Artificial Intelligence: Can businesses sustain without it?

Artificial Intelligence is no longer about robots, driverless cars, and sophisticated bots. In the digital era of business, even small and medium-sized businesses are leveraging on AI to enhance their customer experience and increase automation.

We aren't limited to Siri, Google now and Cortana anymore when we think of communicating with our devices for human-like interactions. Recently while reading some articles on upcoming technology trends, I found out that in China there is a bot called Xiaoice , built by Microsoft, that over 20 million people talk to for daily human-like interactions.

Chatbots are one of the widest used and applicable features developed with AI. Companies like Facebook, Google, Snap Inc are already disrupting the business model and changing the way people buy products and services online. It was amazing to automatically create a calendar entry when I asked my friend out on coming week via facebook messenger. Now we can buy flowers, browse the latest fashion and make purchases, and order an Uber, all from within a Messenger chat.

“We’re just getting people used to the idea that you can message more than just people on Messenger."
Seth Rosenberg - Facebook Messenger Product Manager

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Source: Accenture

Also, Amazon Echo(Alexa) and Google home are the devices which are super popular and are used for playing music, making informational queries, and controlling home device apart from facilitating online shopping over voice and texts.At this rate, soon Bots Will Completely Kill Websites and Mobile Apps. It is overwhelming to think this at first glance, but I was convinced after reading this piece from Matt Schlicht.
Moving ahead from chatbots, Artificial Intelligence has many other applications such as Machine Learning, Process Automation, Cognitive Analytics. Businesses can leverage on these features and disrupt the way they operate.

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Connected Devices Growth

Accenture predicted the following points related to Artifical Intelligence as part of their Technology Vision 2017:

    1. In five years, more than half of your customers will select your services based on your AI instead of your traditional brand.
      In seven years, most interfaces will not have a screen and will be integrated into daily tasks.
      In 10 years, digital assistants will be so pervasive they’ll keep employees productive 24/7/365, operating in the background for workplace interactions, like creating video summaries right after an important meeting

  • People drive businesses. Within next 5 years, people will be more connected to their devices which are interconnected with companies. It is clear that for any business to sustain and grow in this digitally evolving era, it needs to think, assess and align themselves with capabilities required for Artificial Intelligence and related IoT technologies.

    Big Data & Business: Why ? What ? How ?

    To get started, let us look at below facts and figures :
    a) Google processes on average 40 thousand search queries per second, making it around 3.5 billion per day.
    b) There are 204 million emails, 1.8 million facebook likes and 278 thousand tweets sent on the Internet.
    c) Until now this year, 1 trillion photos have been taken from smartphones and 80% of them have been shared online.

    Why Big Data ?

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    Company spend on Big data

    Analysing huge chunks of data to generate information is not effective by means of plain data analysis tools. To achieve the efficiency, Big Data models and analytics are used for analysing large data sets as mentioned in the above facts and figures. All these information generated are used by corporations to increase revenues by performing predictive analysis and improving the consumer experience. One of the daily life examples for predictive analysis is e-commerce websites like suggesting us recommended products based on our past search and purchases.

    "Big Data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it."
    Dan Ariely - Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics

    What is Big Data ?
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    Big data definition

    Big data is a term for datasets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate to deal with them .Most of the big data sources existed before, but the scale we use and apply them today has changed. Real value often comes from combining these streams of big data sources with each other and analysing them to generate new insights, which then goes back into being big data themselves.

    How to analyse Big Data ? ?
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    Big data Analysis components

    There are multiple tools and techniques which can be used to analyse big data. Some of the names are Hadoop by Apache, Amazon web services for cloud data analytics etc. Learn more about basics of big data here in Coursera .

    For MBA students and graduates globally, understanding of big data and how analytics work would them be a successful manager in the upcoming professional career. While many professionals understand the technical side of business analytics, they don’t know precisely how to frame their business strategy. Companies need people who can also understand the business side and offer data-based solutions. According to a study by McKinsey & Co , there will be a talent shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 in 2018 with deep analytical skills and 1.5 million managers with the skills to make decisions based on Big Data. As social media chatter, comparative analysis, marketing analytics, target marketing are the core of any job responsibilities in this era, high-level understanding of big data and analytical skills would help managers to take better data-driven decisions at work and generate value for companies.

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