Artificial Intelligence (AI) is typically defined as the ability of a machine to perform cognitive functions we associate with human minds, such as perceiving, reasoning, learning, interacting with the environment, problem solving, and even exercising creativity. Examples of technologies that enable AI to solve business problems are robotics and autonomous vehicles, computer vision, language, virtual agents, and machine learning.
Please see below recent artificial intelligence (AI)-related change.
- What's Changing? - Intelligence
- What's Changing? - Automation
- The Future of Artificial Intelligence Documentary 2018
- The Executive Guide to AI
- The State of AI report
- AI Deal Tracker from CB Insights
- AI technologies are forecast to add US$15 trillion to the global economy by 2030. According to the findings of an Oxford Insights index, the governments of countries in the Global North are better placed to take advantage of these gains than those in the Global South. There is a risk, therefore, that countries in the Global South could be left behind by the so-called fourth industrial revolution. Not only will they not reap the potential benefits of AI, but there is also the danger that unequal implementation widens global inequalities.
- Quartz noted that AI is learning teamwork. Researchers have managed to train AI bots to work as a team in a deadly game of capture the flag.
- AI contributed US$2 trillion to global GDP in 2018, according to a PwC report. The report also estimated that the AI industry could contribute $15.7 trillion to the world economy by 2030. The greatest economic gains by 2030 will be the 26 percent boost to GDP in China and the 14.5 percent boost in North America.
- A Nuffield Foundation briefing summarised a roadmap for research on the ethical and societal implications of algorithms, data and AI (ADA). It was aimed at those involved in planning, funding, and pursuing research and policy work related to these technologies. The term ‘ADA-based technologies’ is used to capture a broad range of ethically and societally relevant technologies based on algorithms, data, and AI, recognising that these three concepts are not totally separable from one another and will often overlap. The roadmap was commissioned by the Nuffield Foundation to inform the development of the Ada Lovelace Institute, an independent research and deliberative body with a mission to ensure data and AI work for people and society.
- In AI Safety Needs Social Scientists, Distill argued that properly aligning advanced AI systems with human values will require resolving many uncertainties related to the psychology of human rationality, emotion, and biases. These can only be resolved empirically through experimentation - if we want to train AI to do what humans want, we need to study humans.
- Further reading:
- AI in Europe: Tackling the gap - McKinsey
- AI in HR: how it could help and what you need to be doing - Raconteur
- AI Is Threatening Customer Experiences. Are You Ready?
- Artificial intelligence continues its progression into the mainstream - Raconteur
- Artificial Intelligence is not magic and must be handled with care - Raconteur
- Artificial intelligence is the new tool of choice to fight fraud - Raconteur
- China is home to more than half of world’s top AI unicorns as battle for supremacy with US heats up | South China Morning Post
- Ethical-and-Societal-Implications-of-Data-and-AI - Nuffield Foundation
- How artificial intelligence helps companies recruit talented staff - FT
- How to Choose Your First AI Project - Harvard Business Review
- Humanity + AI: Better Together – Andreessen Horowitz
- Next generation of artificial intelligence talent to be trained at UK universities - GOV.UK
- Open-source computing has made AI commercially significant
- The AI 100: Artificial Intelligence Startups That You Better Know - CB Insights The robot-proof skills that give women an edge in the age of AI - FT
- This is why AI has yet to reshape most businesses - MIT Technology Review
- Understanding China's AI Strategy - Center for a New American Security
- Will AI Achieve Consciousness? Wrong Question - WIRED
- A new programme at the DARPA research agency is aimed at creating a machine learning system that can sift through the innumerable events and pieces of media generated every day and identify any threads of connection or narrative in them. It’s called KAIROS: Knowledge-directed Artificial Intelligence Reasoning Over Schemas. “Schema” in this case has a very specific meaning. It’s the idea of a basic process humans use to understand the world around them by creating little stories of interlinked events.
- Further reading:
- 40% of companies are adding jobs after deploying AI, not killing them - TechRepublic
- A free online introduction to artificial intelligence for non-experts - Elements of AI
- AI Comes To Recruiting: Will Interviews Go The Way Of The Dinosaur? – Josh Bersin
- AI is sending people to jail and getting it wrong - MIT Technology Review
- Applying AI for social good - McKinsey
- Artificial Intelligence Can Detect Alzheimer’s Disease in Brain Scans Six Years Before a Diagnosis | UC San Francisco
- Artificial Intelligence: a question of data - AlphaGamma
- Economic value of AI - Wall Street Journal
- Executive Guide to Best Practices in Artificial Intelligence - BestPractice.AI
- Finland’s grand AI experiment – POLITICO
- Five Standards for Responsible AI Use - s+b
- How a team at Google is using AI to help doctors prevent blindness in diabetics - Google
- Is the popular narrative harming development of AI? - RealKM
- Never mind killer robot: here are six real AI dangers to watch out for in 2019 - MIT Technology Review
- Nine charts that really bring home just how fast AI is growing - MIT Technology Review
- The AI 100: Artificial Intelligence Startups That You Better Know - CB Insights
- The AI Technology Stack: 4 Key Layers Of Technologies Used For Artificial Intelligence - Bernard Marr & Co.
