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What is Artificial Intelligence?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

What is Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a constellation of many different technologies working together to enable machines to sense, comprehend, act, and learn with human-like levels of intelligence. Maybe that’s why it seems as though everyone’s definition of artificial intelligence is different: AI isn’t just one thing.

Technologies like machine learning and natural language processing are all part of the AI landscape. Each one is evolving along its own path and, when applied in combination with data, analytics and automation, can help businesses achieve their goals, be it improving customer service or optimizing the supply chain.

Narrow (or “weak”) AI

Some go even further to define artificial intelligence as “narrow” and “general” AI. Most of what we experience in our day-to-day lives is narrow AI, which performs a single task or a set of closely related tasks. Examples include:

  • Weather apps
  • Digital assistants
  • Software that analyzes data to optimize a given business function

These systems are powerful, but the playing field is narrow: They tend to be focused on driving efficiencies. But, with the right application, narrow AI has immense transformational power—and it continues to influence how we work and live on a global scale.

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General (or “strong”) AI

General AI is more like what you see in sci-fi films, where sentient machines emulate human intelligence, thinking strategically, abstractly and creatively, with the ability to handle a range of complex tasks. While machines can perform some tasks better than humans (e.g. data processing), this fully realized vision of general AI does not yet exist outside the silver screen. That’s why human-machine collaboration is crucial—in today’s world, artificial intelligence remains an extension of human capabilities, not a replacement.

Why does AI matter?

Artificial intelligence has long been a subject of anticipation among both popular and scientific culture, with the potential to transform businesses as well as the relationship between people and technology at large. So, why is AI usage reaching critical mass today?

Because of the proliferation of data and the maturity of other innovations in cloud processing and computing power, AI adoption is growing faster than ever. Companies now have access to an unprecedented amount of data, including dark data they didn’t even realize they had until now. These treasure troves are a boon to the growth of AI.

A critical source of business value – when done right

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AI has long been regarded as a potential source of business innovation. With the enablers now in place, organizations are starting to see how AI can multiply value for them. Automation cuts costs and brings new levels of consistency, speed and scalability to business processes; in fact, some Tolakan clients are seeing time savings of 70 percent. Even more compelling, however, is the ability of AI to drive growth. Companies that scale successfully see 3X the return on their AI investments compared to those who are stuck in the pilot stage. No wonder 84 percent of C-suite executives believe they must leverage AI to achieve their growth objectives.

Agility and competitive advantage

Artificial intelligence is not just about efficiency and streamlining laborious tasks. Thanks to machine learning and deep learning, AI applications can learn from data and results in near real time, analyzing new information from many sources and adapting accordingly, with a level of accuracy that’s invaluable to business. (product recommendations are a prime example.) This ability to self learn and self optimize means AI continually compounds the business benefits it generates.

In this way, AI helps businesses adapt at speed, with a regular stream of insights to drive innovation and competitive advantage in a world of constant disruption. When scaled, AI can become a key enabler of your strategic priorities—and even a lynchpin to survival: Three out of four C-suite executives believe that if they don’t scale artificial intelligence in the next five years, they risk going out of business entirely. Clearly, the stakes are high to scale AI.

The benefits of AI

There are many ways to define artificial intelligence, but the more important conversation revolves around what AI enables you to do.

End-to-end efficiency: AI eliminates friction andimproves analytics and resource utilization across yourorganization, resulting in significant cost reductions. It canalso automate complex processes and minimize downtimeby predicting maintenance needs.

Improved accuracy and decision-making: AI augmentshuman intelligence with rich analytics and patternprediction capabilities to improve the quality,effectiveness, and creativity of employee decisions.

Intelligent offerings: Because machines think differentlyfrom humans, they can uncover gaps and opportunities inthe market more quickly, helping you introduce newproducts, services, channels and business models with alevel of speed and quality that wasn’t possible before.

Empowered employees: AI can tackle mundane activitieswhile employees spend time on more fulfilling high-valuetasks. By fundamentally changing the way work is doneand reinforcing the role of people to drive growth, AI isprojected to boost labor productivity. Using AI can also unlock the incredible potential of talent with disabilities, while helping all workers thrive.

Superior customer service: Continuous machinelearning provides a steady flow of 360-degree customerinsights for hyper personalization. From 24/7 chatbots tofaster help desk routing, businesses can use AI to curateinformation in real time and provide high-touchexperiences that drive growth, retention and overallsatisfaction.

AI is used in many ways, but the prevailing truth is that your AI strategy is your business strategy. To maximize your return on AI investments, identify your business priorities and then determine how AI can help.

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