3 lessons learnt about Artificial Intelligence

3 lessons learnt about Artificial Intelligence

Cognizant’s 11th Snapshot Breakfast covered one of the most exciting topics for business today: Artificial Intelligence, and demonstrated how diverse the areas are in which AI can be leveraged successfully. As 2016 has turned out to be the year of the robot, I am convinced that 2017 will become the year in which we see acceleration in the adoption of AI-based solutions across industries.

These technologies will not only enable organizations to run better, it will turn out to be a powerful tool to make your business run different. And this makes AI much more than a CIO-topic; it should be top of mind for CFO’s, COO’s and also CEO’s. Not sure about the difference between Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence? Then have a look at this post.

In Cognizant, we have been investing in AI capabilities ahead of the market. Based on these hands-on experiences I would like to share 3 key lessons learnt:

  1. Do not just focus on tools and technology; AI is a business-driven topic and should be approached with the desired business outcomes in mind. Also keep in mind that AI is not a silver bullet and in this context it makes a lot of sense to see how a smart combination of technologies and organizational interventions can be combined in to a business solution rather than an AI-only approach.
  1. AI doesn’t only need strong algorithms, it also very much needs enough quality data to analyze and learn from. Ensure that before you start you secure the availability of this data.
  1. Correction and reinforcement mechanisms: self-learning AI solutions are trained using historic data. Let’s take the example here of a Virtual Cognitive Agents. Such Natural Language Processing based solution is trained using existing voice and text data. Like with most data, it will not be 100% free of errors, which means that the algorithm may learn the wrong response for a certain input. To “repair” such erroneous responses a mechanism needs to be in place to correct the system. Without such mechanisms, AI solutions will not perform optimally or even go down the wrong path…

For all of you who participated in person, through our live stream or replay, I recommend to take the following steps:

RPA has become main stream in 2016. If you have not started implementations yet, act now because your competition is moving … Regarding AI, this is the time to start understanding the topic and assess what it can mean for your business. Identify a couple of good use cases and start experimenting because this is where a successful AI journey always starts.

Do feel free to reach out in case you have any questions on the topic! In case you want to dive deeper and better understand where AI is heading and how it will influence business, consider reading the book When Machines Do Everything.

Bart van der Mark
Associate Vice President, Intelligent Automation Europe at Cognizant

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