Artificial intelligence (AI) has a lot of people talking. The fact that those people no longer hail primarily from the world of science fiction is representative of just how far the ideas driving this technology have come. AI has entered the main stream, and it has the technology world buzzing with excitement. The potential applications of AI are as vast and varied as any complex technology vision that has ever been brought to life. And in truth, that is where the real excitement lies—in finding out just how far we can take AI and in turn, how far it can take us. In this paper, we’ll take a look at the many exciting applications taking shape for AI today; what ideas are on the horizon; and importantly, what the potential impact on the B2B world might be.
Expectations are high, as long as AI delivers real business value
What do IT decision makers really think about AI? Are they buying the hype? Are they laying some groundwork for artificial intelligence implementations?
Random interviews with several IT managers across a variety of industries on The Hub show floor at Inforum 2018 reveal what one might expect — a variety of opinions on AI. But most all believe it could be big, possibly very big.
Another widely held belief is that tapping into the capability of AI to optimize human potential will take some trial and error. To some extent, this reflects the thinking of sports superstar Venus Williams, who told a packed General Session at Inforum, “Failure is a huge part of knowing your pushing yourself hard enough.”
But all agreed on one thing: IT must acknowledge AI in some way, and at least begin to closely and seriously examine how it might fit into their organizations. After all, as Williams said, “It’s not where you start, but where you finish.”
Renowned theoretical physicist and futurist Steven Hawking was torn on the value of artificial intelligence. At one point, he said, “AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst. We don’t know if we will be helped by AI … or conceivably destroyed by it.”
But just before his death earlier this year, Hawking appeared to change his AI calculus: “Perhaps we should all stop for a moment, and focus not only on making our AI better, but also (focus) on the benefit to humanity.”
There, in a nutshell, from one of the most brilliant minds of the century is the AI conundrum. Is it, as Tesla founder Elon Musk said, “more dangerous than nuclear weapons?” Or is it more likely to “inject more pride and dignity into work focused on enhancing our communities,” as suggested by author and former president of Google China Kai-Fu-Lee?