Understanding Artificial Intelligence (AI) advantages and limitations will help business, and IT professionals take AI in their stride. AI helps business managers in making informed decisions but will not automatically make any decisions on their behalf. AI can perform better than human intelligence in specific tasks but not every function, and AI will be a serious competitor to human knowledge and contribution in many job areas.
“Communication between humans and AI is expected to boom, with over 65% of consumers expected to interact with customer support bots, and 85% of commercial enterprise apps to use AI by 2021.” (Information Age).
Rather than the tendency to view AI as a threat that can eliminate the need for human input and employment, some argue technology can assist and enhance business processes and digital marketing efforts.
An example of this is a US and Israeli based tech company, who developed ‘Albert’, the first fully autonomous digital marketer, which already has several success stories to date. Offering services such as testing and optimisation, cross-channel execution and autonomous media buying, Albert is helping big name brands accelerate their revenue and make investment decisions.
Albert has produced some outstanding results for clients so far, such as a 70 per cent increase in overall transactions for fashion brand Evisu, and a 99.5 percent increase in new active users for Harley Davidson Motorcycles.
Obstacles in the AI field
Increasingly regulated data laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU are a significant issue facing the field of AI. The very nature of AI and machine learning depends on using big data pools and algorithms to develop and improve its output.
At some point, the algorithms will become so advanced through the consumption of data that the creator will no longer be able to see a clear-cut path to a rule or decision. This ambiguity poses great difficulty in the case of GDPR which states that companies must have transparency on their data usage and that they must be able to provide logic behind any automated decisions regarding their customers.
Businesses will need to become increasingly savvy when it comes to abiding by data protection laws and still providing technologically advanced AI solutions for their customers. There are ways that companies are trying to evade the GDPR law such as claiming the data they are using is essentially several anonymous data sets used together. However, if this data is used in conjunction with other data sets, it’s still possible to identify a person, therefore rendering it incompliant of the GDPR and other regulatory data laws.
Can the industry keep up with the demand?
With AI forecasted to contribute an astonishing $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, the industry is unsurprisingly experiencing a skills shortage, with supply unable to keep up with demand. Ironically, in many cases Artificial Intelligence has the potential to solve the broader skilled shortage issue in Australia, or at least assist it; however, we need people qualified to implement and build these AI solutions in the first instance.
While supply and demand imbalances are the sine qua nom of the ICT jobs market, the AI tsunami is striking with greater force than previous waves of change have done. The cost of talent is increasing exponentially with top AI researchers commanding salaries of over $1.9m. The buy-not-build approach of outsourcing IT projects has been a popular strategy in the past, but the cost of doing so is likely to prove prohibitive for AI projects, given suppliers face the same skills shortages as their clients.
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