- The Most Amazing Artificial Intelligence Milestones So Far - Forbes
- Understanding the Potential of Artificial Intelligence - s+b
- What business fears about AI - and how to trust it - PwC
- Will A.I. disrupt your profession? - AlphaGamma
- With AI at the wheel, will your board steer the course? - EY
- The 2018 edition of the AI Index highlighted further acceleration in the performance of AI systems, research in AI, a boom in demand for relevant skills and continued investment.
- The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence report, compiled by experts from a number of institutions including the University of Cambridge and research firm OpenAI, argued that in the wrong hands, AI could be exploited by rogue states, terrorists and criminals. The World Economic Forum noted that such threats include remote-controlled vehicle crashes and the manipulation of public opinion.
- Deepfake is an AI-based technology used to produce or alter video content so that it presents something that didn't, in fact, occur. It can make it look as if anyone has said or done anything. Is it the next wave of (mis)information warfare, asked The Guardian?
- For Raconteur, the fact that AI is dramatically transforming the human resources industry is somewhat ironic, given the growing global clamour for robots, usurping millions of jobs. HR, though, is not traditionally associated with pioneering nascent technology, and failure to deploy and develop AI could prove a fatal mistake.
- Raconteur noted that AI offers the potential to automate very low-value repetitive tasks and provide data-driven insights on liquidity and execution, all of which can be very valuable to an investment management trading desk in seeking the best possible deal for investors.
- Further reading:
- How AI Is Shaking Up Banking and Wall Street - AI
- Lexus creates the world’s first filmed advert entirely scripted by AI - Tech Radar
- Myth vs. Reality in Artificial Intelligence infographic - BCG
- Using AI to improve mental health records - HBR
- What AI can and can’t do (yet) for your business - McKinsey
- Why Companies That Wait to Adopt AI May Never Catch Up - Harvard Business Review
- Why countries need to work together on AI - World Economic Forum
- AI has the potential to help tackle some of the world’s most challenging social problems. To analyse potential applications for social good, McKinsey compiled a library of about 160 AI social-impact use cases. They suggested that existing capabilities could contribute to tackling cases across all 17 of the UN’s sustainable-development goals, potentially helping hundreds of millions of people in both advanced and emerging countries. Real-life examples of AI were already being applied in about one-third of these use cases, albeit in relatively small tests. They range from diagnosing cancer to helping blind people navigate their surroundings, identifying victims of online sexual exploitation, and aiding disaster-relief efforts.
- AI will test truthfulness in European airports, reported Quartz. Virtual border guards will look more sceptical and use different tones of voice if they think passengers are lying.
- How to create more diverse workplaces and how to use AI ethically are among the more challenging dilemmas facing business and government, according to The New York Times. While the issues may appear to have little in common besides their complexity, they do overlap. Recently, for example, according to news reports Amazon abandoned a hiring tool that used artificial intelligence because it favoured men.
- One source of income inequality is prejudice. Unconscious (and conscious) attitudes direct opportunities more to favoured groups and steer them away from those on the outs. Forbes noted that Silicon Valley types assumed they could solve the problem like any other - with software, by having AI look at the patterns and make the decisions. Then came the warning signs in research that AI-driven systems were maybe not as free of bias as their creators thought - for example, Amazon dropped recruiting software that used AI because it preferred to hire men over women.
- AI and automation technologies have the potential to transform government processes and public services, freeing up employee time spent on manual, repetitive tasks. But what does the ordinary citizen make of AI, asked Raconteur.
- US-based workforce information firm Kronos partnered with IBM to create an AI-powered Watson Career Coach for hourly workers.The mobile-based, chatbot service provides workers with personalised advice on recommended trainings, earning promotions and raises, and switching positions within their organisations. The service, noted TrendWatching, is aimed at companies in, for example, the food service or retail sectors who employ large numbers of lower paid hourly workers where it is difficult to provide meaningful 1:1 human career management.
- Google’s AI assistant appreciates good manners. It won’t scold you for not saying “please” and “thank you,” but it will be nicer if you do.
- Further reading:
- AI could contribute an estimated additional $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, and a Raconteur infographic examined which countries and sectors might benefit the most.
- The FT argued that the latest incarnations of AI are not much better at solving real world complex problems than their ancestors were three decades ago. Heavily-tuned systems can win at narrow challenges such as Go, chess, or Jeopardy. But diagnosing a disease from the myriad and conflicting symptoms a human being can exhibit is currently beyond them. So what is AI good for, asked the FT? What it has always been good for: the identification of patterns in complex data. Medical image anomaly detection, hydrocarbon detection, consumer behavioural prediction and fraud detection have all benefited from advances in computational capacity. These all share two things: large volumes of well-structured input data and well-defined endpoints.
