Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Vineet Bhardwaj, Head IT, Godrej Properties

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the pow­er to change the world and will change the way humans interact with machines forever. This technology when used in conjunction with Natural Language Pro­cessing, famously known as NLP, can be a deadly combination and deliver some really wonderful user experiences where the user may not even realise that he/she is communicating with an artificial person and not a real one. Often, these two technologies go hand in hand to deliver a solution which is intelligent enough to understand user requirements and interact with them in the language of their choice.

One of the most commonly used AI systems coupled with NLP is the creation of “ChatBots”. All of us to­day are well versed with Siri, Cortana & Google Now, the so called Virtual Assistants used by different Mobile OS providers to assist users and custom­ers/users often talk to them through voice/text commands. The word artificial demands algorithm development which can be very simple as may be used in these Virtual Assistants or extremely complex which may be used in driverless cars. Oh Yes! Driverless cars are already a reality and there are com­panies who are ag­gressively testing prototypes of such vehicles. While fiction movies often portrays AI as robots with human-like characteristics, AI can encompass anything from Virtual Assistants to Chatbots to Predictive Analytics to Driverless cars to autonomous weapons and so on. At a broad level, ob­jective of Artificial intelligence is to create technology that allows computers and machines to function in an intelligent manner and when bundled with machine learning capabilities allows them to learn on their own when they are used over a period of time. Have you ever wondered how the e-commerce sites suggest you a different product while you are searching for something else and many a time you end up purchasing suggested products, thanks to AI, which tracks the buying pattern, analyses your past searches, refers your personal data like age, sex, preferences etc to come up with personalised recommendations.

From assisted healthcare to automated customer service, we are experiencing the power of intelligent machines all the time. Drones are being used for government security purposes and public safety. When fed with advanced Machine Learning algo­rithms or Deep Learn­ing algorithms, these Artificial Intelligence applications become capable of detecting and erasing human interventions from data-driven decisions. Recently one of the major private banks in India introduced a humanoid to interact with customers, resolve their queries and even guide them to respective counters depending upon the service they se­lect. Many organizations are using this technology to service customer queries thereby reducing costs, improving productivity and deliver­ing enhanced customer experience.

Big data is a goldmine for businesses, but companies are practically drowning in it. AI certainly comes to the rescue in such cases since machine-learning tech­nologies can collect and organize massive amounts of information to make predic­tions and insights that are far beyond the capabilities of human intervention. Not only does it increase organizational efficiency, but it dramatically re­duces the likelihood that a critical mistake will be made. AI can detect irregular patterns to help in spam filtering or payment fraud, and alert businesses in real time about suspicious activities. Most of the banks today use this technology to prevent fraud by inserting additional level of authentication in case of any suspicious activity en­countered during online banking. By the end of the de­cade, AI may become common in everyday life, whether it’s self-driving cars, more accurate weather predictions, or space exploration. AI will also have a strong impact in healthcare advancements due to its ability to analyse massive amounts of genomic data, leading to more ac­curate prevention and treatment of medical conditions on a personalized level. Most businesses are at very early stages of adoption, however there are a growing num­ber of examples where this technology is being used to optimise back office and consumer-facing systems and processes.

But don’t expect a complete machine takeover anytime soon as AI lacks intuition. There’s something called the gut instinct which can’t be replicated via algorithms, making humans an important piece of the puzzle. The best way forward is for humans and machines to live harmoniously, leaning on one another’s strengths. Ad­vertising is a perfect example, where machines are now doing much of the purchasing through programmatic exchanges to maximize returns on investment, al­lowing advertisers to focus on creating more en­gaging content. Similarly, while the machine churns the data and does predictive analytics and proposes few options, it is the humans who select the best option based on their experience and judgement. In a nutshell, Ar­tificial intelligence is poised to have a disrup­tive effect on consumers, organizations, and government around the world. It encompass­es multiple technologies includ­ing machine learning, deep learning, and computer vi­sion, natural language pro­cessing (NLP), machine reasoning, and strong AI. These technologies have live cases and applica­tions in almost every in­dustry and promise to significantly change existing business models while simulta­neously creating new ones.