Marko Salic, CEO of the Argility Technology Group, one of South Africa’s leading technology development corporations, tells us about the impact artificial intelligence has on our everday lives.
It can pose a small dilemma knowing where to begin a discussion around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and all it brings with it – but having thought about it I feel it is best to start at the beginning so – What is Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning?
Good old Wikipedia defines it as: “The ability of a computer program or a machine to think and learn. It is also a field of study which tries to make computers smart.”
This is not a bad definition, but it just goes nowhere near explaining the full impact AI will definitely have on business and all aspects of our lives.
AI brings with it the newly acquired magic of machine learning. Once strictly in the realms of science fiction movies – today it is all around us.
We are all aware that digital technologies are transforming our world at an exponential rate. Personal computers, servers, internet, smartphones, tablets and social media have established the foundation of the current digital world in which we live.
New digital technologies like cloud, big data, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics, 3D printing, machine learning and AI are featured not just in technical journals but are increasingly highlighted on daily news and popular TV programmes.
This is because of the enormous potential to impact all industries, businesses, lifestyles and the very fabric of our society. Start-up operations working with these technologies are estimated to be a more attractive venture funding target. Many businesses are furiously developing new business models leveraging these technologies.
Businesses around the world are working on enhancing their understanding of the capabilities of AI in order to leverage it in their drive to achieve digital transformation – AI is pivotal to achieving this as other digital technologies essentially feed into it.
They supply data to enable AI via: sensors, social media, connectivity, security, data storage, communication, analytics, transactions and more.
AI is now at the top of the digital technology stack extracting meaning from all available data and intelligently prescribing the best action that every situation requires. It has application in every sphere of the commercial world: manufacturing, heavy industry, health sector and public sector etc.
A digital make-over
It is inevitable that AI will be widely deployed with immense benefits being gained by exploiting the opportunities associated with it which include cost reductions and enhanced productivity.
Examples of the development and disruptive capabilities of AI abound. The use of AI for future competitiveness and indeed survival is crucial. For most traditional businesses developing and finalising a robust business value proposition and a business model based on a new direction – takes a long time.
It often requires bold decision making at C-suite level as a number of organisational changes and change management are required if a company is to transform in order to deliver to a new business model based on new disruptive technologies. Companies ready to tackle transformation through the implementation of disruptive technologies, like AI, will thrive, whereas those who procrastinate are doomed to the fate of the dodo.