In the past months, most of you may have run into a situation where you open the GPS app on your smartphone and it ‘knows’ where you would like to go because it fits a certain repetitive pattern of behavior or the photo app organizing your pictures based on who are the most important people in your life. Underlying all these Artificial Intelligent (AI) features is a technology called deep learning that will unleash the next wave of digital transformation in the coming years ranging from self-driving cars to breakthrough medical diagnostics.
AI has quickly become a hot topic across the globe and one that promises substantial benefits across a number of industries.
AI has elicited many different viewpoints and opinions from industry leaders. There are those that believe that AI is limited to solving narrowly defined problems and cannot “generalize”. Others fear artificial super-intelligence will force humans into a state of submission as computers surpass even the most gifted human minds.
Quantiphi holds to a more practical view: artificial intelligence is the next frontier – and one that should be embraced as a valuable tool for solving previously unsolved problems.
It’s important to look at the maturity of AI, to acknowledge where we are in the grand scheme of things, and what will be possible in the near and far future. Right now, we are expanding within the realm of artificial narrow intelligence (ANI). For example, a smartphone camera in an app can scan a credit card number to process a transaction. A chatbot can generate custom quotes for travel insurance. We can ask google assistant to perform simple tasks like “Play Wind of Change by Scorpions”
The next frontier of AI is artificial general intelligence (AGI), which is where computers can mimic how humans learn and exercise cognition in a more general sense. This stage would enable machines to complete any intellectual task that a human is capable of completing. This requires the ability to reason, be strategic, solve puzzles, plan, learn, and make decisions in the face of uncertainty.
Finally, there is artificial superintelligence (ASI), which is where computer cognition could surpass that of the human race. This is a hotly debated topic among visionaries, scientists and increasingly governments and citizens where proponents argue the near unlimited promise of this technology and opponents believe machines could take over and it will be the end of the world as we know it.
No matter which side of the debate you are on, one fact is undeniable. AI has incredible power to transform business. In their current state, computers can already ‘see’, ‘hear’ and parse natural language. As AI progresses, machines will acquire the ability to better and more truly comprehend the information they receive – and even self-learn as we have seen in the case of AlphaGo system from Google Deepmind based on a technique called Deep Reinforcement Learning.
Such capabilities have already transformed activities like proof of purchase data entry experience into “magic wand” like experience in the case of Coca-Cola which is well documented in this Google Developers Blog. At Quantiphi, we believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.
As AI advances, these capabilities will become more sophisticated and computers’ cognitive abilities will more closely mimic that of a human. Rather than simply automating simple one-second tasks in place of a human, computers will soon be able to converse, understand and perform complex tasks with near human capabilities. Unlike a human brain which is unable to survive beyond one generation due to the limited life-span of its carbon substrate, computers with silicon substrate are able to transcend across multiple epochs keeping the learning process more continuous. The power and problem-solving applications for this type of cognition are near endless.
Quantiphi specializes in Applied AI. Our focus is not on advancing AI itself, but on applying AI techniques to unsolved business problems in the areas of customer engagement, acquisition and retention, improving operating efficiencies and reducing risk. Our team is passionate about being a part of uncovering and applying this transformative technology to solve the most complex and compelling business problems in existence today – and tomorrow.
From helping advertisers and content producers mine content tags from video streams to transcribing vernacular heavy speech of energy traders, our ‘synthetic unicorn’ teams are harnessing the power of AI to solve previously unsolved problems.