I believe that there is a misconception that Artificial Intelligence is—or will be—a single piece of technology that should be bolted onto a business process to make it “smart” and/or “independent” from human intervention. My experience to date is that the answer is more complex and more interesting.
Rather than a single solution, the real “intelligence” is in how a set of technologies are combined to create a solution. It is similar to our perception of human intelligence—this isn’t built on a single element, it’s a combination of senses, experiences, and knowledge.
Defining the five senses of Artificial Intelligence
I looked at a variety of solutions that are deemed to display artificial intelligence and concluded that they had five attributes in common based on a fusion of smart processes and intelligent automation. In explaining my findings to my colleagues, I found myself likening the attributes to senses in a human being. Hence, the concept of the five senses of AI was born.
1. Interaction (talk/listen)—This is the ability to listen, read, talk, write, and respond to users of the AI solution. The aim here is for technology to ensure that the interaction feels intuitive and the customer is happy. Examples in this space include chatbots and voicebots.
2. Monitor (watch)—Here technology is used to watch and record key business data. It is used to create knowledge. This would include CCTV and IoT sensors.
3. Knowledge (remember)—This is about being able to store and find information effectively using components like databases and search engines. This is probably the worst-developed area within corporations, but examples include Wikipedia and my hard drive.
4. Analyze (think)—This is the ability to detect patterns and recognize trends. It applies algorithms to knowledge to determine appropriate action or predict future consequences.
5. Service (act)—This area uses technology to do things. We are used to the concept of robots working on an assembly line and now they are moving into the office. Examples include resetting a password and placing a customer order.
I am finding this framework useful to ensure that the solutions we design and create for our clients are complete and meet the test of being “artificially intelligent.” It is also helping us to group technologies and to evaluate them against each other. I plan to share the criteria, results, and some exciting developments within Automation Drive in later posts.
Keep calm and think of it like a platform
There’s some uncertainty or even fear in the media about the concept of Artificial Intelligence. I think this ties back to the misconception that it is a single all-encompassing solution.
However, if we look at it more as the result of combining a range of senses that replicate attributes of human intelligence, I believe that it is where we will see real value without the fear. Multiple technologies with different attributes working together to help the organization become more responsive, relevant, and intuitive. That’s what consumers, employees, and shareholders are really clamoring for.