How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Way Companies Do Business

10/19/2017 12:41 pm ET Updated Oct 19, 2017
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How can artificial intelligence transform businesses? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Tony Paikeday, Dir. of Product Marketing, A.I. & Deep Learning at NVIDIA, on Quora:

We’re already seeing a wave of innovation across industries. From real-world data, computers are learning to recognize patterns too complex, too massive, or too subtle for hand-crafted software or even humans.

Just think:

  • Already it’s enabling the futuristic cars we only dreamed of — cars that drive themselves — a development that’s changing the huge swathes of the transportation industry.
  • The potential for AI in healthcare is awe-inspiring. It promises to predict disease in time to prevent it, speed drug development, and help doctors diagnose and treat cancer.
  • In agriculture, Blue River Technology (recently acquired by John Deere) pioneered the use of deep learning to help farmers monitor livestock, manage crops, and pinpoint weeds.
  • AI is even changing sports — helping coaches plan strategy, providing insights that improve player performance, and predicting game outcomes.

My friends in the San Francisco Bay Area love their Golden State Warriors, winners of two out of the last three NBA championships. They and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2016 champs, use AI to put their teams at the top of their game.

Retailers have been among the most active adopters of deep learning-powered intelligence. The consulting firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85 percent of customer interactions in retail will be managed by AI.

For now, deep learning is making shopping faster and easier. San Francisco-based Stitch Fix, for example, provides personalized clothing recommendations based on shopper preferences. Online supermarket Jet.com | Prices Drop As You Shop (recently acquired by Walmart) developed algorithms designed provide the best pricing for a basket of products in a shopper’s cart. Procter & Gamble’s Olay brand has an app that helps people find the right skin care products. Companies like Pinterest and Microsoft’s Bing let online shoppers search for images within images to find and buy products they fancy.

Financial services companies like banks and investment firms are among the earliest adopters of deep learning. Many are already using it to augment investment research, improve investment performance, and bolster fraud detection, and others are in the process of implementing AI.

  • Paypal has a deep learning system that filters out deceptive merchants and cracks down on sales of illegal products. Citibank’s Citi Ventures arm recently invested in Feedzai, a machine learning company that identifies and prevents fraudulent transactions before they’re completed.
  • A few investment firms, including Aidyia Limited of Hong Kong, have launched funds managed entirely by AI. San Francisco startup Sentient Technologies, which develops AI software, created its own hedge fund based on its deep learning technologies. Swiss AI startup NNSAISENSE and Acatis Investments, a German fund manager, recently launched “Quantenstein,” a deep learning software platform that helps investors choose the best stocks and build portfolios.
  • Meanwhile, companies like Triumph Asset Management (recently reorganized as Amadeus Investment Partners) are working to implement AI. It’s developing a deep learning system to quickly analyze the thousands of news articles published daily to better predict market conditions and make trading decisions.

AI will soon touch every industry. Some 98 percent of corporate leaders leaders see AI as essential for their businesses, according to the recent book, AI Transforming Business: Corporate CxO Perspectives. The book is written by executives at companies such a GE, BNY Mellon, and Samsung. It includes a chapter by my NVIDIA colleague Kimberly Powell, who is our senior director of AI and deep learning.

Kimberly offers a big-picture perspective of what artificial intelligence can do for businesses:

Machine learning, inclusive of all its various subdomains such as deep learning, is providing us with the ability to dramatically amplify our ability to extract insights from data and perform complex tasks at scale. This amplification of our intelligence is enabling individuals to perform tasks that normally would require teams of people. In some cases, work is being performed that had previously been impossible simply because of the scale and complexity of the data. Thanks to AI, marketers can now personalize marketing appeals. Formerly, marketers segmented populations and analyzed them as large groups. Targeting individuals wasn’t possible, because nobody has the time or ability to review the actions of every person and determine the best way to reach that specific person. Now advertisers can craft and time messages tailored to each person’s behavior.

The fastest way to accelerate AI for business is leveraging powerful and energy-efficient GPUs. The huge computing power they provide has propelled us into the midst of an AI revolution, driven forward by new algorithms, and access to vast troves of data.

I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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