Sep 13, 2016

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When we hear the term “Artificial Intelligence,” (AI) we are immediately bombarded by thoughts from Hollywood films like The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey and even Terminator 2: Judgment Day. What all three movies have in common in relation with AI is that the program is somewhat in human form and for a lack of a better word, evil. These fictional computer programs send shivers down our spine and make us wonder if that is really how we our end will start.
The reality is that we are a long ways off from liquid metal mimicking others. Although we do not realize it, we interact with some kind of artificial intelligence almost everyday and businesses are using AI to crunch lots of data, solve problems and better understand their consumers. AI is growing and businesses are growing with it because of this, so what we perceive as science fiction may soon quickly become reality.

The Recent Journey of AI

In 1996, Deep Blue, a chess program created by IBM, went against Garry Kasparov and lost. A year later, Deep Blue faced Kasparov again and won. This time around, Deep Blue was upgraded to be leaner, meaner and much more intelligent. The program used what many businesses intelligence tools use: data mining. By gaining massive amounts of data and applying it, the program was able to learn and beat a grandmaster, the first time in history.

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In recent years, we have seen another IBM program dominate by using data mining. IBM’s Watson went against two of the greatest Jeopardy! contestants and although there were some very noticeable errors, the program did incredibly well and won.
Also in the past decade, we have seen the rise of startups that are working on artificial intelligence. According to Bloomberg, more and more startups are getting into the field and more money is being invested in them ever before.

Affect of AI

From data storytelling, to business predictors, these startups are being heavily invested in and are providing a wide range of businesses solutions they did not even know they needed. These artificial intelligence startups are aiming to help businesses data mine and even analyze that data so they may further their relationship with current customers and more importantly gain new ones.
AI has also been used to detect fraud and even predict when it may happen again. So, where many believe AI is for growth and understanding, it may even be used to deter loses and strengthen the company.
With the rise of technology, growth in businesses is sure to be prominent but there is also a fear that it would put many out of work. According to YouGov, those that make less than $40,000 a year are much more worried about technology making their jobs obsolete than those who make $40,000-$80,000 and $80,000+ a year.

   
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The reason being is that fully automated machines that use AI have been in use for years and the technology behind it is just getting better. Those with higher income may believe that their job is secure but there are already AI startups focusing on creativity. Some are able to write entire news stories based on data it has gathered and in a way that is natural to read.

Trending AI

So what are the hottest trends in AI in business today? From the everyday workforce to some near sci-fi sounding implementations, here’s some ways that artificial intelligence is making waves in this generation.

Replacing the Workforce

Certainly a matter of concern for some individuals, AI replacing the workforce is becoming a business trend for those companies looking to streamline their processes. And we’re not just talking about factory lineups (though that’s happening too). Even white collar jobs that are primarily in place for information processing may be soon replaced by their cold-blooded counterparts.

Smart Living

From Amazon’s Alexa to smart cars and even thermometers that predict your needs, offices and homes are getting smarter with a network of AI devices intended on handling many of life’s daily tasks for you. Interconnected together wirelessly, businesses may soon be able to use this technology to conduct a variety of receptionist-type duties in a responsive environment for entertaining business partners and guests.

Customer Service

Tech Republic views customer service as one of the most breakthrough trends in AI for this decade. With a bank of knowledge on online customer behavior and search patterns, a complex response can be generated providing solutions which are channeled to make the customer happy – guiding them in the most sure direction leading to a sale.

                                     Image Source: techrepublic.com

The Future of AI

Artificial intelligence is the future of business. It is not just data mining but rather a field of precision and applying the knowledge gathered. What we are experiencing is a revolution in business practices that is only the tip of the iceberg. These companies that focus on AI will be pioneering their own field and reshaping many others. It is only a matter of time before we, as a society, will have to address that AI may completely replace us. But for now, we still have a long time to go before we see a Terminator – and see a much brighter future in days to come.

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