[Ed. Note: This account is based on a transcript of a Bloomberg audio broadcast from AI World Boston 2018. Dale Kutnick is a senior VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner. He was interviewed by Anne Mostue of Bloomberg Baystate Watch.]
Bloomberg radio: The Artificial Intelligence World Conference just wrapped up at the World Trade Center on Dec. 5. The conference drew companies from around the country as they look to incorporate machine learning and cognitive technologies. Bloomberg’s Ann Mostue was there and reports on some interesting predictions.
Ann: Artificial intelligence is being over marketed and sold as a solution to future digital business growth and profitability. That’s according to Dale Kutnick, senior vice president and analyst at Gartner.
Dale Kutnick: If we look at the next 25 or 50 years, it is a technology that is certainly going to have a major impact across all business and society. When you wipe away all the veneer that we’ve been talking about here and all the different things that we’ve been debating about ethics, we are automating interactions between people.
Ann: Kutnick was the keynote speaker at AI World today. He says data is what’s really the new fuel for decision making. Better data is what’s needed and AI software tools are maturing and development is becoming more available and easy to use.
Dale Kutnick: Trajectory in economics. AI software tools are maturing. A few years ago you had to buy and build. Now AI is going to be increasingly embedded into most new software packages, by the way, so will blockchain over the next couple years.
Ann: Kutnick says software and solution vendors are making extravagant claims about their products and services, and some of the more subtle devices are the ones capturing the most important information.
Dale Kutnick: Amazon’s Alexa is the greatest Trojan horse since the Trojan horse. Those of you who have a literary background will recall, back in Troy the Trojan horse was brought into the city. Think about it. Every time you interact with Alexa, she, it, whatever you want to call it, is collecting more information about you, listening to your voice, and can determine, “So is Dale happy or sad?” There is a camera on it. Should you turn it on, or maybe it will turn on itself, it is going be able to watch you. Think of all the information it’s collecting.
Ann: Kutnick acknowledges that many business leaders are struggling to nurture and exploit AI initiatives and to integrate and scale them into their operations. It all comes down to algorithms, he says, from airline and hotel revenue and pricing, to precision agriculture, to credit ratings and diagnosing medical conditions.
Dale: When I talk about algorithmic business, I think of AI. We can talk about all this fuzzy AI stuff out here, but what we’re really talking about is the ability to solve problems. What is algorithmic business? It’s the enablement of creating business value through the action of algorithms on data. That’s really what we’re talking about in algorithmic business. Today trading foreign exchange, is all done by algorithms. Siemens wants to trade €100 million for dollars. There’s no human beings involved in that.
Ann: Kutnick’s recommendations to business leaders at AI World, invest in data collection and curation as a precursor to major AI initiatives. And when making AI investments, do so with three to five-year business goals. Focus on competitive advantage, he says. It’s not about reducing staff through AI. It’s about making any size team more efficient, agile, and intelligent.
Source: Ann Mostue, Bloomberg 106.1, Boston – https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2018-12-05/baystate-business-george-h-w-bush