Digital business transformationBusiness models are transforming to include new avenues of creating value and revenue streams. Legacy modernization is key to unlocking these new avenues because the data that used to sit locked in monolith systems is now being unleashed - the systems are either being broken down or replaced in the new digital era.
Democratizing techToday data creation is at an unprecedented rate of approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data/day. Humans’ constant back and forth with machines is changing the relationship, making it easier for people to embrace AI (Google Maps, Alexa, etc.) into daily lives.
Harnessing dataCost and ease of storage are ensuring that no byte of information need ever be deleted. Add to this, the shift to Open Source technologies that reduce barriers to adoption and, we have access to algorithms and tools that can work on the inexhaustible data.
The journey ahead
Businesses will have to embrace an experimentative approach when adopting AI. To use Pedro Domingos’ (author of The Master Algorithm) analogy, “make a hypothesis, collect data, refine the hypothesis and repeat.” Such an approach will cultivate hybrid teams with unconventional skill sets (psychologists, linguists, etc.), will encourage non-deterministic thinking and choose problems that benefit from an AI-first strategy. And, its success in pockets across the business should be quickly followed by scaling AI adoption across organizational functions.
Puzzle, biases, and worriesAn AI-first approach invokes its own set of puzzles. The all-pervading nature of AI sometimes wanders the grey areas of ethics and biases which makes it important for organizations to keep their use of AI fair, inclusive, unbiased, explainable and ethical. Some propose that radical transparency is the answer to managing AI well.
Given this irrefutable future of AI and its potential impact on humankind, I’d like to leave you with a few musings. How will the relationship between humans and machines evolve? Will it be the inevitable battle to the death that all sci-fi movies proport or a symbiotic coexistence. As latest findings (AlphaGo and AlphaGo Zero) have shown we may not even understand how machine ‘minds’ think and operate - are we comfortable in such a world? Finally, given that AI will gradually replace more human tasks, are we looking at technological unemployment leading to more creative, empathy driven jobs for people or will AI simply be the last human invention?