- Google announced it would not bid for the US Defense Department cloud computing contract JEDI, potentially worth $10bn. Google explained that the company would not bid because “we couldn’t be assured that it would align with our AI Principles”. Google is one of many companies considering the ethical questions surrounding artificial intelligence. Read more from CB Insights about how tech companies are confronting ethics in AI here.
- Stephen Hawking’s final warnings to humanity emerged. In his last writings, reported Quartz, the late physicist predicted that a breed of genetically engineered “superhumans” would take over. AI, meanwhile, could develop “a will that is in conflict with ours”.
- We have AI as a new tool to help us better manage the impacts of climate change and protect the planet, according to a World Economic Forum report, Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for the Earth. In India, AI has helped farmers get 30% higher groundnut yields per hectare by providing information on preparing the land, applying fertiliser and choosing sowing dates. In Norway, AI helped create a flexible and autonomous electric grid, integrating more renewable energy.
- AI in China is already a powerful enabler of authoritarian rule, with the government facing few legal constraints while accessing the enormous amounts of personal data generated by consumer tech services. But a Wired article also warned that China aims to become much more: an AI superpower exporting its techno-authoritarian revolution to the world.
- Artificial intelligence has got pretty good at detecting lies, noted Quartz. Police departments in Spain have used machine learning to find dozens of false written confessions.
- Further reading:
- Research from the McKinsey Global Institute attempted to simulate the impact of AI on the world economy:
- First, it builds on an understanding of the behaviour of companies and the dynamics of various sectors to develop a bottom-up view of how to adopt and absorb AI technologies.
- Second, it takes into account the likely disruptions that countries, companies, and workers are likely to experience as they transition to AI.
- Third, it examines the dynamics of AI for a wide range of countries - clustered into groups with similar characteristics - with the aim of giving a more global view.
- Gains from AI could add $13 trillion to global economic output by 2030, around 16 percent higher cumulative GDP compared to today, according to McKinsey, but those benefits may be spread unevenly, and the economic impact of AI could exacerbate divides between workers, companies, and governments.
- Microsoft announced AI for Humanitarian Action, a new $40 million, five-year programme. The initiative will harness the power of AI to focus on helping the world recover from disasters, addressing the needs of children, protecting refugees and displaced people, and promoting respect for human rights. The AI for Humanitarian Action program is part of Microsoft’s AI for Good suite – a growing $115 million, five-year commitment to work to unlock solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges with AI - read more at Microsoft on the Issues.
- Meanwhile, The Economist highlighted a new report which suggested that AI may not be as bad for workers as many fear. The researchers found that AI would not take away as many jobs as expected. It could increase collaboration and job satisfaction, break down groupthink and promote diversity in job searches. Though AI programs are only as good as the data they are fed, the report is an optimistic corrective to the usual alarming predictions.
- EY's Digital Trust campaign looked at how AI is quickly outpacing the governance and controls that guide its use - increasing demand from clients about how they should adapt.- see How do you teach AI the value of trust?
- EY warned that as AI and machine learning proliferate, AI technologies are rapidly outpacing the organisational governance and controls that guide their use. External regulators simply can’t keep up, and enterprises are grappling with increasing demands to demonstrate sound and transparent controls that can evolve as quickly as the technology does.
- The AI revolution will bring short-term pain before long-term gains, warned Project Syndicate. If that pain occurs against a backdrop of frustration with the unequal distribution of AI's benefits, it may trigger a backlash against technologies that could otherwise produce a virtuous cycle of higher productivity, income growth, and employment-boosting demand.
- There are about 10,000 known human diseases, yet human doctors are only able to recall a fraction of them at any given moment. As many as 40,500 patients die annually in intensive care in the U.S. as a result of misdiagnosis, according to a 2012 Johns Hopkins study. A British entrepreneur believes that AI can help doctors avoid these mistakes.
- Recruiting cybersecurity experts is becoming a challenge for companies, as skilled staff are in short supply, reported the FT, but AI is coming to the rescue. While AI is already taking the pressure off overstretched cybersecurity teams, the skills required from professionals are changing rapidly as the technology evolves. This is forcing companies to choose between retraining existing staff or hiring fresh talent. Machine learning is ideally suited to monitoring growing volumes of data for potential security breaches and cutting cybersecurity teams’ workloads.
- AI can predict a city’s obesity levels by analysing its buildings, according to Quartz. Using satellite images, Google Street View, and health data, researchers trained an algorithm to estimate obesity rates without examining its inhabitants.
- Further reading:
- AI heralds its existence by powering our daily chores - What's New
- Artificial intelligence faces public backlash, warns scientist - FT
- Can Cybersecurity be Entrusted with AI? - Vinod Sharma's Blog
- Experts weigh in on AI’s limitations - getabstract
- Welcome to the future of AI - Expert Systems
- What if AI is coming for jobs faster than we thought? - Big Think
Recommended read of the month: AI in startups.
