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What is Artificial Intelligence and why is it important?

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What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and why is important - Intelance

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Get up to speed on artificial intelligence and learn how it can help you drive business value with our curated collection of insights, reports and guides.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

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.

For some, AI is about artificial life-forms that can surpass human intelligence, and for others, almost any data processing technology can be called AI.

Simply put, Artificial Intelligence is an approach to make a computer, a robot, or a product to think how a very smart human being would think. It is a study of how the human brain thinks, learns, makes decisions, and works when it tries to solve problems.

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 optimising the supply chain.

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.

The benefits of AI

End-to-end efficiency: AI eliminates friction and improves analytics and resource utilisation across your organisation, resulting in significant cost reductions. It can also automate complex processes and minimize downtime by predicting maintenance needs.

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

Intelligent offerings: Because machines think differently from humans, they can uncover gaps and opportunities in the market more quickly, helping you introduce new products, services, channels and business models with a level of speed and quality that wasn’t possible before.

Empowered employees: AI can tackle mundane activities while employees spend time on more fulfilling high-value tasks. By fundamentally changing the way work is done and reinforcing the role of people to drive growth, AI is projected 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 machine learning provides a steady flow of 360-degree customer insights for hyper personalisation. From 24/7 chatbots to faster help desk routing, businesses can use AI to curate information in real time and provide high-touch experiences that drive growth, retention and overall satisfaction.

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.

AI for business: Change what’s possible

Although 90% of today’s businesses have adopted cloud, only one third are achieving the anticipated ROI.  The most advanced companies understand that while cloud sets you up with next-level computing power and access to new kinds of data in the right quantity and quality, AI is the bridge to convert that data into business value.  It’s no surprise the entire C-suite is now involved in the AI agenda and they’re asking what’s next.

That’s where Applied Intelligence comes in. We believe that cloud is the enabler, data is the driver, and AI is the differentiator. We bring them together to help you make smarter, faster decisions that help change your organisation and enable growth at scale.  And because we understand that people are central to the success of any technology transformation, our global team of experts bring the cross-functional skills to both deliver business outcomes and facilitate cultural change empowering your workforce to use data and AI responsibly.

The future of AI

According to Accenture’s report, AI: Built to Scale, 84 percent of business executives believe they need to use AI to achieve their growth objectives. However, 76 percent acknowledge struggling with how to scale AI across their business. Until now, there hasn’t been a blueprint to getting past proof of concept into production and scale, a transition many struggle to make. At this inflection point, it’s imperative businesses take the necessary steps to scale successfully.

Define your business value
There are countless ways to use AI. How do organisations decide what to focus on? To scale successfully, start by defining what value means to your business. Then assess and prioritise the various applications of AI against those strategic objectives.

Rework your workforce
The growing momentum of AI calls for a diverse, reconfigured workforce to support and scale it. Despite early fears that artificial intelligence and automation would lead to job loss, the future of AI hinges on human-machine collaboration and the imperative to reshape talent and ways of working.

Establish governance and ethical frameworks
Organisations must design their AI strategy with trust in mind. That means building the right governance structures and making sure ethical principles are translated into the development of algorithms and software.

Applying these factors successfully can help organizations unlock exponential value and stay competitive. AI is no longer simply a “nice to have”, but is critical to a business’ future.