The Evolution of AI From Practical and Scalable to Responsible
Clearly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to stay. The theme for 2019’s World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos is Globalization 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the key topics that will be discussed extensively at this annual meeting of leaders from across the world. CognitiveScale has been invited to attend WEF this year as a technology pioneer and I am looking forward to participating in various sessions over the next few days and share our point of view on AI. Amidst all the Davos excitement, I thought it was important to pause for a moment and reflect on the year gone by.
2018 established that it’s no longer a question of whether AI will take off, but rather which companies will keep up. From detecting and impacting climate change to advancements in disease diagnosis to aiding displaced populations with humanitarian efforts, the impact of AI is felt everywhere. CognitiveScale is at the forefront of this massive wave as we pursue our vision to use AI to hyper-personalize customer experience and streamline process intelligence based on a foundation of Practical, Scalable, and Responsible AI.
In 2018, and as expected, the application of AI took off across the enterprise, both in front-office and back-office processes as diverse as invoice processing, bad debt risk management, customer service experience, claims adjudication, wealth and investment management—to name a few. Our focus on Practical AI, resulted in enterprises realizing measurable business value by helping improve not just the efficiency of business processes, but also the productivity of humans operating those processes. A recent survey from McKinsey & Co. suggests that AI’s biggest effect on the workforce could be changes in the work that people do—particularly ever-greater collaboration between machines and people—rather than overall workforce reductions. We wholeheartedly agree, and to illustrate that point with an example, in May 2018, Keller Williams selected CognitiveScale’s AI platform to offer intelligent decision support and recommendations to strengthen agent service to consumers. The intent was to supplement their real estate agents with the best tools to help make every agent their best agent to enhance consumer experience. It is also a perfect example of how man and machine can be paired to drive the greatest value, and 2019 is bound to see more of that.
2018 was also a pivotal year for adoption of AI within the enterprise. The discussions with CIOs, CTOs, and CDOs invariably was about where do you start? and how do you bring AI as a strategic capability within the enterprise? There was a marked shift in our conversations with these leaders to explain the importance of Scalable AI, i.e. AI that goes beyond individual projects and lab experiments to an enterprise-wide capability in order for it to succeed. While scalability is about operationalizing AI and adding it as a strategic capability into the enterprise, bringing AI into in-flight business initiatives is not always easy. This is where trusted advisors such as systems integrators (SIs) have traditionally stepped in time and again to help build the next generation of AI solutions. We are seeing that as the industry matures, SIs are relying more and more on specialized AI vendors to ramp up their skills, differentiation, and IP to address complex solutions.
This brings me to what is easily the single most important attribute that will define the adoption of AI within the enterprise. While companies have started to increasingly move to operationalize AI within their enterprise, they are realizing that operationalizing without governance is a recipe for disaster. There have been a number of startling cases of unintended consequences from automated AI systems going rogue. As AI becomes more prevalent in our everyday lives, questions around ethics, fairness, responsibility, and compliance of AI systems have started to move to the forefront. It’s important for businesses to deploy systems that make them feel safe, while also reflecting core company values and industry regulations—that’s why the time for Responsible AI is now. The year 2018 saw not just enterprises, but governments and countries also waking up to this fact. At its core, Responsible AI is about establishing trust and confidence. If everyone takes a more people and ethics first approach to embracing AI frameworks in the coming year, they will be able to unlock its full value and impact societies. We announced in June 2018 our commitment to bring Responsible AI to one billion people by 2020 through products and distribution partnerships built on a Responsible AI framework.
2018 was a record year for CognitiveScale as we achieved several major milestones, including the introduction of valuable product enhancements, addition of new people, and expansion of our client base. Would like to thank all our team members, customers, partners, industry leaders for their motivation and confidence in us. A big thank you to organizations like World Economic Forum, IDC, CRN , Red Herring, HFS, and many others that recognized us for our work. We look forward to surpassing new milestones in 2019, and more importantly making significant progress on our mission to bring Responsible AI to a billion people!
Onwards and Upwards! #YouandAIWillChangetheWorld