Lots of talking lately about artificial Intelligence, aka AI, as the trend for acronyms demand. Philosophers, politicians, scientists, multimillionaires, writers, directors, actors, common people, everyone is talking about it. Everyone is arguing about it. Will it be good or bad? The fact in this argument is that AI is coming (or maybe it is already here). Everyone agrees that AI will eventually become a part of our lives in the near future. Alea iacta est (the die is cast).
So should we run? Should we hide? Should we prepare for war or take survival courses? Should we give up? Should we rejoice? Should we invest? Should we learn more? Should we care?
Too many should? Let us try to answer some. But in order to get answers we must first make a couple more questions.
What is AI?
According Wikipedia AI “is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals. In computer science AI research is defined as the study of “intelligent agents”: any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.
Google’s first result (during the writing of this) is an advertise which suggests that the well-known search engine “thinks” that AI is an event coming on September 2018.
During the Publishing the first result is again an advertise, but this time about a Univrity’s Artificial Intelligence Course
Is it bad or good?
Is uranium bad when used to produce energy? Is it good when used in atomic bombs? Is a criminal born bad, or raised badly? Is a soldier good when he kills the enemy? There is no true answer. It is all matter of perspective and circumstances.
Time for answers (finally)
Should we run? No. Trying to beat a machine created to be faster than you is pointless.
“IBM Watson has a 90% success rate in diagnosing cancer compared to a rate of 50% for human doctors.”
“An artificial intelligence (AI) program from Google-owned company DeepMind has reached superhuman level at the strategy game Go — without learning from any human moves.”
Should we hide? It is possible. Yes, we could hide at a remote off grid village and grow vegetables. But consider this example: You get very ill and your life is at stake, only a fast accurate diagnose can save you. Which sounds better 90% or 50%?
Should we prepare for war or take survival courses? Being prepared is always good but what if war never happens?
Should we give up? I love it when someone else is driving the car and I can enjoy the ride or take a nap but this doesn’t mean I will throw away my driver’s license. If we let AI’s do all the work just because they do it better, it is like we are sowing the branch we sit on.
Should we rejoice? Trojans took the horse inside Toy’s walls and celebrated all night. In the morning, Troy was burning and only a handful of Trojans were alive. “By 2020, 57% of business buyers will depend on companies to know what they need before they ask for anything” This prediction is only 2 years away. What will happen in 15 years? Will we depend on AI for breathing?
Should we invest In Developing AI? Is your name and your bank account has more than nine zeros following a number? Please go ahead. If not then hold your horses, AI winter is not far behind although it is very improbable to happen again. Remember that great enthusiasm causes great disappointments and why spend money to reinvent the wheel?
Should we learn more? Definitely. Learning is knowledge and knowledge is power. Go ahead and ask your self’s, do I use Google search or assistant, Siri or Bixby, image recognition, translator software or antispam software? If you answer yes, then keep on learning. If you answered no, then peak your targets.
Should we care? AI is a game changer. It will change your life, your business, your perception, the entire planet. Maybe it will change the universe. And if you haven’t noticed it is already for sale.
Today’s economy is a harsh constant changing environment. It is very demanding and doesn’t forgive the smallest mistake or delay. Many people, companies, even towns and countries have suffered the consequences of errors, misjudgments, incompetence to predict future events, or simply luck of action (believe me I am Greek). Will you lose this train? It may seem stopped, ugly and hard to comprehend but that is only because it isn’t a train it is actually a rocket. If you are not inside when it takes off you may lose a lot more than just the title of the first human in space.
Ok stop! I can’t afford a travel to the unknown. I am an executive not an explorer you might say.
Short answer: AIaaS
Also known as Artificial Intelligence as a service
Visit today your favorite cloud provider and find out what he has to offer for your line of business. There are plenty AI services to choose from and many of them are customizable to your specific needs. Furthermore, you can train “your AI” with your own data in order to fully tailor its deployment in your business quickly and accurately. Of course, it is pay as you go. So it is “win big” lose zero! You don’t believe me? Just “start your free trial”. Click the mouse button or touch your screen and bring future intelligence to your present.
Let’s imagine some use cases
You are a bank, all banks today have web services and mobiles applications for allowing their customers to enjoy 24/7 services. Online banking maybe is more important for a bank today than having actual money inside its safes. How many frustrated or warried customers call each day to reset forgotten credentials? What if you could intergrade a combination of iris and voice recognition in your app and website? An eye cannot be forgotten and multi factor authentication with iris, voice, fingerprints might prove more secure than traditional username – password. This can be safely and inexpensively developed in the cloud before it is deployed on premises. After all banks use AI since 1987 why stop now?
How about an artificial assistant that welcomes you in the website or app. It understands your voice (even with your Greek accent) and responds speaking naturally. All of it 24/7 without getting tired and at the same time serve simultaneously fifty more customers. All e shops will want one.
You have a factory full of machines producing whatever your product is. What if “PLC” data and your customer orders history are fed into an AI control system? Imagine a factory that keeps pace with your orders and produces just in time to cover demand with the least energy consumption. A factory that predicts machine failures and call’s maintenance before it happens. A factory that thresholds machines speed in such a way that even at unexpected failures it can still deliver the order in time. Minimize costs, minimize storage and at the same time maximize production efficiency and maximize customer’s satisfaction.
You are in health care and you are already dreaming about being able to predict what illness and when it will manifest since your customers are born? OK hold your horses. This will probably be true “tomorrow” but today you could face recognize your patient and get immediately his health history on your doctors smart glasses. And if the patients gives his consent you can access his exercise habits, his sleeping records, his eating records and many more just by accessing his smartphone.
Do you have a search engine? Put a perfectly relevant advertise before the actual search result and win a lot of money.
I could keep this for very long but you get the picture.
Conclusion. Love it or hate it? AI is here to stay no matter what you do. So get involved today! Accumulate experience and make value of it while you prepare yourself for the future. Better, act instead of react.