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.
- The Future of Artificial Intelligence Documentary 2018
- The Executive Guide to AI
- The State of AI report
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.
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.