at basic tasks, such as delivering content, replenishing a pre-paid phone account, and handling information requests that require accessing a single knowledge source, Jacobs said. Complex problems, such as troubleshooting a router and reconnecting a smart thermostat to it, still require human agents.

In other words, LOBs shouldnt expect AI to replace legions of human agents and, in the process, bring about massive savings.

Using AI for basic blocking and tackling, rather than for moonshot projects, means brands will see tangible results much sooner, even if those results are somewhat more modest, Jacobs said.

Tom Kaneshige writes the Zero One blog, covering digital transformation, big data, AI, marketing tech and the Internet of Things for line-of-business executives. He is based in Silicon Valley. You can reach him attom.kaneshige@penton.com.

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Apple is expanding its Seattle offices to focus on AI and machine learning – The Verge

Posted: at 6:26 pm

In many ways, the tech worlds AI arms race is really a fight for talent. Skilled engineers are in short supply, and Silicon Valleys biggest companies are competing to nab the best minds from academia and rival firms. Which is why it makes sense that Apple has announced its expanding its offices in Seattle, where much of its AI and machine learning work is done.

Seattle is home not only to the University of Washington and its renowned computer science department, but also the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Microsoft and Amazon are headquartered nearby, and AI startups are finding a home in the region, too. Last August, Apple even bought a Seattle-based machine learning and artificial intelligence startup named Turi for an estimated $200 million, and the team is said to be moving into Apples offices at Two Union Square as part of the expansion.

Carlos Guestrin, a University of Washington professor, former Turi CEO, and now director of machine learning at Apple, told GeekWire: Theres a great opportunity for AI in Seattle.

Guesterin said Apples Seattle engineers would be looking at both long-term and near-term AI research, developing new features for the companys products across the whole spectrum. He added: Were trying to find the best people who are excited about AI and machine learning excited about research and thinking long term but also bringing those ideas into products that impact and delight our customers.

As part of the news, the University of Washington also announced a $1 million endowed professorship in AI and machine learning named after Guesterin. Thats one way to give back to the AI community.

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School district upholds decision; AI’s season over – The News Journal

Posted: at 6:26 pm

The News Journal Published 11:23 a.m. ET Feb. 24, 2017 | Updated 5 hours ago

Red Clay School District has upheld a decision by A.I. du Pont High School Principal to remove the boys basketball team from consideration for the upcoming DIAA state tournament. 2/24/17 Damian Giletto/The News Journal

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DMA’s commandant, Anthony Pullella, responds to accusations his students provoked an incident between A.I. players and fans during a basketball game last week. 2/24/17 JOHN J. JANKOWSKI JR./SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL

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Red Clay Consolidated School District will review a decision by the A.I. du Pont High School principal to ban the boys basketball team from participating in the upcoming DIAA Boys Basketball Tournament. 2/23/17 Damian Giletto/The News Journal

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Red Clay upholds A.I. principal’s decision to end season

DMA commandant responds to incident at A.I. basketball game

A.I. du Pont principal, parents meet over basketball suspensions

A.I. duPont High School principal Kevin Palladinetti tries to answer questions from parents and political leaders about an incident after the team’s 58-46 loss at Delaware Military Academy last Thursday that lead the team from participating in the upcoming DIAA Boys Basketball Tournament.(Photo: Jennifer Corbett, The News Journal )Buy Photo

Red Clay Consolidated School District has upheld a decision by A.I. du Pont High School Principal KevinPalladinetti to remove the boys basketball team from consideration for the upcoming DIAA state tournament.

“We understand it was a difficult decision by staff at A.I. High School but we support that decision and stand behind it, said Superintendent Merv Daugherty. The district believes the disciplinary consequence fits the seriousness of the incident.

Jen Field, whose son is a senior on the team, told The News Journal that a group of those opposed toPalladinetti’s decision will meet Friday night to discuss what, if any, next steps they will take.

Palladinettis decision stemmed from an incident following the Tigers loss at Delaware Military Academy on Feb. 16.

With 40 seconds left, an A.I. player was given a technical foul. At that point, A.I. head coach Tom Tabb said he told the players on the bench to skip the customary postgame handshake line. Instead, the coach told the team he would shake hands with the DMA team, and the players were to remain behind him and follow him off the court as a group.

When the game was over, a player started to walk and then sprinted, which caused a chain reaction where the other players followed, the coaches followed, parents followed, some DMA parents followed, Tabb said Thursday.

RELATED: More on the incident and reaction

FOOTBALL: Middletown product eyes NFL

Officials from both schools said the A.I. players ran toward a stairwell leading to thesecond level of the gymnasium, whereDMA students and fans had been watching the game.

DMA officials said they blocked the players from accessing the mezzanine while another teacher directed DMA students out through an emergency door.