In an effort to stop trolls, Wikimedia Foundation partnered with Jigsaw (the tech incubator formerly known as Google Ideas) on a research project called Detox using machine learning to flag comments that might be personal attacks. This project is part of Jigsaw’s initiative to build open-source AI tools to help combat harassment on social media platforms and web forums.
Now we have personal assistants in our pockets and on our desks, automated factories and self-driving cars currently being tested, we are, "living in the imagined futures of our past", claimed Big Think, recommending 10 AI books to help us get to the next step.
In spite of recent progress, AI has a long way to go to approach human-level learning, thinking, and problem solving ability — a goal known as AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). Today’s AIs are quite narrow and rigid. The vast majority of researchers agree that current technology is nowhere near human (or even animal) intelligence in terms of general cognitive ability. However, the coming "third wave of AI" may change this.
Meanwhile, Forbes showcased 10 examples of how deep learning is used in practice to help its readers visualise its potential.
Lawfare warned that means nations will try to identify, steal, and corrupt or otherwise counteract the AI and related assets of others, and will use AI against each other in pursuit of their own national interests. And that presents nations with a classic counterintelligence problem in a novel and high-stakes context: how do they protect a valuable national asset against a range of threats from hostile foreign actors, and how do they protect themselves against the threat from AI in the hands of adversaries?
A lot of AI development is being spent in the cybersecurity space, noted CIO, with the advent of ransomware, sophisticated malware and the like. All the top technology companies are spending millions each year on AI and cyber security -- from Microsoft to Google, from Cisco to Symantec, including the big name anti-virus companies. However, in the last few years, there has been an increase in startups around security tools that tout machine learning and AI (Darktrace, Cylance, AlienVault, etc.) - there is more about this trend in Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017, 2016, and 2015.
Analyst firm CCS Insight sees AI radically transforming the health care industry over the next five years. AI will bring important improvements in operational effectiveness, care delivery and above all, patient outcomes. It will also be a vital tool in helping solve some of our most challenging health-related problems, not least how to balance restricted budgets and reduced workforces against the growth of chronic conditions.
The vision of AI that China is creating is a thoroughly illiberal one, warned the National Review. Constant surveillance of citizens is powering initiatives such as the Social Credit System, which will rate citizens on their social and economic performance, increasing the power of the state to enforce its cultural vision. If liberal governments fail to develop AI strategies that can sufficiently compete with those of China, "dire consequences will follow for global democracy".
McKinsey research suggested that a technology race has started for AI, a set of new technologies now in the early stages of deployment. It appears that AI adopters can’t flourish without a solid base of core and advanced digital technologies. Companies that can assemble this bundle of capabilities are starting to pull away from the pack and will probably be AI’s ultimate winners.
As AI technologies have become more powerful in recent years there has been growing interest in how the technology will impact our work. The latest of these comes from an MIT Sloan academic who recently penned a paper that attempts to provide a more nuanced exploration of the topic than the utopian and doomsday predictions that occupy either end of the spectrum. The paper argues that whole jobs are very unlikely to be disrupted or replaced by machines, with a much more likely scenario being that specific tasks will be replaced instead, although some jobs are likely to have more of their tasks automated than others.
Powerful AI needs to be reliably aligned with human values. Does this mean that AI will eventually have to police those values? Cambridge philosophers considered the trade-off between safety and autonomy in the era of superintelligence.
Of all corporate functions, sales by its very nature is surely the most people-focused, argued Raconteur. While it may no longer involve quite as much face-to-face interaction as it once did, selling has remained emphatically a job for people rather than machines. However, AI and machine-learning are already starting to make major inroads into the sales process, adding an extra dimension to everything from marketing automation to customer relationship management. And they work. According to Salesforce Research, high-performing teams are at least twice as likely to be using intelligent sales technologies such as AI, sentiment analysis, next-step analysis and deep-learning.
- Academics at Stanford University demonstrated that a “deep learning” algorithm was capable of diagnosing potentially cancerous skin lesions as accurately as a board-certified dermatologist. The cancer finding, reported in Nature, was part of a stream of reports offering an early glimpse into what could be a new era of “diagnosis by software,” in which AI aids doctors - or even competes with them. Experts say medical images, like photographs, x-rays, and MRIs, are a nearly perfect match for the strengths of deep-learning software, which has in the past few years led to breakthroughs in recognising faces and objects in pictures.
- AI is taking hold of the gaming industry, and promises to revolutionise everything from eSports to in-game advertising. However, the gaming industry is no stranger to AI, noted CB Insights, adding that games as early as Space Invaders (1978) used computer-controlled, non-player characters to enhance the game experience for human players.
- The Omidyar Network published its framework on ethical AI with the Institute of the Future.
