Artificial Intelligence and the Rise of the Age of Machines

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Artificial intelligence. Two simple words that are transforming today’s society and creating a lot of excitement, along with some concern.

Even in popular culture this split can be seen. From the cute and friendly robots of the Star Wars universe to killer, world-ending AIs like Skynet or Ultron. But in the real world, for both individuals and businesses, the difference in AIs is not quite so clear-cut.

As consumers, many of us rely on intelligent assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant to help us get things done in our daily lives, while simultaneously worrying that these assistants are recording us and invading our privacy. And in the enterprise, businesses are working to build intelligence into all aspects of their organization in order to improve everything from customer support to systems management to business intelligence. In fact, Aberdeen research shows that 43% of businesses today are leveraging AI in some form within their enterprise.

But adopting AI within a business can be quite a bit more complex than simply running to your technology provider and asking for an AI solution. Businesses are facing a number of challenges when it comes to adopting AI.

Chief among these hurdles is the expectations of modern users. Today’s consumers are regular users of the best AI and interfaces around, and they expect the user experience they get from your company to be every bit as good as what they get from Apple, Amazon and Facebook.

Along with this, businesses have to take into consideration the many privacy and regulatory concerns that come with modern AI assistants and interfaces. Stories in the headlines, such as Alexa forwarding recordings of private conversations or Facebook showing ads based on overheard conversations, have some consumers wary of letting AI into their personal lives.

Businesses even have to consider if an AI is too good. After Google demoed their Duplex AI system, many started to wonder if it sounded too much like a human – and if AIs need to announce themselves and declare, “I’m a robot, not a person.”

But despite these challenges, many businesses are adopting AI within their enterprise. And that’s because the potential benefits greatly outweigh the concerns.

With strong AI driving decision making, companies can reduce costs and improve business by identifying and adopting winning strategies. By using AI to understand customer trends, they can provide better service or even introduce brand new products they didn’t know customers needed. And by leveraging intelligent assistants and interfaces of their own, they can effectively service and manage their customers, providing a user experience not just as good as traditional service, but actually much better. In fact, Aberdeen research shows that businesses that leverage AI within their enterprise see lower IT costs and improved ability to service customers.

It isn’t really a choice. AI is the technology interface of the future (and increasingly of today) and choosing not to leverage it within your business would be like avoiding the web in the 1990’s. So how should today’s businesses learn more about the state of AI, the potential benefits and concerns around AI, and how leading organizations are already benefiting from AI?

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a four-part podcast series with representatives of Virtusa. In these podcasts, we took a deep dive into all of these issues and more. We looked at the current state of AI within business, how it is transforming user experience, the fears many have about AI, and how some of today’s top organizations are succeeding through their use of AI.

You can listen to this podcast series here. I hope you enjoy this interesting and interactive discussion on the rise of AI and intelligent enterprises.

Preparing your business for artificial intelligence is vital for success in today’s economy. And let’s face it, all of this new technology around AI and robots is just really cool.

Or as Bender from Futurama would say ““My story is a lot like yours, only more interesting ‘cause it involves robots.”

Article originally posted on the Aberdeen blog here

Frank Palermo

Executive Vice President - Global Digital Solutions, Virtusa. Frank Palermo brings more than 24 years of experience in technology leadership across a wide variety of technical products and platforms. Frank has a wealth of experience in leading global teams in large scale, transformational application and product development programs. In his current role at Virtusa, Frank heads the Global Technical Solutions Group which contains many of Virtusa’s specialized technical competency areas such as Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence (DWBI). The group is responsible for creating an overall go-to-market strategy, developing technical competencies and standards, and delivering IP based Solutions for each of these practice areas. Frank also leads an emerging technology group that is responsible for incubating new solutions in areas such as mobile computing, social solutions and cloud computing. Frank is also responsible for overseeing all of the Partner Channels as well as Analyst Relations for the firm. Prior to joining Virtusa, Frank was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Decorwalla, an emerging B2B marketplace in the interior design industry, where he was responsible for the overall technology strategy, creative direction, and site development and deployment. Prior to that, Frank was CTO and VP of Engineering for INSCI Corporation, a supplier of digital document repositories and integrated output management products and services. Prior to INSCI, Frank worked at IBM in the Advanced Workstations Division, and took part in the PowerPC consortium with IBM, Motorola and Apple. He was also involved in the design of the PowerPC family of microprocessors as well as architecting and developing a massive distributed client/server design automation and simulation system involving thousands of high-end clustered servers. Frank received several patents for his work in the area of microprocessor design and distributed client/server computing. Frank holds a BSEE degree from Northeastern University and completed advanced studies at the University of Texas.

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Jim Rapoza

Jim Rapoza is a Research Director at Aberdeen, focused on the increasing technology pressures that organizations are confronting within their IT infrastructures. He is the winner of five awards of excellence in technology journalism, co-chaired a summit on technology industry security practices, and a frequent speaker at technology conferences and expositions.

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