It’s a super-computer. It’s technology. It’s a Computer Brain. It’s a….Buzz Word?
Artificial Intelligence or “AI” is all the rage in consumer goods and services, and analysts say it will change the face of business forever, but what exactly is “Artificial Intelligence”. The market has failed to define what this ambiguous buzz word means, but yet investors are readily throwing billions of dollars at companies that claim to be “AI- Focused”. According to the Financial Times,
“Companies branded as AI businesses have historically raised larger funding rounds and secured higher valuations than other software businesses. The median funding round for an AI start-up last year was about 15 per cent higher than for a software start-up.”Financial Times
And yet investors struggle to understand what Artificial Intelligence means. Is it the technology? Is it the application? Is it the result?
Artificial Intelligence has become a catch-all phrase for various types of computer and data science technologies and applications aimed at automating work and aiding in decision making. Articles on the proliferation of AI in the enterprise market speak to the vast potential use cases, the efficiencies, the streamlined customer experience, but fail to define the technology. Instead, authors caveat their prophecies with statements which undermine the entire industry, “Granted, not all AI systems are alike. Some of them are relatively ‘dumb,’ because they use pre-determined inputs and outputs”. Enterprise organizations have been leveraging “If/Then” logic programming for decades to optimize their operations, from PLCs on the manufacturing floor, to excel sheets in the board room or sales office. Is a simple system that has pre-determined inputs and outputs anything more than a logic sequence?
In truth, Artificial Intelligence is a combination of complex technologies which together have the power to change the way we do business, but how many companies have successfully developed the advanced integrated technology to deliver this seismic shift in enterprise value? True Artificial Intelligence requires much more than a logic sequence – from system agnostic data connectivity, neural networking, autonomous data-cleansing, to machine learning, automated root cause analysis and continuously learning autonomous decision making and self-scripting technologies – the technology that will transform enterprise operations and ultimately, organizational value, has arrived, but true Artificial Intelligence is far less prevalent than a market summary would lead you to believe…