Is AI Ready to Take Over The World?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a huge buzzword in the tech field in 2017. Major flagship smartphones have increasingly offered virtual assistants to give consumers a feel for its possibilities, and a glimpse into the future.
But while consumers now have access to a small part of AI in its very nascent stages, businesses are similarly increasingly shifting towards delegating a number of its functions to AI. One such company is Poland-based FORNAX– a consulting company in the field of machine learning, big data, and AI — offering personalized end-to-end solutions designed to give companies the competitive advantage they seek.
What FORNAX does
Founded four years ago by Tomasz Ziętek and his partners, FORNAX provides companies with practical AI-powered solutions, mainly through Visual Recognition, Predictive Platforms, and Natural Language Processing.
The FORNAX Visual Recognition Tool is able to identify objects on a photo or video. It is also capable of providing metadata that enables intelligent analytics.
Some of the ways businesses are utilizing this feature include: brand and price recognition, product classification, analysis of satellite images, behavioral analysis (by recognizing emotions based on facial expressions), tracking people (by analyzing flow of people in places like malls, work, and public spaces) — which could identify behavior, and prevent unwanted outcomes.
Essentially, FORNAX Predictive Platform is a Big Data analytics solution, which processes huge data sets, and conducts data science in order to predict future outcomes based on its algorithm.
Some applications include targeted marketing, equipment predictive maintenance, and network security.
Natural Language Processing
This service is designed to solve computational linguistics problems, which can then be incorporated into applications with human language technology needs. For example, it can measure call performance by studying how customers respond to a particular campaign. It can also summarize lengthy blocks of text by identifying key concepts in the source material.
How does AI work?
In its most basic sense, AI works by processing huge amounts of data, based on a particular algorithm. For example, you might be familiar with the robot that is able to beat the best chess players in the world. It does so by gathering facts about a situation, and comparing information with its stored data to run through various possibilities. Then, it predicts which action will be most successful based on the collected information.
There are now a multitude of ways in which AI is utilized and made to work, depending on the required solutions, but it is still dependent on how it is programmed, and what it’s programmed for.
As it currently is, and as Ziętek made sure to note, AI can only solve problems it is programmed to solve, and cannot yet have a generalized analytical ability — which in theory could, say, take over the world.
Will AI replace humans?
In the recent interview with Avenew Media, Ziętek was asked if AI can potentially replace humans. His answer was “No,” at least for now.
“It depends on the application. If we talk about bots — now it’s happening,” he said, citing how machines can now take over tasks like answering phone calls, and chat queries. Ziętek is likewise quick to point out that there are a number of things, like medicine, where it is not yet possible.
What AI has been doing in recent years, though, is take over certain rudimentary tasks, which allow for people to perform more important functions — an example of which is FORNAX’s Shelfwise.
Basically, instead of sales staff going to a physical store to check inventory on display shelves (how products look, which products remain, are out of stock, how it compares to competitors’ products), this shelf recognition technology allows for them to just take a photo, and in seconds, have data about the entire shelf and all the products in it.
Shelfwise also provides recommendations on things like how displays can be improved, and how to optimize space. More importantly, it allows for sales people to spend more time on what matters — interacting with shop managers to build more meaningful relationships.
There is no doubt that AI presents exciting possibilities. There is also no doubting that the tech has a long way to go. And the latter, is a big part of what Ziętek calls one of their biggest challenges.
“The tech is quite new — it’s harder to explain to businesses its value,” he said. “Sometimes, expectations don’t match what’s possible.”
An example Ziętek brought up was when a lawyer approached FORNAX asking if it were possible to have a program that would tell him when it would be better to charge on a per hour, or a per case basis. The FORNAX founder said that such would not be possible without enough data.
He also clarified that just having data isn’t enough to provide solutions — “You need to have the right data.”
Biggest misunderstanding of AI — solve all the problems. Singular problem solving right now.
Not everyone can be an expert when it comes to AI, and expectations can, understandably, be a bit high for businesses faced with the proposition of adopting the technology. While AI has made invaluable leaps in recent years, the biggest misunderstanding of it remains that it can solve all problems.
Presently, AI can perform “singular problem solving.” But as solutions like what FORNAX can provide show, that can already provide significant value to companies in ways they may not yet be able to comprehend.
Watch the full interview here: