Technology and Business, Conversation #1: Dark Data, Narrow v's General AI, Machine Learning

Avi Kamania

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As we delve into our everchanging society and the technology that continues to become part of our everyday life, whether we like it or not, we realise that industry 4.0 is only in its infancy. 

And as amazing as all this new tech is, it can leave the best of us struggling to keep up with understanding what it all means. As the saying goes, "to know enough to be dangerous" is not an uncommon status here but has every merit to you claiming, as hopefully through your own personal curiosity, you get to the point of at least asking the right questions of what might best benefit your business. I say this due to the fundamental importance of embracing these emerging technologies; it's not only beneficial for your business's bottom line and customer experience but, if you do not start and incorporate these now you will be left behind. It is definitely one of the vital future-proofing requirements for any business. In fact survey results from one of the Big 4 uncovered 3 out of every 4 C-suite executives consider that if they do not scale AI in the next five years they will go out of business. 


Whether it's Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digitisation, or Interoperability, many terms keep resurfacing in newsfeeds when the topic of technology arises. But to start at the beginning we need to look at what these systems are all based on ... and that's data, of which companies now have access to an unprecedented amount. Data they have been consciously collecting or sourcing through various sensors and IoT's and Dark Data i.e. data they didn't even realise they had. The existence of Dark Data could be due to several factors including the company was not aware the records were being stored or maybe they had too much data and didn't have the capacity to sort and/or filter to make any sense of it. However, due to the maturity of computing power and cloud processing along with the proliferation of accessible data, the growth of automation and AI has been exponential.

Once we have this data we can put it to use .... as I like to say "putting your best data to work". But we now need more than great data we need the systems and processes to support it.  As many of us know there is a good reason why AI isn't defined as just one thing ... to perform its duties, it can be a combination of many different technologies working together to "act like a human and make decisions accordingly". Technologies like Machine Learning (ML)  are a part of the AI landscape but are performing a particular function.  ML applications have the ability to learn from data received in real-time; information that can, in turn, be analysed and adapted with a high level of accuracy, an invaluable addition to any process. This swift accuracy is the critical competitive edge that can help businesses improve any cost or revenue channel such as customer service, supply chain, production, and administration processes.

As we further explore AI we also find that, depending on the task/s we would like performed, they can be Narrow AI or General AI. To perform a single task or closely related tasks is considered Narrow AI and commonly occurs in our day to day eg facial recognition systems, chatbots, self-drive vehicles, and of course our best friends, Siri and Alexa. This AI is very focused; a narrow yet powerful playing field where they can influence how we do things on a global scale. General AI however is more complex, it incorporates very 'human-like' intelligence, and includes strategy and creativity to handle a range of tasks. This style of AI is the predominant focus for development and innovation. Great strides continue to be made in this area, but we still consider it to be human-machine collaboration; AI being an extension rather than a replacement of human capabilities. No doubt, based on the speed to which technology is moving, this may change very quickly particularly since AI has the potential to transform business as we know it.

Once you have identified your business priorities, set out on your journey to determine how you would like AI to help you.


In this first conversation of our series, I would like to leave you with some of the key ways AI can benefit your business 

  1. Empowering your Workforce - With improved transparency throughout an operation, employees can effectively manage and improve outputs with increased confidence in real-time whilst AI can also carry out the more mundane/repetitive activities.
  2. Speed to Execution - By reducing latency through the implementation of such tools as AI predictive insights we can reduce the time required to achieve operational and business readiness. 
  3. End-to-End Efficiency - Through the automation of routine processes (of varying complexities) significant cost and time savings along with increased accuracy can be achieved. 
  4. Improved Customer Experience - Hyper personalisation of the customer journey allows us to more accurately understand our customers and offers them real-time feedback through 24/7 chatbots driving overall growth, retention, and satisfaction. 
  5. Enhanced Accuracy and Decision-Making - the predictive arm of AI allows for more informed decisions through the ability to rapidly process large amounts of data patterns and analytics to bring about effective, insightful decisions.
  6. Support market Intelligence & Innovation - with the ability to mine data across industry markets and social analytics; systems can identify gaps, customer preferences, high-demand features and locations, and many other opportunities quickly; fueling innovation and new business models. 


If you would like to start the discussion with one of our specialists ... click on 'contact us' below and fill out your details or call us on 1300 159 659

Read more about AI 👉  Introduction to AI for Managers 


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