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The evolution of Artificial Intelligence and what it means for business

Written by Rachel Ann Kreis ·

The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) was first coined by John McCarthy in 1956 when he invited a large group of leading researchers spanning the fields of complexity theory, language simulation, learning machines and more to participate in a conference held at Dartmouth College. People in attendance predicted that continued progress in technology and software programming would eventually lead to computers having the resources necessary to be as intelligent as human beings. This conference gave birth to the entire interdisciplinary field of AI, providing an intellectual foundation that would shape the future of computer science and development efforts from that moment forward.

Similar to human intelligence, but not fully there yet

62 years have passed since the concept of Artificial Intelligence first came into existence and the field has continued evolving. Nevertheless and contrary to what AI founders initially anticipated, there is still more that needs to happen if machines are expected to reach human intelligence capacity. A recent article written by Paul Sawers from VentureBeat touches on this idea in saying:  “AI may be improving all the time, but it will have to work in conjunction with humans for the foreseeable future so that it can learn how people think, operate, and, ultimately, make decisions. And it’s not entirely clear yet whether it will ever be able to operate entirely autonomously, given humans’ unpredictable behaviour traits”.

Despite the advancements made in the field, human beings today are still more sophisticated and complex than AI technology. However, while humans remain unpredictable and are still needed to program the machines, once a pattern is established, there’s no denying that the machines work faster.

Artificial Intelligence and the status quo

Business leaders in the technology industry are starting to become aware of the added value artificial intelligence could provide for their businesses. But when it comes to startups, as Steve O’Hear from TechCrunch succinctly points out in an interview with Rodolfo Rosini, “there still isn’t a stable supply of smart capital going into early-stage AI”. This lack of visibility and pre-seed capital investment is what led Rosini to join Zeroth.ai, a Hong Kong-based AI and machine learning accelerator to help these companies get the resources they need.

While the startup scene may still be in its incipient investment stage, major players such as Sony are planning to use artificial intelligence to make a comeback into the smartphone market. Sony Mobile President, Hiroki Totoki, recently presented the Xperia Earpiece, a Bluetooth earphone with a virtual personal assistant integrated. This product will update its users with missed calls or messages as soon as they slip it into their ear. Sony’s recent in-house AI innovation reveals how key actors in the industry are finding ways to turn AI into a competitive advantage on a product-by-product basis. This bodes well for the future of AI and we will continue to see new use cases of the technology integrated into a variety of different products as time progresses and innovation continues.

The democratisation of Artificial Intelligence in the business world

While the existence of Artificial Intelligence making its way into our everyday lives is undeniable, there is still much work to be done. In order to do so, the vast democratisation of the technology is essential for all to benefit.

And this process of making AI technology more accessible is already beginning. For instance, new technologies such as Location Intelligence are gaining momentum in the business world and helping companies to make smarter location-based decisions. With advanced machine learning techniques, Location Intelligence technology is capable of interpreting a variety of different data sources and providing strategic insights into a certain location. This automation of the market research process can be used to streamline expansion plans, optimise distribution routes and tailor marketing campaigns to a granular level. This is just one solid example of the unquantifiable potential AI holds for businesses who wish to harness its power.

Artificial Intelligence, will the prediction hold true?

Since its definition at the Dartmouth conference in 1956 until now, one striking trend can be observed: with each new advancement in Artificial Intelligence, the prediction becomes more probable. Will AI one day have the same intellectual capacity as human beings? Nothing is for certain. But the future of AI is bright, and only time will tell what happens next.

What do you think about the evolution of Artificial Intelligence and what it means for business? Leave us a comment on social media and we’ll be happy to discuss the subject further.

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