The First Wave of Artificial Intelligence
You may not know, but artificial intelligence is not new. David Kenar of MMC Ventures writes, the notion of AI originates in 1956 by Dartmouth Assistant Professor John McCarthy, ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) is a general term that refers to hardware or software that exhibits behavior which appears intelligent. In the words of Professor McCarthy, it is “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs.” Arguably the first general computer, the Babbage/Lovelace “Analytical Engine” created more than a century prior, could be possibly viewed as a rudimentary form of artificial intelligence. The point is, AI is not new.
Why the craze today? There are two primary drivers forcing us to re-evaluate AI: Big data and computing power.
Inferential statistics was a tool required to overcome the costs associated with statistical sampling and population studies. Now we have enough computing power and cheap storage to simulate populations millions of times over, fine tuning statistical models to enhance predictive power, and automating the process algorithmically. Inferential statistics didn’t go away, modern technology just put it in its star trek face, also known as data science.
While technology rapidly evolves, human evolution occurs somewhat on a slower pace. Our predictably irrational nature should help inform our prioritizations; and the many applications of AI and machine learning. 2016 was the first year Gartner added “General Purpose Machine Intelligence” to their technology hype cycle. They state that is will be 10 years before our ‘machine overlords’ take over!
Don’t Believe the Hype..?
More seriously, focus your attention on the technologies that are less than 2-5 years away from mainstream adoption. And keep in mind, Gartner publishes their hype cycle analysis every year, so it’s safe to assume there is a 1 year lag for most assessments. The emerging technologies at the 2-5 year mark are really 1 year away. And they will have best value by the time the IT upgrade is fully deployed. Adopting a pre-mature technology can not only have functional and practical problems, but also will cause negative impact on the reputation of the firm.
Those with roadmaps that include various forms of business process automation, cognitive expert advisors, software defined services, and natural language question answering are not far away from main stream adoption. At solv.ai we call this ‘the first wave of commercialised AI’.
That said, when confronted with various offers one still needs to apply serious rigor. Now is the time to separate the hucksters (cowboy traders) from the real solution providers. It’s the visionaries and techies who want to rule the world with grandiose schemes! However, it’s the professionals and domain experts who have been in the trenches, who have an understanding of the stakeholders, processes, and pain points, that will build technologies fit for purpose.
This is where solv.ai steps in; we are P2P domain experts, interested in emerging technologies related to AI and cognitive services, we have done the technology assessment, and are building solutions dedicated to solving business problems. Our first set of products resolvr™ and resolvr email™ are dedicated for supporting Accounts Payable staff query challenges, using technologies all of their suppliers already use. Find out more at https://solv.ai