Several parents of A.I. du Pont players have alleged that racial slurs were spoken by DMA players, fans and students during the game. But Palladinetti said Tabb, Assistant Principal Damon Saunders (both of whom are black)and the other A.I. assistant coaches did not report hearing any racial slurs.

DMA Commandant Anthony Pullella was at the game and said he did not hear any racial comments. Michael Ryan, the athletic director, said DMA officials conducted their own investigation, questioning parents, players, coaches and fans. He said no evidence was uncovered about any racial comment being used.

In a statement issued Friday, Red Clay officials said the district will also “continue to work with DMA to investigate allegations of inappropriate actions by their players and fans. The district has requested that DMA administration investigate from their school. Red Clay also requested a formal investigation from DIAA about the conduct of the fans during the AIHS/DMA game. We will share all investigative findings concerning fan conduct when we receive them from DMA and DIAA.”

The district is taking the claims of inappropriate behavior from game attendees very seriously, Daugherty said. We do not condone the behavior in any way and will continue to work closely with DMA to uncover any acts of impropriety.

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School district upholds decision; AI’s season over – The News Journal

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AI Predicts Autism By Comparing Babies’ Brains – Forbes

Posted: at 6:26 pm


Forbes
AI Predicts Autism By Comparing Babies' Brains
Forbes
Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder in children is difficult, but that info can give families a wealth of new support options, not to mention a helpful new perspective. Thanks to some infant-focused AI, doctors may soon be able to reach that diagnosis

and more »

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Report: Why the big challenges in AI aren’t close to being solved – TechRepublic

Posted: at 6:26 pm

Image: iStockphoto/ktsimage

As tech companies continue to dump mountains of cash into artificial intelligence (AI) development, the technology promises to greatly improve our digital lives. However, the AI ecosystem still has major problems to solve before it can advance, a new report said.

The report, released Friday from Edison Investment Research, said that AI has the potential to be a major differentiator but it is still in the early stages of its development. Most of what is referred to as AI, currently, is “simply advanced statistics,” the report claims.

SEE: Understanding the differences between AI, machine learning, and deep learning

According to the Edison Investment Research report, there are three goals that must be solved for AI to move out of its infancy.

The company that performs the best in solving these problems is likely to move ahead of its competitors, the report noted.

For most companies, the initial investment in AI comes in the form of a digital assistant or chat bot. These tools are often being offered free of charge, or folded into other core products, in order to generate and collect the data needed to strengthen the AI behind them. Digital assistant are “a good first yardstick of each ecosystem’s competence in AI,” the report said.

AI is built on data, as is another product many people use everyday: Search engines. As such, it makes sense that companies like Google, Baidu, and Russia’s Yandex are growing leaders in the AI space due to their focus on data-powered search. Under these leader, companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon are also investing heavily in their own AI efforts as well.

“Both Microsoft and Amazon have scope to earn a return on AI in their businesses that are not part of the ecosystem,” the report said. “Apple appears to have voluntarily hobbled its AI development with differential privacy.”

Facebook, however, was ranked much lower in the report. Edison researchers even called it a “laggard with one of the weakest positions in AI globally.” The core issues that Facebook is facing have to do with its inability to properly leverage automation, and its late start in the market. Additionally, Facebook’s disastrous attempt to automate the removal of fake news further demonstrated how weak its AI was.

“The net result is that without a human element, almost all of Facebook’s services that depend on AI tend to fall over pretty quickly,” the report said.

At this point, many of the tech playter investigating AI solution are struggling to make sense of their own data, the report noted. However, with investment ramping up in the space and competition increasing, the AI market is ripe for development.

“The big ecosystems are all very well-funded and so both their in-house R&D and their M&A activity is likely to increase in 2017,” the report said. “AI is also likely to be the buzzword in many of the trade shows in the coming 12 months and for once, it will be more than just hype.”

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Afraid of AI taking your job? Yep, you likely are – Computerworld

Posted: at 6:26 pm

Despite the promise that robots and artificial intelligence actually could help many people do their jobs better, most simply aren’t buying it.

And a lot of people are still afraid that emerging technology will steal their jobs.

Only 4% of 2,000 people surveyed said they thought emerging technologies would make their jobs easier, while 48% of those familiar with the idea of disruptive technologies fear it will cause layoffs in their industry and more than 38% said it might cost them their jobs personally. This is according to a new study from SelectHub, a company focused on helping enterprises make technology decisions.

Who’s the most anxious about being replaced by a robot or another smart system?

Those working in publishing, retail, and construction, according to SelectHub’s study .

The optimists are in real estate, government and technology; these workers tend to think emerging technologies actually will increase the number of jobs or help them do their jobs.

Nearly half of workers in the publishing, retail and construction fields are concerned about losing their jobs because of the impact of artificial intelligence.

SelectHub’s report isn’t quite as optimistic, though.

