Artificial Intelligence is on everyone’s lips these days. AI is the latest business buzzword. And yet, those who speak most eloquently about AI are not necessarily those who know the most about it. In other words, one may be well-informed about authentic breakthroughs in AI, without ever having experienced the technology first hand.
Sidetrade has real insights into AI on two levels.
Firstly, we understand Artificial Intelligence from the inside out, because we work with an array of resources to design AI systems end to end. Our product teams, data scientists and developers construct ingenious systems from complex building blocks such as deep learning and natural language processing (NLP) to put AI to work for business.
Secondly, and perhaps more fundamentally, we gain profound insights from our users’ experience. We develop solutions which help businesses better anticipate their customer relations. Aimie− that’s the name of our AI− is not “tomorrow’s technology”; it’s a real assistant, right now, with immediate benefits. In mere seconds, Aimie provides Marketing, Sales and Finance teams with support to move faster and ensure greater business growth. Thanks to Aimie, they know exactly whom to target, when, with what message, and via which channel.
From this standpoint, then, it’s clear that AI is neither a panacea for humankind’s problems, nor our downfall, with people becoming subservient to machines. In the real world, the AI story is that of steady progress made by researchers, who apply the technology intelligently. In fact, AI does not put machines into competition with people. It doesn’t threaten our jobs; it makes our jobs easier.
This is actually the experience of Sidetrade users. Once they start working with AI, they buy into the new technology almost immediately, and see it as a precious tool. In a complex environment with a high level of uncertainty, decision-makers need to analyze more and more data in less and less time. Because it learns so quickly, and can extract and make sense of data in seconds, AI augments human capacity.
Effective AI indicates courses of action. But these are not the edicts of a mysterious oracle; they are practical recommendations which operational staff may choose to follow or ignore. No matter how complex the algorithms, and no matter how brilliant the minds behind AI, the technology is not intended to substitute for human intelligence, and will probably never be able to do so. A machine may be a powerful ally, but there are human qualities it cannot emulate: active listening, negotiating talent, empathy, and interpersonal skills. Artificial Intelligence provides the support, whereas human intelligence makes the decisions.
The real challenge is for business, educational institutions, and society as a whole, to learn to reap the benefits of Artificial Intelligence. As AI software editor, our challenge is to take AI out of the data science laboratory to manage concrete business issues, and use it to generate actionable recommendations with a clear ROI.
Without man to give it meaning, AI is nothing! And that’s great news.
Olivier Novasque, founder and CEO of Sidetrade group