Applied artificial intelligence is no longer an advantage: It’s a necessity

By Jasmine Henry

An abstract image of a brain symbolizing applied artificial intelligence
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Robots are officially leaving the research and development laboratory and becoming a core part of enterprise technology strategy. By all accounts, 2018 is the year when most enterprises will transition to applied artificial intelligence (AI) as a strategic part of the digital transformation roadmap.

While it may be too soon to declare that AI has become a commodity, research reveals that the majority of enterprises are using AI, machine learning or cognitive technologies in some capacity. A Vanson Bourne survey found that 80 percent of enterprises today have AI in production, according to Forbes. For up to 50 percent of these enterprises, applications of AI are driving revenue in customer service, security, sales and more.

The boundless potential of applied artificial intelligence

Applied AI is defined by Georgian Partners as “specialized uses of artificial narrow intelligence … used to power some of today’s most successful technology businesses” in ways such as process automation, advanced machine learning and smarter performance objectives.

The website of the world’s largest mobility gathering defines applied AI as one of eight content themes for 2018, noting there’s a need to “cut through the complexity” of young technologies such as machine learning, cognitive computing and AI so organizations can capitalize on their almost boundless potential.

How AI is transforming the world around us

Many of the products and services that power our daily lives as consumers are entrenched in sophisticated applied AI. Some examples of applied artificial intelligence products which are already transforming organizations’ approaches to sales, customer service and healthcare include:

  • John Paul: A concierge service used by some of the world’s largest luxury travel brands, John Paul relies on predictive algorithms to meet the needs and desires of customers with precision.
  • Cogito: Improves the empathy and decisions of customer service representatives in contact centers with “streaming emotional intelligence,” or AI tools, which analyze the emotional state of customers through hundreds of vocal cues.
  • Watson for Oncology: Cognitive intelligence for oncology patients enables personalized medicine by translating individual medical histories and other variables into treatment options, which are accompanied by oncology guidelines, clinical trial information and medical literature.

What’s already happening: 5 benefits of applied AI

As robots enter the mainstream, organizations are focused on maximizing the benefits of applied artificial intelligence in the months to come. A recent Harvard Business Review survey of 250 executives on the results of applied AI in the enterprise revealed the following commonly cited business benefits:

  1. 51 percent cited enhancing product features, functions and performance
  2. 36 percent cited optimizing internal operations
  3. 36 percent cited automation
  4. 35 percent cited superior decision-making
  5. 32 percent cited new products

For many, unlocking the remarkable potential of AI for customer satisfaction and productivity use cases requires operationalizing these technologies. “As enterprises move forward … they will look for products and tools to automate, manage and streamline the entire machine learning and deep learning life cycle” Kinetica CTO Nima Negahban told CIO.

Exploring applied AI at MWC 2018

At the upcoming MWC 2018, there will be a focus on applications of cognitive computing, machine learning and AI, and exploring how these technologies could continue to impact both people and business. An MWC keynote is titled “AI: We are on the Air,” and is focused on showcasing the potential of the AI revolution.

Other applied artificial intelligence content highlights include a session delivered jointly by VineSleuth CEO Amy Gross with Watson CTO Rob High on the transformative combination of applied AI and mobile tech, and an AI panel discussion with Pixoneye’s Ofri Ben Porat and Voysis’s Ryan MacInnnis.

AI technology has become startlingly commonplace. The organizations that wind up ahead during the AI revolution are likely to be those able to compete on strategy, rather than those appearing with the shiniest technologies. Applied artificial intelligence is a reality, and executives are wise to consider how operationalizing AI technologies and delivering smarter AI-driven services could yield advantages.

Written By

Jasmine Henry

Jasmine E. Henry, MS

Jasmine is a commentator on emerging technology and freelance writer in the greater Seattle area. With a professional background in analytics, big data, mobility, and security that spans both the for-profit and government sectors, her professional interests include artificial intelligence…

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