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AI and people – the benefits of symbiosis

Lee Beardmore
May 7, 2020

The current business climate is particularly challenging, and because normal patterns have been disrupted, we perhaps have the opportunity to take stock, and to think a little more about what we do, how we do it, and what we want to achieve.

In my previous post in this series, I argued that artificial intelligence (AI) and people need one another, at least for the foreseeable future. It’s a virtuous circle, in which AI benefits by adding to its store of knowledge, and in which – more importantly – people also gain, by being able to do more things, more successfully. Like the Six-Million Dollar Man in the old TV series, AI can make them better than they were.

AI not only helps people to perform their own functions better. It can also shield them from the sheer volume of everyday tasks.

Here are a few practical examples of this symbiosis, and of the benefits that can result.

AI in action

A European mobile communications retailer employing cognitive technology radically improved its back-office processes, leading to a 70% reduction in its operating costs and up to an 80% improvement in operational efficiency.

A trade finance organization digitized and categorized unstructured documentation and extracted relevant data with thousands of complex daily transactions, all managed by cognitive software and bots.

A US-based pet retailer was able to save up to $12 million by using AI in fraud detection. The company implemented AI and machine learning technology to aggregate millions of transactions and evaluate outcomes.

A technology business partnership of which we’re part is working to handle incoming structured and unstructured correspondence automatically through a variety of digital channels, improving efficiency by over 50%.

An airline uses AI technology to predict meal orders to optimize the amount and type of food needed on board planes. Food waste is reduced to 40%, without compromising on choice.

Getting creative – and strategic

All these benefits are operational and pretty much immediate, and as you can see, many of them are measurable in terms of time, or money, or both. But a further advantage of the human augmentation that AI makes possible is less tactical, and more creative.

When people grow accustomed to the extra bandwidth of performance that AI enables, they can be inspired to decide how else they might be able to take strategic advantage of it. This inspiration is only limited by our imaginations.

And that’s the beauty of AI. We are just starting to scratch the surface of its applicability to our working lives. We will find many varied and creative ways to harness its power. Ideas can be born not out of some vague intuition, but by harnessing our own cognitive experience – just as it is for the AI technologies that serve them.

Read other blogs in this series :

Lee Beardmore has spent over two decades advising clients on the best strategies for technology adoption. More recently, he has been leading the push in AI and intelligent automation for Capgemini’s Business Services. Lee is a computer scientist by education, a technologist at heart, and has a wealth of cross-industry experience.