Why is Artificial Intelligence (AI) the next big thing?

Image Source: Pixabay, Author — Seanbatty

How often have you read or heard the word ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) in the context of the technology industry? Probably many times or at least, I have encountered the word more often than not. Analyze the strategy of any big tech firms, such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, you will find that these firms are not only investing a large sum of money to stay on the innovation forefront in the field of AI but also reinventing their business model around AI. Has it ever intrigued you why among the many technology advancements AI has got much of the attention and investment? if yes, you may find the following reasoning worth reading.

Over the past few weeks, I tried to uncover the mysteries behind the rising of AI. Research in AI is as old as computers themselves, however, AI, specifically deep learning — a form of AI, has become a buzz word in the tech industry in recent times. Based on the studies of how technology trends have emerged in last two decades and analysis, I’d conclude that

Rise in the inter-connectivity among various objects through the internet of things, proliferation of data and democratization of cloud computing power necessitates focusing on AI to fuel innovation, improve productivity and transform customer experience

In 2013 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle report, Gartner, Inc. depicted the rise of the internet of things and big data to the peak of inflated expectation, while cloud computing was moving towards slope of enlightenment. In fact, the emergence of these aforementioned technologies corroborated progression of each other. In the later half of the first decade of 21st century, ubiquitous network connectivity and smart devices connected a large number of people and objects through the internet, propelling the advancement of the internet of things. The enhanced inter-connectivity among objects leads to the generation of an enormous amount of data. However, the standalone data doesn’t offer any added value until we have capabilities to analyze the data and commensurate on-demand processing power to generate actionable insights. So to realize the full potential of objects inter-connectivity, demand for cloud computing and big data analytics rose to the unprecedented levels. Big data provided ways to analyze big chunks of structured or unstructured data and visualize the valuable insights. Cloud storage and computing services enabled users to store as well as process the information on demand from any device. Thus, Cloud computing, big data and the internet of things go hand in hand, creating newer business opportunities and innovating traditional business models.

Despite these innovations, the full potential of these technologies is still limited by the human ability to operate the system and take actions on the insights generated. On one side, the traditional user interfaces, such as text input, simple voice commands, limit the speed of interaction, while on other, human constraint to analyze the outcomes increases overall process time. So, in order to leverage the full benefits, we would need machines which mimic the cognitive function of human minds and works lightening fast. Through Artificial intelligence, big technology firms are trying to impart cognitive capabilities to machines so that they can interact, learn and solve problems as humans do and work alongside humans to innovate in future.

Already, deep neural network, a sub-field of AI, has enabled companies to develop sophisticated image recognition, speech recognition, and AI embedded translations services. AI can provide new ways to interface with machines and systems through natural language understanding. AI can not only provide easier interface but also expand capacity to quickly evaluate the results of the IoT system. Thus, Artificial intelligence has become the next big thing in the technology industry because it can enhance the potential of technologies that big tech firms have developed over the period of time.

Original article was first published on LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/khajanyadav