Are you neurotic, agreeable, an extravert, or conscientious? New AI technology purports to know you better than you know yourself. Machine learning is bringing a new meaning to the phrase “in the blink of an eye”, reported the World Economic Forum, with researchers at the University of South Australia and the University of Stuttgart using eye movements to predict key traits.
According to EY's AI leader, the main reason AI is less understood than previous technologies is that it isn’t just one technology, but rather a number of different technologies like machine learning, speech recognition, computing vision, natural language processing, and planning.
Countries and companies are beginning to attend to the ethics of AI technology use. However, such efforts need to be collectively determined to result in solid frameworks, cautioned Computer Weekly.
Quartz noted that scientists test new chemical compounds on animals because we they claim we still don’t completely understand the world around us. New compounds might interact with living cells in unexpected ways, causing unforeseen harm. But an AI system published in the research journal Toxicological Sciences showed that it might be possible to automate some tests using the knowledge about chemical interactions we already have. The AI was trained to predict how toxic tens of thousands of unknown chemicals could be, based on previous animal tests, and the algorithm’s results were shown to be as accurate as live animal tests.
Brains and Chains was a recent AI and Blockchain conference which explored the intersection of these two cutting-edge technological trends, and discussed how they can be utilised to create opportunities for innovative solutions.
Prediction Machines, a new book by the University of Toronto’s Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, argued that the core benefit AI technology will provide to us is the ability to significantly lower the cost of making accurate predictions.
New research from Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute revealed that AI is no longer alien to consumers, with close to three-quarters indicating they have interacted via AI, and 69% of those who have used AI being satisfied with those interactions. The report, The Secret to Winning Customers’ Hearts with Artificial Intelligence: Add Human Intelligence, revealed that 55% of consumers prefer interactions enabled by a mix of AI and humans, and 64% want AI to be more human-like.
- AI is no longer just about the ability to calculate the quickest driving route from London to Bucharest, or to outplay Garry Kasparov at chess. Think next-level, said Aeon: think artificial emotional intelligence. ‘Siri, I’m lonely’: an increasing number of people are directing such affective statements, good and bad, to their digital helpmeets. According to Amazon, half of the conversations with the company’s smart-home device Alexa are of non-utilitarian nature – groans about life, jokes, existential questions.
- The Global Artificial Intelligence Platform Market 2018 - by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2023 claimed to focus on the leading factors responsible for the development of the global AI market and highlight the dominant players in the AI market.
- Most employers do not (yet) feel threatened by AI. According to recent data from work benefits giant MetLife, 56% of employers demonstrated a positive view of automation technologies like AI, analytics and even robots.
- New research from Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute revealed that AI is no longer alien to consumers, with close to three-quarters (73%) indicating they have interacted via AI, and 69% of those who have used AI being satisfied with those interactions. The report, “The Secret to Winning Customers’ Hearts with Artificial Intelligence: Add Human Intelligence” reveals that 55% of consumers prefer interactions enabled by a mix of AI and humans, and 64% want AI to be more human-like
62 years ago this summer, Dartmouth professor John McCarthy coined the term artificial intelligence. Joi Ito, director of MIT’s Media Lab, has come to think it’s unhelpful. “Instead of thinking about AI as separate or adversarial to humans, it’s more helpful and accurate to think about machines augmenting our collective intelligence and society,” Ito told WIRED, who in turn advise us to say goodbye to AI, and hello to EI, or XI, for extended intelligence.
Chatham House warned that AI technology may have profound impacts on economic and geopolitical power balances, but it will require clarity of purpose to ensure that it does not simply serve to reinforce existing inequities.
Google announced its AI Principles which include being socially beneficial, avoiding unfair bias, safe, accountable, transparent, scientifically rigorous and not used harmfully (including for weapons or surveillance beyond ‘international norms’).
New research highlights how differing attitudes towards trust of AI could lead to a new digital divide. Refusing to accept the advantages offered by AI could place a large group of people at a serious disadvantage: for example, differential access to job opportunities.
The Economist noted that, while we are still a fair way from the researchers’ goal of what is technically called Artificial General Intelligence - a machine that can successfully perform any task an average human could and even, perhaps, become self-aware - IBM’s AI researchers are already thinking through the kinds of problem-solving activities that, rolled together, would make something like a human brain.
Artificial Intelligence is driving huge value for businesses, but will AI kill creativity? Accenture Interactive views AI as a creative enabler that should be fully integrated into marketing strategies to free up creatives to do what they are best at and discussed ow businesses can drive real value from AI and harness new opportunities.
Although it can replicate behaviour, AI does not have imagination, because it is just a sorting algorithm with advanced functional optimisation and regression techniques. The human mind, on the other hand, is rapidly creative and imaginative. Humans are able to think of stories and imagine things which we then bring to life. AI cannot do that, rather what it can do is repetitive tasks at an extremely efficient rate. So in the age of AI human creativity will have more premium than ever before. The world will need more creativity in all endeavours, even in regards to implementing and leveraging AI technology creatively.
