AI Technology Is Advancing Even Quicker Than You Think
AI technology is maturing even quicker than experts predicted — and companies should see this as an imperative to adopt now, rather than wait out further development.
According to a recent report compiled by The Accenture Institute for High Performance, “A new factor of production is on the horizon, and it promises to transform the basis of economic growth for countries across the world.” This “new factor” is artificial intelligence (AI), and it has already begun to make its mark on industries of all kinds, from healthcare and retail, to education and software development.
As with many emergent technologies, some are asking themselves whether it’s worth adopting AI if the technology is evolving so rapidly that whatever solution they purchase will become obsolete within a few years. Others are concerned that the technology will have such a big impact on their industry that it will be impossible to incorporate without completely transforming operations.
But the truth is that AI presents such a large paradigm shift that no company can afford to go without developing a competency in it within the coming years. What’s more, the success of current solutions indicate that enterprises thrive through the use of AI without having to change their entire approach. That means adoption must happen for companies hoping to remain competitive in the new economy — and it must happen quickly.
The State of Artificial Intelligence Development
What is beyond debate is that AI is quickly becoming a popular selling point for every industry — from oral care to fast food. While the technology that drives some of these products may not amount to true AI, this trend proves that companies are eager to demonstrate to their consumers that they are out ahead of the curve.
And while many companies work to incorporate existing AI technology into their operations,, new, specialized AI capabilities are emerging every year. Researchers and engineers in Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research unit claimed to have created an AI-based speech recognition system capable of transcribing a conversation with the same level of accuracy as a professional human transcriptionist last October. According to Microsoft, their AI system achieved a 5.9% word error rate, the lowest rate ever recorded by a non-human listener.
Though computer scientists have been working on speech recognition technology since the 1970s, Microsoft’s breakthrough came much earlier than most industry insiders were expecting. “Even five years ago, I wouldn’t have thought we could have achieved this,” confesses Executive VP of the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research team Harry Shum. “I just wouldn’t have thought it would be possible.”
Taking a Cue from AI Marketing Platforms
Of course, there’s a significant difference between listening and understanding. As Shum points out, “It will be much longer, much further down the road until computers can understand the real meaning of what’s being said or shown.”
AI systems like the one developed by Shum’s team are incredibly adept at processing millions of data points, uncovering “hidden” patterns among these data points, and leveraging an understanding of these patterns to perform certain tasks better than most humans can. That being said, AI is not yet capable of the kind of abstract, strategic thinking that is the real hallmark of the human mind.
The technology clearly has the potential to revolutionize the way companies conduct a variety of menial business processes, but it isn’t going to become so advanced that your company has to completely restructure to use it. Indeed, as we’ve seen in the marketing sector, AI technologies like Albert™, the world’s first fully-autonomous marketing platform, have strengthened organizations without requiring a complete shift in approach.
Albert takes over time-consuming, data-heavy tasks like ad buying, purchase attribution, and advertising analytics, allowing marketers to redirect the lion’s share of their energies to higher-level tasks like crafting creative materials and drawing up comprehensive media strategies. This kind of productive and collaborative AI-human partnership should serve as an example for other industries that are worried about the overwhelming power of rapidly maturing artificial intelligence technology.
The rapid pace of AI development doesn’t necessarily mean that current solutions or jobs will become obsolete — in fact, it’s failing to adopt AI that will result in lost competitive advantages, lost profits, and therefore, lost jobs. As artificial intelligence changes the way that work in every industry is performed, now is the time for ambitious enterprises to adopt.