The Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution is well and truly upon us, with the CEO of Google claiming that AI’s impact will be even greater than that of fire or electricity on our development as humans. But is AI really the future of technology?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the combination of different technologies that work collaboratively to enable machines to act with human-like levels of intelligence. There are four types of AI which are classified by how closely the AI system can replicate human capabilities. They are as follows:
Reactive: Machines that have no memory and only respond to different stimuli.
Limited Memory: Machines that do have a memory. This memory is used to learn and improve its responses.
Theory of Mind: Understands the needs of other intelligent entities.
Self-Aware: Has human-like intelligence and self-awareness.
The current value of the UK AI market is approximately $21 billion and by 2035 it is predicted to have grown by another $1 trillion. Despite this predicted growth, 85% of all UK companies have not adopted any AI technologies yet. So, what are the opportunities that AI can present to these UK businesses?
Increased Productivity: By automating repetitive, routine tasks this will free up time for workers to concentrate on more creative tasks. According to Accenture, AI technologies have the potential to increase labour productivity by up to 40%.
Enhanced Customer Experience: The use of AI technologies like chatbots allow organisations to respond to customers quickly with more personalised messages.
Reduced Procurement Costs: By using data which is usually left aside by an organisation and feeding it into a machine learning algorithm, new patterns and trends can be discovered. From these new patterns and trends, suggestions can be made on how to become more efficient at procurement.
Whilst there are obvious opportunities that AI can lead to, it is important to understand the risks that this technology can also bring. Recently, billionaire Elon Musk co-signed a letter asking that AI developments are paused due to concerns over safety measures. Other AI risks that need to be monitored include:
Job Losses: It is predicted that automation will displace around 15% of the global workforce in the period of 2016-2030.
Lack of Emotion: Computers do not share the same emotional intelligence as humans and so building connections with customers may prove more challenging.
High Startup Costs: AI Technologies can be very expensive and time consuming to create.
Overall, AI undoubtedly has the potential to transform all organisations across many industries. Whilst AI is still an emerging technology, the ceiling for how transformative it can be is yet to be discovered. Although the startup costs may be high, AI can reduce labour and procurement costs for organisations going forward.