For all of human history, politics has been fundamentally driven by conscious human action and the collective actions and interactions of humans within networks and organisations. Now, noted Chatham House in a major new report, Artificial Intelligence and International Affairs, which argued that advances in AI hold out the prospect of a fundamental change in this arrangement: the idea of a non-human entity having specific agency could create radical change in our understanding of politics at the widest levels.
AI has passed a new landmark in its development: its first psychopath. Researchers at MIT Media Lab have developed Norman, a machine-learning algorithm fed on a data diet of dark subject matter.
Some futurists and tech experts predict a not-so-distant future in which AI, having achieved a certain indistinguishability from humans, will be truly intelligent. At that point, they claim, AI will experience the world in ways not too unlike the ways that we experience it – emotionally, intelligently, and spiritually.
As AI is woven deeper into different types of software and business processes, the success of it, particularly from customer experience and personalisation standpoints, depends on its ability to recognise emotion and act accordingly. Will machines be able to achieve artificial empathy? Or have they already, asked Information Week,
While automation and AI are already transforming businesses and will contribute to economic growth via contributions to productivity, they will also help address “moonshot” societal challenges in areas from health to climate change, believes McKinsey.
You wouldn’t leave a child without supervision. And we shouldn’t leave AI systems without supervision, either, warned Quartz. Despite the learning potential of AI, it is in its infancy and cannot be left unattended. From over-optimised GPS sending unwitting tourists into barely existent dirt paths inside Death Valley to Microsoft’s AI Twitter bot going rogue after Twitter pranksters filled its brain with hate speech; whether unintentional or by malicious design, algorithms behaving unexpectedly are now a fact of life.
In the race to master artificial intelligence, Europe is a clear laggard, warned the FT. The US and China dominate AI in everything from research to investment. Whereas Europe spent about $3bn-$4bn on AI in 2016, investment in North America was up to $23bn, according to McKinsey Global Institute.
Google’s Director of Engineering and, co-founder of Singularity University, Ray Kurzweil, has predicted that by 2029 AI will achieve human level of intelligence and by 2045 'Singularity' will happen, which is when we will multiply our effective intelligence a billion fold by merging with the intelligence we have created.
No longer confined to the realms of science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) has become central to the corporate agenda, with PwC predicting it could add $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. The AI for Business special report, published in The Times, examines the many business areas which could be boosted by smart use of AI, from education to energy.
From booking systems to customer and feedback services, chatbots are ubiquitous in business. But in areas, such as health or the home, people seem less willing to engage with what is effectively a computer running smart software or a machine that “learns” thorough artificial intelligence (AI). However, according to Raconteur, businesses are increasingly taking advantage of advances in emotionally intelligent AI to open up new opportunities to gain people’s trust when it comes to more sensitive subjects.
The rise of the personal computer and the internet have given us an early taste of how access to augmented intelligence might change ther world. But a new Quantumrun six-part series talked about a future of truly limitless intelligence, the kind that learns on its own, takes action on its own, a magnitude of intelligence that “can liberate or enslave the whole of humanity”.
Retail companies are turning to AI, with companies like Walmart using the tech for shelf-scanning robots to manage inventory. CB Insights took a look at how AI is impacting all parts of the retail chain, from heavy lifting in the warehouse to chatbots online.
Accenture research has shown that, globally, AI could boost profitability by an average of 38%, leading to an economic boost of $14 trillion by 2035.
EY pointed to a number of recent cases where AI has been able to accelerate human innovation:
- 1) Google used DeepMind to reduce the amount of energy required to cool its massive data centers by 40%. Google engineers were stunned the software could achieve these savings. The rule of thumb was that the most energy efficient way to cool a building was to run as few systems as possible, maxing out each one before bringing additional units online. But the AI didn’t do this. Instead, it turned on almost all the cooling systems simultaneously, but ran them at lower power levels, balancing the heat load across almost all of them.
- 2) In 2016, AlphaGo (a software developed by DeepMind) defeated world’s top player (Lee Sedol) at the board game Go. The game Go originated in China two to three millennia ago and has possible moves to the tune of 10^170 (more than the number of atoms in the universe). There are plenty of rules of thumb about the best ways to play the game. However, during the contest with Lee Sedol, AlphaGo came up with entirely new ways of approaching the game, for instance, it choose to cede territory around the perimeter of the board in situations when humans, based on strategies developed over generations, do the opposite.
- 3) Google's AI research team Magenta created the Neural Synthesiser, or 'NSynth', a software capable of generating entirely new sounds. It invents audio using deep AI neural networks, which blend the sounds of two instruments to create a novel, hybrid sound.
