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article imageQ&A: Wading through the AI landscape Special

By Tim Sandle     May 20, 2019 in Technology
With so many artificial intelligence solutions on the market, where should businesses be focus their energy? In addition, how should return on investment be assessed? Dmitry Binunsky from Exadel provider some insights.
Artificial Intelligence technology is impacting upon the world of business, resulting in many organizations looking to opt on the AI train. However, many firms are unsure of what the investment payback this technology truly presents. With so many opportunities to use AI -- and so many companies touting artificial intelligence solutions as the next “big thing” -- it can be difficult for organizations to determine where to invest their time and money.
To help navigate through the AI maze, Dmitry Binunsky, VP Products and Platforms at Exadel offers some advice.
Digital Journal: How can IT leaders and teams identify opportunities for AI projects (and sub-disciplines such as machine learning) in their organization?
Dmitry Binunsky: The definition of AI is very broad. For instance, chatbots have completely different business usage and technology than things like general analytics and behavioral models that trigger certain business offerings, alerts, health recommendations, etc. It is important to first map out measurable goals and how AI might fit into your overall strategy.
For instance, are you looking for improved quality, faster turnaround times, greater personalization, etc. in your projects?
When it comes down to it, AI is a tool that can be deployed in a variety of ways. It can streamline existing processes, provide better on-site customer experiences, and much more -- but without clearly defining what you hope to accomplish, trying to find (not to mention utilize) an AI platform can be overwhelming. Assess how you might be able to reach your goals without AI, then see where it can help fill in the gaps.
DJ: What are some sensible criteria for determining good fits for an AI pilot?
Binunsky: Possession of relevant data sets is essential here. Companies should first get up to speed on what type of AI is actually relevant to them and then look at their business processes, whether customer facing or internal, and the data they have or can collect in order to take advantage of particular AI technology. It can be easy to fall into a trap here by viewing AI solutions as an unnecessary tech for your organization. However, the bottom line is that almost every business should take advantage of AI in order to improve their product quality, productivity and client offerings. Ignoring this opportunity will leave them behind their competition quickly.
DJ: What types of actionable practices/exercises can uncover AI opportunities with high potential?
Binunsky: Investing in AI is somewhat like buying a car -- you don't know how well it's going to work if you don't take it for a test drive first. When testing out AI technology, you need to have a team, a process, and a platform to quickly test different hypotheses to demonstrate the value to the business. If you don’t have the team and a platform, turn to partners who have one, who can be an extension of your innovation team.
It can also be helpful to prioritize the features and benefits to identify what are the must-have features vs. the nice-to-have ones. Just like buying a car, there are some things you absolutely must have to make the purchase work for you (say, four doors if you have a family), and some that are just nice-to-haves (a sunroof). The same goes for your AI solutions, and by framing your search with an understanding of what features are the most important, you can save a lot of effort.
DJ: Are there any examples?
Binunsky: The types and scale of applications where your business can leverage artificial intelligence are truly limitless. By understanding your business objectives, setting up relevant data layers for measurement, and testing different platforms before making a decision, you can set your organization up for long-term success and help harness the incredible power of artificial intelligence to drive your business forward.
However, no organization should feel they have to go this road alone. Look for trusted partners that can help guide you along the journey, assess your strategy and determine if the results of implementing AI technology will drive real business value for your company.
More about Artificial intelligence, Computers, machine learning
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