Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for decades. But with the stunning progress of key technologies like cloud computing and data analytics, AI is finally making a transformative impact. Just look at how companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft have been investing aggressively in this technology. In fact, Google considers itself an AI-first company.
Then again, the market opportunity is enormous. According to Gartner, the spending is forecasted to grow at an average compound annual rate of 18% to $383.5 billion by 2020.
OK so how can entrepreneurs best capitalize on this? Well, it’s actually tough to come up with clear-cut best practices and approaches. Instead, the key is being nimble, understanding that there will be quite a bit of trial-and-error.
Yet it’s important to have a good definition of AI. As should be no surprise, there is quite a bit of buzz in the marketplace, which muddies the waters. Hey, it seems that just about any tech company considers itself to be a big player in AI!
But Andreas Roell, who is a managing partner at Analytics Ventures, has a pretty good description of the technology: “The way to think about the general concept of Artificial Intelligence is the introduction of smart thinking into computers. Instead of providing them with specific formulas of how to process data and information, computers are fed algorithms to process data, which has general boundaries that lead to desired outcomes.”
Now this is different from machine learnings (ML). Note that ML is a sub-component of AI. It is about using computer systems to consistently improve the performance of the outcomes. This often involves tedious tasks like image recognition and language translation.
How To Leverage AI In Your Business
We live in world awash with data. And yes, making sense of it is ideal for computers. So when done right, a business can greatly improve its competitive position, such as with predictions, recommendations, visualizations and risk detection.