Philosophers and others in the field of the humanities who helped shape previous concepts of world order tend to be disadvantaged, lacking knowledge of AI’s mechanisms or being overawed by its capacities. In contrast, the scientific world is impelled to explore the technical possibilities of its achievements, and the technological world is preoccupied with commercial vistas of fabulous scale. The incentive of both these worlds is to push the limits of discoveries rather than to comprehend them, warned The Atlantic. And governance, insofar as it deals with the subject, is more likely to investigate AI’s applications for security and intelligence than to explore the transformation of the human condition that it has begun to produce.
- One of the main concerns with AI technologies today is the fear that they will propagate the various biases we already have in society. A recent Stanford study turned things around however, and highlighted how AI can also turn the mirror onto society and shed light on the biases that exist within it. The study utilised word embeddings to map relationships and associations between words, and through that measure the changes in gender and ethnic stereotypes over the last century in the United States. The algorithms were fed text from a huge canon of books, newspapers and other texts, whilst comparing these with official census demographic data and societal changes.
- While there is a lot of news about how artificial intelligence is changing business, Inc. argued that the most common misconception about AI is that it's complicated and only for large companies and that you don't need to be a data scientist to know how to leverage data just like you don't need to be a developer to create the concept behind an app. There are plenty of simple consumer-facing tools powered by AI that can help people run a small business or startup.
- Scarcely a day goes by without artificial intelligence making news in some form or other, noted Burson Cohn & Wolfe. Much of it is about the new applications for AI, which have been used to create new beers, diagnose depression, detect cardiac arrests, and even write poetry. But there are also ominous warnings about the dangers of AI, with Google co-founder Sergey Brin last month joining Tesla’s Elon Musk, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the late Stephen Hawking worrying about the technology’s threat to humanity.
- The FT noted that the potential scale of deep learning’s impact on business had been laid out in an April 2018 report from McKinsey Global Institute, Notes from the AI Frontier: Insight from Hundreds of Use Cases. Depending on the industry it is in, the value a company could hope to gain from applying this technology ranges from 1 to 9 per cent of its revenues. This points to trillions of dollars of potential impact on business - and the workers who are the first to learn how to apply it will be the big winners.
- Roland Berger’s Think:Act magazine asked what exactly do people mean when they talk about AI in 2018 and tried to answer the question as to where to start if you want to embrace AI in your business.
- We already have lots of choices when it comes to the products in our life, noted Inc. Coffee or tea? Nike or Adidas? Apple or Samsung etc? Futurist (and Inc. magazine columnist) Amy Webb claimed the stakes of those decisions will soon be a lot higher, as she talked about the larger role AI will play in our everyday lives in the not-too-distant future. "You won't be deciding between systems like iOS or Android for your phone," she said. "You'll be deciding: Do you want your life operating system to be Amazon or Google? If you think it's hard choosing a smartphone, just wait."
- Over the next 15 years, AI will take ever (financial) services types of jobs, according to research firm Autonomous’s new report. Two converging trends have enabled forms of AI that can effectively mimic or replace human labour, argued Fast Company. On the one hand, specialised hardware has increased processing power, making it possible for AI systems to generate outputs in real time. At the same time, the amount of data available to feed those systems has skyrocketed, thanks to search histories, online photos, and more.
- McKinsey believes that AI can be a huge help to the leader who’s trying to become more inwardly agile and foster creative approaches to transformation. When a CEO puts AI to work on the toughest and most complex strategic challenges, he or she must rely on the same set of practices that build personal inner agility. Sending AI out into the mass of complexity, without knowing in advance what it will come back with, the CEO is embracing the discovery of original, unexpected, and breakthrough ideas.
- AI is a wide-ranging tool that enables people to rethink how we integrate information, analyse data, and use the resulting insights to improve decision making - and already it is transforming every walk of life, believes the Brookings Institution, which offers recommendations for getting the most out of AI while still protecting important human values.
- The most momentous challenge facing socio-economic systems today is the arrival of AI, argued The Washington Post. If AI remains under the control of market forces, it will inexorably result in a super-rich oligopoly of data billionaires who reap the wealth created by robots that displace human labor, leaving massive unemployment in their wake. But China’s socialist market economy could provide a solution to this. If AI rationally allocates resources through big data analysis, and if robust feedback loops can supplant the imperfections of “the invisible hand” while fairly sharing the vast wealth it creates, a planned economy that actually works could at last be achievable.
- Artificial Intelligence will enable breakthrough advances in areas like healthcare, agriculture, education and transportation, argued GZEROMedia. But how do we deal with the complex questions and societal concerns that AI raises? How do we ensure that AI is designed and used responsibly? How do we establish ethical principles to protect people? And how will AI impact employment and jobs? Microsoft explored these issues, and offered suggestions on the way forward in a new book, The Future Computed - read more here.
- Rand asked whether AI could upend concepts of nuclear deterrence that have helped spare the world from nuclear war since 1945? Stunning advances in AI- coupled with a proliferation of drones, satellites, and other sensors - raise the possibility that countries could find and threaten each other's nuclear forces, escalating tensions.
