January 16, 2018
AI is all around us
By: Fernando Lucini

Here’s a challenge I like throwing out: Just sit down for five minutes and think about how much “smart” technology you use in a typical day.

It could be the way that audio book you listen to on your way to work syncs up so your text e-reader picks up at the exact same spot when you sink into your favourite chapter at night.

Maybe it’s how your car knows when you’re approaching and turns the heater on to warm it for you.

Or maybe it’s how when you get into an Uber, the Spotify playlist you were listening to is coming through the speakers. Or how instead of typing in a password or pin, your mobile banking app knows it’s you because it recognised your face.

There are examples all around us. Try it yourself and you’ll be amazed at all the little ways daily life has changed from what it was just five years ago.

Everything is changing together in this liquid way and a lot of it is Artificial Intelligence at work. When we talk about AI, it’s lots of things, including natural language processing: text analytics or understanding a conversation as well as a human. It’s natural we will interact with machines and services in the same way that we have conversations with our peers.

I’ve been playing with machines since I was a boy, trying to teach them to do things that I didn’t want to do myself and yet I still look at all these things in wonder. It’s amazing.

That’s why I love talking to clients thinking about ways they can bring in AI to help them solve their business problems. Sometimes it doesn’t take any imagination at all; consumers are now pushing companies in this direction, expecting services to know their habits and preferences.

The exponential rate of change we’re now seeing makes it an exciting time to be working on AI. The hardware and technology we have today, combined with the human talent is unprecedented.

There’s still a lot of things we do as humans that we don’t have to do, and shouldn’t have to do. I feel strongly we’re going to be enhanced, as humans, as AI helps augment our own intelligence and frees us up to focus on more meaningful things.

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