A Critical Shift in Thinking About AI and Big DataBy Guest Author | Posted 2016-12-21 Print
Success with these technologies hinges on how companies marry AI and big data with business domain expertise—a C-suite imperative that cannot be ignored.
Choosing Modularity for a Better Fit
The pace of technological change is staggering and continues to accelerate. New science, new techniques, new products and new companies abound. The ability to incorporate what is right for an organization, and at the right time to maximize advantage, is a major challenge. This is particularly true in the AI and big data domain, where hundreds of startups are competing to be the next leaders.
Having a well-structured architecture framework will allow CIOs to respond with the flexibility required to incorporate the new and replace the old. This way, if something isn’t working or something better comes along, the leaders can decide whether to remove the piece causing the problem and replace it with something that might be a better fit.
Context Is Everything
Automated approaches and technologies can be applied to most processes, so organizations should look for underlying inefficiencies to eliminate unnecessary work. AI solutions are increasing their contextual awareness and can parse through vast amounts of data. This means they can support roles that until now needed human teams to execute. However, AI and big data provide support far in excess of what their human counterparts can d, because available compute power provides a massive delivery capacity.
For example, AI can provide value in contract management, compliance, finance, human resources and the supply chain. Contractual information can be long and complex, and it is often difficult to extract unstructured data efficiently and understand legal terms and variances of context. Using AI, you can effectively augment the work of a lawyer by extracting and analyzing the most relevant terms.
Some standard robotics mechanisms can mirror human interaction with a system, thereby using robotic techniques to deliver in the same way a person can—but faster and with fewer mistakes. Invoicing in particular is a case where this proves true time and again.
We have just begun to scratch the surface of what AI and big data can do for us. Their potential is virtually limitless. They provide an opportunity to develop two key areas: creating a business foundation with greater efficiency and a better-managed cost base, and helping us see into the future.
However, we must keep in mind that these tools are not a replacement for humans. Human nature and intuition remain the unique traits that drive businesses forward in a way that automation can’t. AI and big data can help the C-suite immensely, as long as their current limitations are understood. When they are implemented properly, our ability to innovate is limited only by our ability to imagine how we can use these technologies.
Lee Beardmore is vice president and chief technology officer, Capgemini Business Services.
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