- Explaining the origins of AI, a new article explained how it is generally agreed that John McCarthy coined the phrase “artificial intelligence” in the written proposal for a 1956 Dartmouth workshop, dated August 31st, 1955.
- The AI revolution hasn’t happened, yet argued that we need a 'human-centric engineering discipline' to ensure that what we develop helps humans flourish.
- Advanced AI techniques (such as deep learning and reinforcement learning) could unlock around $5 trillion of value annually across multiple industries according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
- Microsoft disclosed it has refused to sell AI tools to customers it believed had bad intentions.
- Top AI researchers are reportedly being paid more than $1m a year.
- AI brings huge opportunities for civil society organisations to improve the lives of people and communities around the world, argued the World Economic Forum: e.g. the charity Parkinson’s UK is exploring whether machine learning could be applied to develop better early warning indicators for Parkinson ’s disease.
- Artificial intelligence is front and centre with business and government leaders pondering the right moves. But what’s happening in the lab, where discoveries by academic and corporate researchers will set AI’s course for the coming year and beyond? PwC's team of researchers homed in on the leading developments both technologists and business leaders should watch closely.
- According to McKinsey, AI stands out as a transformational technology of our digital age, and its practical application throughout the economy is growing apace. For its briefing, Notes from the AI frontier: Insights from hundreds of use cases, McKinsey mapped both traditional analytics and newer “deep learning” techniques and the problems they can solve to more than 400 specific use cases in companies and organisations.
- A new SAS eBook summarised answers and results of recent interviews with business leaders that explored enterprise readiness for AI, Based on the results of that survey, this eBook delves into the biggest opportunities and challenges organisations recognise on their way to AI adoption.
- A case for broadening the study of machine behaviour. These AI systems “are a new class of agents that inhabit our world. We must use every tool at our disposal to understand and regulate their impact on the human race.”
- Francois Chollet, a deep learning expert, outlined his fears that AI could be used as a tool to exploit and manipulate people.
- “We are here to create” is an interview with Kai-Fu Lee, pioneering AI researcher and head of one of China’s Top VC firms. He’s been frank about the risks: “We’re all going to face a very challenging next fifteen or twenty years, when half of the jobs are going to be replaced by machines.
- Emmanuel Macron announced his intention to make France an AI leader and avoid “dystopia”, supported by €1.5bn in investment. Macron demonstrated a nuanced understanding of the opportunity - both technological and social - of artificial intelligence.
- How AI engineers are tackling bias in face-recognition systems.
- GE Medical Systems is figuring out how to deliver machine intelligence across its platforms. (Sources: Exponential View, Azeem Azhar's Wondermissive: Future, Tech & Society
- The One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a long-term investigation of the field of AI and its influences on people, their communities, and society. It considers the science, engineering, and deployment of AI-enabled computing systems.
- So how will AI systems change the way we live? Well, AI tools are already producing compelling advances in complex tasks, with dramatic improvements in energy consumption, audio processing, and disease detection.
- Beyond that, in our daily lives, how might AI affect e.g. urban life in future years?
- On a moral level, what do we need to do to fully consider the ethical dimensions of AI?
- The grandly-named Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society certainly is not shy about its ambitions. Led by Google and Microsoft, and including Facebook, Amazon and IBM, its goals are: “to help humanity address important global challenges such as climate change, food, inequality, health, and education”. The name and the lofty language convey, for the FT, the difficulty of setting the right expectations around AI. Reeking of condescension, they reinforce the impression of a technocratic elite deigning to reach down to the rest of mankind.
- The Accenture Institute for High Performance recently surveyed nearly 1,800 managers across 14 countries to gauge their feelings about the emergence of AI. Unlike their counterparts in the Americas and Asia Pacific, European managers are significantly more cautious about adopting AI in their work and reluctant to regard intelligent machines as active partners in the workplace. Yet while AI may initially present challenges for managers, the technology could enable them to reinvent their roles and introduce significant opportunities to create value.
- Further, how will AI impact individual business functions? In marketing, for example, Gartner estimates that 20% of business content will be authored by machines by 2018. However, when you talk to an AI chatbot, while there’s certainly an algorithm behind the scenes, humans put together the phrases - indeed some tech companies are even creating teams of writers, including playwrights, poets, and novelists, to help write lines that don’t sound like they came from a machine. The work can range from creating a consistent character for a chatbot, to inspiring an immersive virtual reality – again, in short, “knowledge work”.
- In the Black recently asked what the evolution from automation and data-analytics software to AI is likely to mean for accountants. It identified five accounting tasks that are likely to be affected: 1. Auditing 2. Risk management 3. Vendor reconciliation 4. Regulatory compliance and reporting and 5. Trend analytics.
- An October 2016 webinar for APQC, 'Big Knowledge from Big Data', discussed the power and allure of Big Data and how it enables organisations to leverage unconventional data points and turn large quantities of information, both structured and unstructured, into better business decisions and impact.