Investing in AI – do you have what it takes

Investing in AI – do you have what it takes?
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Good Software Equals Good Business

Artificial Intelligence is exploding at the moment, largely due to a sharp spike both in data availability and parallel computing power, as well as improved AI algorithms. More and more companies are treating Machine Learning development services as a necessity. The reasons for that are manifold, such as the AI’s capacity to increase cost-savings, enforce leadership and customers’ trust, sharpen businesses’ competitive edge, along with attracting and retaining employees. AI has already managed to provide a brilliant support for management in a demanding reality of the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) times we now live in. All of this has made the AI solutions to reach healthcare, banking, education, logistics, and mathematics – to name a few.

Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous reality

“Chaos is the new black” – one might say – meaning that the only constant nowadays is change. To say that the current era is a time of uncertainty would be an understatement. The contemporary reality is complex, unclear, enigmatic and misleading and what’s more, we can see it transforming in front of our eyes – whether it regards society, culture or business. To give you one example – 47% of today’s jobs will disappear in the next 25 years. Half of those that will emerge do not yet exist today.

Usually, in the process of transformation we can see big waves of change. When there’s a big wave it opens a little window where companies can reinvent themselves, start-ups can create big businesses or enter new markets, and so on. In the VUCA times, now more than ever, it’s important to understand the context your company operates in. It’s difficult to predict the future, but it should not stop us from observing and analyzing the world around us, noticing patterns and using historical trends to predict future scenarios.

When faced with ambiguity, leaders try to transform it with agility. This keyword is often used to describe the principle behind the work that we – and other AI software houses – do to help our clients with their business reality. If you have ever wondered whether the Artificial Intelligence solutions are for you – this post will provide you with some helpful tips.

Work Agilely

Often our customers worry that their lack of knowledge is a serious barrier on the way to implementing AI software solutions. At times even the decision-makers in businesses which operate outside of the IT area do not completely understand what exactly their problem is or that they have it in the first place. But you don’t need to understand all the meandering of the computerization, what you do need is the creative courage to venture into the unknown waters of cognitive computing.

What can be the reasons to embark on such a quest? Well, you may have collected a lot of data, but you are not able to comprehend all of it in order to make some sensible, clear decision. Perhaps you’re witnessing a trend in your company’s sales, but you’re not sure if you understand it completely. Or maybe you notice some dependence between some data points and your transactions, or you would like to know why such a relationship exists. On the other hand, you may have an (un)defined problem with your product, which you want to improve or extend thanks to Machine Learning, and thus increase its competitive advantage. Possibly, your company has developed quickly in a short time, and now you wish to exchange the simple methods you started with by means of new information technologies. Or you know that your stable vision and well-defined activities would benefit from some support in internal company processes in order to simplify or automate those that do not work well enough.

Creativity Breeds Invention

The reasons to pay attention to AI could be manifold, but we have noticed that the traits that all our customers have in common are – first of all – this creative courage that fuels their will to experiment. They are often energetic, enterprising, empathetic, and unafraid of introducing changes to their company. They know that an integral element in any design work is thinking through creating and learning from failures. And that finding what doesn’t work is as important as discovering what works.

On the way to finding a solution for something that could function better, the first and most important step is the diagnosis of a problem. Once you identified the area for improvement, you can choose from widely available systems and finished products that allow you to do business analytics. But if you wish to have something that the competition lacks, you must have the will to tryout a custom tool.

Your Data, Our Knowledge

Usually, custom software is prepared when there is no proper software solution on the market, or there are similar solutions, but don’t quite fit your needs. In such a case you need to turn to software developers in order to create a tailor-made solution that will work for you. Once again – and we cannot stress this enough – the right data at your disposal is key. There are many predictive algorithms that can be customized and used, but a simple algorithm with great data will almost always outperform a highly advanced complex algorithm that is fed inaccurate or insufficient data.

You must know that applying AI/ML to business processes is not an approach in which we go from point A to point B, and where what you buy is what you’ll get. It’s quite different to conventional solutions, such as, for example, a CRM system. Upon ordering it, you know exactly what functions it has – like issuing invoices, creating reports, scheduling appointments, etc. When we design a solution in the field of Artificial Intelligence, there is no guarantee that it will work at the first try, and if it would, that it will perform to a satisfactory degree. Hence, the necessary presuppositions of anyone who tries this approach are the acceptance of ambiguity and optimism that the process leads us to a good solution. Having said that, uncertainty of the goal remains a crucial factor along the way – and it has been like that since the beginnings of this scientific discipline. However, this is an investment in development – it can drive innovation at your enterprise, and give you a stimulus to be at the top of your game. But unless you set sail, you can’t be sure what you’ll discover.

The market size of AI is at the moment still much lower than the attention of media would suggest, but it’s about to flip. One of the biggest expressions of AI are self-driving cars, which are going to have extensive consequences across a range of different areas, including an increase in safety and a decrease in the costs of healthcare as well as insurance; with further implications on the infrastructure, society and education, all in all transforming our habits, expectations, and way of life. But the potential and role of AI is to transform any industry, converting data and knowledge into possible futures and values for customers and the general public.

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