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Saturday, 24 December 2016 13:18

How artificial intelligence will support business growth in 2017

By: 

Major advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have opened the door to many new ideas that were just impossible a few years ago

When creating a new AI-based app, there are many generic problems that are already being solved by other companies, for example face and gesture detection.

Unless this is the main business and focus of the company, they will prefer to look for an out-of-the-box AI-as-a-service solution which will save them time, expertise and money.

This type of solutions are called AI platforms and give their users many out-of-the-box services, such as computer vision (feature/face and gesture detection), natural language processing (NLP), speech to text, and translations between different language.

Many companies including Google and Amazon sell this kind of AI services. During 2017, we will continue to see many improvements in those platforms mainly in the ease of use, accuracy and performance.

Businesses whose goals can’t be achieved using AI-as-a-service will create customised modules on top of those platforms or completely start from scratch to create their own image recognition algorithm.

Companies in the medical field such as Zebra medical will continue to improve their AI algorithm, which can now detect under-diagnosed medical conditions in MRI scans.

Other companies such as Tesla will use similar technologies to improve their fully autonomous level five self-driving vehicles.

2017 will continue to see many businesses taking advantage of existing platforms and others creating their own customised AI algorithms.

Another major trend that will grow dramatically next year is apps being built on top of existing AI-ecosystems such as Siri by Apple, Alexa by Amazon and Assistant by Google.

Joining one or more of these closed AI-ecosystems brings tremendous benefits to the business, including huge ecosystem and distribution channels.

For the developers, it instantly harnesses the great power of AI, without the need to build and understand artificial intelligence.

All this is worth a lot of money, which can be saved by taking advantage of the existing AI-ecosystems.

As an example, let’s take Amazon’s AI-ecosystem with its ‘Alexa’ brain. One of the ways to interact with Alexa is to buy Amazon Echo, a hands-free speaker that you can control with your voice.

Domino’s pizza created an app for the Echo that allows hands-free pizza ordering with voice-control. This type of AI technology combined with a strong community of third-party developers will dramatically change the way we interact with technology around the house, office or on the go.

Similar to Allo, an instant messaging app developed by Google that includes a virtual assistant which provides a ‘smart reply’ function that allows users to reply without typing, we’ll see AI services further weave into everyday interactions in a conversational manner.

In terms of customer service, we’re seeing bots becoming a go-to tool. These bots are built into current platforms such as Facebook to allow people to check their account, make reservations or be redirected to the right department.

By not needing to wait for a physical body, customers are able to lessen the time they need to spend finding help, without draining companies resources.

Moreover, texting a bot feels more natural than conversing with one over the phone where they may only understand simple phrases.

Beyond customer servicing, bots on Facebook have been built by news sites to keep users up to date in a conversational manner.

Quartz introduced a conversational style app that updates throughout the day while CNN has built a bot directly for Facebook messenger that can reply with news depending on the input. So if a user wishes to read news about a certain topic, they can send a text message to CNN to request it.

Author:  Ben Rossi

Source:  http://www.information-age.com/2017-hold-digital-economy-123463767

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