Digital Transformation (DX) is one of the most crucial initiatives that many organizations have undertaken or are taking up. The perfect storm of a wide range of technologies such as SaaS, Mobile, Robotics, IoT (Internet of things), Virtual Reality (VR), etc. is playing a crucial role in the Digital Transformation (DX) of companies. However, it is our belief that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will be the key technologies that will propel organizations through the Digital Transformation. Artificial intelligence is the subfield of computer science aimed to develop machines capable of performances usually done by humans (in other words, where the logical decision is taken). Few examples are IBM Watson, Face Recognition and Deep Learning. AI has already established its place in nearly all circles of life, including the medical sector, industries, manual labour, space, military, etc.
The AI genie is out of the bottle. As we swipe on our screens and make online requests, Artificial Intelligence grants our wishes. A whole new world has been ushered in as AI can now accomplish the following tasks: ->Detect objects – Recognize speech – Translate language – Recognize faces – Analyze sentiment. “When we see the intelligent systems talking to us, it’s AI at work. Face book, Google, Amazon and Netflix recommendations, AI is all around us”. Smart machines, cognitive computing, guidance systems, predictive analytics, machine learning, self driving cars, deep learning, natural language generation platforms are different aspects of general AI. Thinking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) may seem like thinking of a futuristic world akin to those in science fiction movies, but in actuality, the lines between reality and fiction have blurred. AI is changing the world and the lives of people and is becoming the engine of growth of economies and organizations. Whether it is a simple Google Search, a conversation with Amazon Alexa or Google Home or Apple’s – Siri, or a simple Chatbot on some website you visited, you may already be interacting with AI/ ML driven tools and – well – bots – in many of your daily activities. This, without a doubt, is changing the way we perform our daily activities, organize our work, our business and how we take decisions in our everyday lives. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), by the end of 2018, at least 40% of organizations have a fully staffed Digital Leadership Team versus a Single DX Executive Lead to accelerate enterprise-wide Data Transformation (DX) initiatives.
And by 2019, 40% of all DX initiatives will be related to AI. By 2020, web interfaces will be quite diversified, with 30% of all web browsing sessions will be done using Augmented Reality (AR) and about 50% of all new mobile applications will have voice as their main interface for people to use them. According to Accenture Research, “AI is the collection of multiple technologies that allow machines to detect, understand, act and learn either on their own or to augment human activities”. They will have many of the capabilities of a human being – the ability to learn and distinguish between things. But they also have a great advantage over humans – they do not need to rest to function! The same Accenture study reveals that AI could double annual economic growth rates by 2035 by changing the nature of work and create a new relationship between Man and Machines, increasing labour productivity by up to 40%. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already present in many of the services we use every day, even when we may not be aware of them. For example, when Amazon suggests products you might want to buy, it is using a system based on AI to suggest a product based on your previous purchases and what other people have bought after buying what you are buying (Suggested Products). AI is beginning to mature to the point where it can learn without human interactions. AI tools are becoming an integral part of many organizations, both in the public and private sectors. It is being applied to help in the improvement of performance of Government agencies, in their service levels and accountability and develop solutions focused on the well-being of Citizens. All these advancements and many such developments in AI have led us to develop something extraordinary to aid the humans. In the last 10 years, advances in both computing technology and software, and access to large amounts of data, (thanks to the Internet and SaaS/ Cloud-based systems) are enabling the resurgence of AI. Hardware and software are increasingly powerful, less expensive and easier to access. This allows the processing of large data sets quickly and cost-effectively. Artificial Intelligence (AI) processes are applied in real systems in a wide variety of sectors.
Here are few examples:-
i) IT and Security:- The most popular use of AI in business lies in these areas. About 44% of 835 companies surveyed by Tata Consultancy Services are already using AI to detect and prevent intrusions. 41% use it to solve technical problems of users, 34% to reduce the workload and automate their processes in the production area. Gartner predicts that, by 2020, at least 75% of security software tools will include predictive and prescriptive analytics based on heuristics, AI-based skills, and machine learning algorithms.
ii) Customer Service: -Companies know how important this area is and how much it can affect the brand. Data collected from their interactions provide you with useful perspectives on how to serve your customers.
iii) Business Operations and Decision Support:- AI can help many activities related to the running of a business, such as scheduling conferences, team meetings and business trips. Very soon, AI will be able to aid us in decision making. IBM estimates that by 2025, data-based decision making tools market will be $2 trillion. iv) Finance and Accounting:- Accenture predicts that 80% of finance and accounting tasks will be automated in the coming years. v) Human Resources: This is another area where AI will be able to aid businesses. Artificial Intelligence can help streamline many of the HR processes. There are many ways of applying AI to the processes such as hiring, prepare interview schedules, filtering candidates or finding the most appropriate profiles for the positions that are offered etc. Highly qualified people are the backbone of any organization and reducing their time in repetitive/ mundane work can be achieved through the implementation of AI-processes. Giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon etc. are investing 100s of millions of dollars in the development of Artificial Intelligence solutions. To showcase what’s coming, Google recently unveiled a virtual assistant called Duplex which can talk/ act like a real human and help you get your daily chores done. Education sets the foundation of human behaviour. Educational ecosystem is formed by knowledge base, teaching skills and experience, learning capability, and evolving teaching methods. Digital learning solutions equipped with artificial intelligence are making revolutionary changes to the way education is imparted in students with varied interests and capabilities.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has something better for your future now. CBSE is all set to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an elective subject to make school students well-versed in technologies. It is a step taken to shape a better future for all students. The CBSE officials have decided that the subject would be introduced in classes 8, 9 and 10 as a skill subject. Apart from the core teaching role, teachers often handle several mundane administrative responsibilities such as student attendance management. This reduces the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching. However, artificial intelligence allows automation of these tasks so that teachers can play their real role- to be the motivator and guiding force for learners. This could lead to a significant rise in quality of education and reshape the future.
(The author is Sr Faculty & Warden (GCET)- Jammu)