By Sam Ancer
Artificial Intelligence has shaped much of the way we do business within the past decade. Artificial Intelligence refers to machines being able to perform roles normally requiring human intelligence. Innovations in Biometrics, Data gathering, measuring, safety mechanisms, and even customer service have all been radically transformed by AI. Recent developments both in technology, legislation, and even public relations point to how AI may shape the way we do business in the future. Here are five developments within AI that we believe will change business forever.
Natural Language Processing
Natural Language Processing or NLP is the connection between language and machine intelligence. It is essentially processes in which machines interpret and “learn” human communication and language. NLP has been essential in the development of chatbots which have become a game-changer in the automation of customer service roles. Recent developments in NLP involve Facebook’s XLM-R which now allows the inclusion of around 100 languages other than English in NLP programmes. English has largely dominated existing NLP research and so this development could lead to a massive disruption in the way we engage in international business. From trade to travel almost every industry will experience some disruption as a result of this development.
NLP reaching more languages will also open up further internal developments as more people are able to engage freely with the practice. This means that the impact NLP could potentially reach is nearly unfathomable as we realise it has only just now begun its development. Not only that but NLP has also made recent inroads into Low-Code which aims to democratize the space and open more opportunities for business development. Companies like MonkeyLearn are at the forefront of these developments and believe in the importance of machine learning like NLP. So with more people having access and more points for development within the space, it is clear that NLP is going to have an increasingly bigger impact on AI and business in the near future.
TinyML or Tiny Machine Learning is the optimisation of machine learning processes into microcontrollers. Essentially full-stack processes are optimised and reduced making on-site learning possible at a fraction of the resource costs. What this could lead to is mass production of machine learning tools within all elements of practical life. Ultimately it means that machine learning is coming to the forefront of our daily existence with more roles becoming automated and processes becoming streamlined. The possible impact of this is difficult to imagine but it is unlikely that a single business will be left unaffected.
In addition to its initial impact, the consequences of the eventual popularisation of TinyML will likely lead to the creation of entire new industries and tech developments that will create an even bigger impact on the global markets. All this means is that machine learning will continue to get cheaper and engage in our lives in avenues we did not expect.
The European Union is the neoliberal collection of nation-states functioning under an umbrella of commerce and legislation. Recently the political conglomeration has begun making inroads into the regulation of technology and artificial intelligence. In April 2021 they began working on specific regulations for Artificial Intelligence and how industries must behave if they wish to engage with the EU legally. For the most part, the regulations are reasonable and reflect the values of the collection of the nation-state, preventing draconian policies and punishing companies who enable authoritarian states.
However, there are also regulations that identify anything that could possibly cause harm, and that all these machine learning processes need to be made according to specific standards, and that there needs to be measures in place for examining those standards. This may seem like an exhaustive process however it in theory is a fairly straightforward process and shouldn’t disrupt business processes in any way. While these regulations are quite reasonable for the most part, another consequence of what the EU is doing is laying the blueprint for AI regulation that other countries can follow. Here in South Africa, there are no regulations currently, however, if our government were to establish some, their main point of reference would likely be the EU. This is why it should be important to pay attention to what is happening with the EU AI regulations as they will likely dictate global policy in how to shape AI laws.
When it comes to brand development the most important thing for your brand is to form an emotional response. Machine learning has teamed up with neuroscience to develop emotional monitoring for AI. This way one can measure the emotional impact of your marketing campaign and the consequences of it. Market research like this is invaluable and will likely form a core part of any marketing campaign in the near future. Therefore it’s crucial that you learn and access this resource as soon as you can because the first company to utilise it in each market will have a massive advantage over their competitors.
AI Getting You Into Trouble
Fairly recently Facebook created controversy as its artificial intelligence system attached to its recommendation feature began recommending more videos on primates on videos that had black men on them. This issue is not the first time an artificial intelligence programme has made racist recommendations, google has faced similar issues in the past. As a result of this Facebook is facing backlash, but this also points out the subtle ways in which AI could get your business in trouble and why it is important to monitor your AI systems within your business. Discussions around race and AI are important as representation in media becomes more critical, however, the lesson to be learned here is that human oversight is critical when it comes to machine automation.
Ultimately Artificial Intelligence is new and exciting and we have yet to even break the surface of how it could change our lives. These 5 new AI developments give us a rough indication of where we are going and how business might be affected. So heed the lessons that can be learned and prepare for the new, machine age of business.