“The least concerned respondents worked in real estate, where less than 22% were concerned about layoffs,” the report noted. “While real estate may seem like an industry that requires a human touch, certain research suggests artificial intelligence . . . could eventually even replace traditional real estate agents and brokers.”

The report also noted that artificial intelligence already can automate the house hunting process. Consumers can enter specific parameters — among them budget, location and style of house — into a system and receive hundreds of recommended listings.

It’s not surprising that people are worried.

Last September, Forrester Research released a report contending that in just five years, smart systems and robots could replace up to 6% of jobs in the United States.

Then last month, a Japanese insurance company put a face on that prediction when it replaced 34 of its workers with an A.I. system .

However, not every view of the future of work and smart machines is dire.

Some scientists, like Tom Dietterich, a professor and director of intelligent systems at Oregon State University, say smart systems should start to act as increasingly powerful digital assistants that will be used to help people train and do their jobs .

Working with machines, humans could become super human.

For instance, at Stitch Fix, a San Francisco-based online subscription and shopping service, professional stylists, with the help of an A.I. and a team of data scientists, pick out clothes for their customers .

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said he’s not surprised that despite instances like Stitch Fix, people are still worried that emerging technologies, like A.I. and robotics, will take their jobs.

“This is really fearing the unknown,” he said. “I suspect people said the same thing during the industrial revolution when assembly processes were being automated… I think, right now people are terrified. It’s a scary thing thinking about a robot coming and doing your job.”

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said we’re entering a time of dramatic change and people would be smart to consider how their industries will be affected and if they should start to prepare now.

“I absolutely believe there will be new jobs created by robotics and automation,” he said. “We will need more people to architect, design, develop, program, market, sell and build robots.”

Kerravala said now is a good time for people to consider adding skills in one of these up-and-coming fields.

“People need to focus on retraining,” he said. “As technology continues to evolve, change will happen faster and we all need to be in a mode of constantly retraining.”

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Why So Many Companies Are Using AI To Search Google – Tech.Co

Posted: at 6:26 pm

Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is here to stay. The genie is out of the bottle, so to speak, and that is mostly a good thing. Bill Gates has even called it the holy grail of technological advancement.

But while headlines focus on the science fiction aspects of what A.I. could do if it ever went rogue and rave about its high-profile applications, the technology is quietly changing much of the worlds economic landscape without any notice. And Im not referring to sleek consumer-facing apps that do cool tricks like write your emails or remind you about birthdays.

A.I. has become an incredibly viable technology in a range of industries performing functions formerly done by highly specialized and well-educated people. The biggest competitive advantage of A.I.? Well, it could be that it will read beyond the first page of Google search results.

The problem with the internet today is that it is too big, which became a very real state of affairs last year when ICANN announced it had run out of unique IP addresses under its existing protocol. Businesses that use Google to find vital information about markets and business dealings face a near impossible task of weeding through billions of websites and web pages that contain similar but ultimately useless information.

But a properly configured A.I. program can use Google to do that research and provide only the most valuable information to decision makers. Companies spend huge sums of money on research, says Jeff Curie, President of artificial intelligence company Bitvore. But despite hiring the very best and brightest, those experts are limited to using Google and setting up news alerts to stay informed. The internet is just too big for a person with a search engine to find the most important information.

Human nature being what it is, most of us do not have the discipline to search for the proverbial needle in the haystack. Research has suggested that 95percent of Google users never look beyond the first page of results, and even on subsequent pages the top link is the most clicked on by a wide margin, meaning that attention span wanes even as we scroll down the page.

The fundamental advantages of A.I. are its ability to assess huge volumes of information almost instantly and its inability to get lazy or tired. Those are also the largest challenges that human researchers face. As a result, A.I. is increasingly being leveraged to perform tasks like research and it is getting more sophisticated all the time.

A.I. doing research may sound ridiculous, but the process is quite logical. All that it needs to do is search for keywords and phrases, flag them based on relevance, and deliver a curated set of data to a human expert for a final review. Many companies employ hundreds of people to compile that information on a daily basis. A.I. may lack the human judgment ability required to make decisions about that data, but it can most certainly corral it.

This seemingly simple application of A.I. may actually have enormous effects on the global economy, far larger than the newest virtual office assistant.

Companies that rely on having the most relevant and up-to-date information as their strategic advantage benefit greatly from having that information before their competitors. If a researcher takes two hours to find a news alert, that is two hours that competitors may have had to leverage that information to their advantage. A.I. can work constantly, 24 hours every day. That means it is capable of alerting decision makers about events taking place the moment they happen, not two hours later.

In industries where knowledge is power, the new standard is A.I., says Curie. An A.I. program can outperform the best researchers in the world, and it is already doing that today for many of the worlds largest companies.

Research may not be the most visible application of A.I., but the most disruptive applications of this technology will likely be behind the scenes, not unveiled at major trade shows. The economic effects will be enormous and largely invisible.

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