AI here to stay, and, luckily, humans too

On Feb 23rd, Cognizant gathered participants and speakers for an interesting breakfast on Artificial Intelligence – key to new digital ecosystems. With insights from both business and academia, the audience were introduced to the latest research, the potential of AI, and got to meet the robot Furhat who might play a key role in future education, healthcare or shopping malls. But don’t worry, humans will still be needed in the loop.

2017 is said to become the year of AI. Why? Because all the fundamentals are there now, says Associate Professor Fredrik Heintz from Linköping University. It’s about software, digital and analog melting together, enough computer power and GPUs, improved algorithms, and massive amounts of labeled dataAccording to the Mentimeter survey during the breakfast seminar, 12% states that they already use AI to a great extent, while 35% use it to some extent, and 35% plan to introduce it.

Smarter healthcare
A current example of AI business use is the service Min Doktor, where Siren Hofvander works as CSO.The service aims to change the way healthcare is delivered, just like digitization did within Banking, and make it more accessible. Because while the healthcare needs are ever-increasing, doctors’ time is limited.

Fueled by AI, the service identifies patient needs, scans information at scale, and refers the patient to the right type of care. Min Doktor wont’t replace the real doctor, but saves time and works as a complement to physical care.

A more human interface
What if we could make machines appear and act more human? By incorporating social AI to include interpretation of patterns of movement, vocal pitch, and tempo, the robot Furhat can bridge the gap between man and machine.

According to Preben Wik, Director of Market Creation and Collaborations at Furhat Robotics, it can be used anywhere where social intelligence is core. The robot is actually a platform, where sensors feed it with necessary information, and can thus be used in a variety of applications.

Humans still necessary
What about the future then? AI won’t take over, as some people fear. Machine learning is still brittle, and while they are good at learning single tasks, the more complex tasks still require extensive manual labor. And it’s not about either or; it’s the combination of man and machine that holds the potential to amplify end results. We will see more of AI-enabled systems, and AI-augmented humans.

Bart van der Mark, Head of Intelligent Automation Europe at Cognizant, advises you to begin focusing on the business outcomes instead of tools, safe guard your data, and start scaling your Robotic Process Automation to speed up introduction of AI at your company.

See the recorded presentations and panel discussion.

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