How will Artificial Intelligence or AI affect your industry?
The age of Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning is upon us and what’s more London is at the heart of it. Reports suggest that 80% of industry executives already expect AI to increase performance and productivity. Are we really on the cusp of a technology revolution or are we getting carried away with the hype?
Government and industry belief
Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark recently stated that “If we get our strategy for AI right, then the UK will be able to reap the rewards for our economy for decades to come”
In April this year, Mr Clark launched the government’s AI Sector Deal policy confirming commitment to the sector with a package of almost £1 billion of support. This is split £603 million of government, industry and academic contribution, with £342 million existing budget and a further £250 million for connected autonomous vehicles.
According to a report published by PwC last year AI will cut workloads by 30% by the mid 2030’s but with a similar productivity boost at the same time. They conclude that AI has become central to the corporate agenda and may be worth £12 trillion globally by 2030.
Clearly the government and most industry leaders believe that AI cannot be ignored, implementing artificial intelligence in business is now on everyone’s agenda. Many believe that the best way forward is to take a long term view, be ambitious but start small with a view to quickly scale up. As with many new technologies, one adoption difficulty may be how to train for it. According to a Capgemini report from last year 79% of companies implementing AI believe that it’s bringing better data and new insights to their data analysis. 74% say that it is making their organisation more creative and 71% say that AI is helping them to make better management decisions.
Cutting edge developments in London
Right at the cutting edge of the machine learning revolution and based here in London are DeepMind, who’s co founder and CEO Demis Hassabis has a plan to ‘solve intelligence and then use that to solve everything else’. DeepMind started on this mission eight years ago with aspirations to use AI to help solve some of our most complex challenges such as climate change and radically improve healthcare. Their advances and work on Neural Networks, which replicates the neuron structures of the human brain, were recognised by Google who acquired the business four years ago making it part of the Alphabet group. They have famously demonstrated with their AlphaGo program, it’s ability to learn the ultra complex game of Go and defeat the reigning world champion Lee Sedol last year. The ancient Chinese game chosen because it’s vastly more complex than chess with a number of board positions estimated at 2x10 170. DeepMind's work has provided Google with breakthrough energy savings in data centres and their NetWave product, utilising an advanced neural network to produce stunningly realistic voice synthisis for Google Assistant, in English and Japanese.
AI ace at Wimbledon
We can see then that AI’s potential for managing and filtering vast amounts of data are very real and a real life example of this being put to great effect was at Wimbledon this year. Working in partnership with IBM with their system know as Watson, AI powered automated online highlights of games for tennis fans. The system auto-curates video based on crowd noise, player’s movements and game statistics to deliver edited highlights at a speed that would have otherwise been impossible. This was integrated into the Wimbledon website and social media channels to provide richer content and better engagement for tennis fans greatly improving the experience. The Wimbledon and IBM team certainly delivered an AI grand slam to delight fans.
Machine learning in recruitment
Our own industry of recruitment could see some transformation, there are already a number of AI driven products helping with the more mundane, repetitive tasks which most in the industry would be only too happy to relieve, freeing up time for more valuable tasks. Will AI revolutionise our industry? No but some additional efficiency and time-saving should be expected. As a people industry we cannot dispense with the human touch, dealing with candidates and understanding cultural fit, as well as the many other nuances that go with making the right decision, is far from binary.
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