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What Davos needs to know about AI
Kalyan Kumar Chief Technology Officer and Head, Ecosystems | January 17, 2018

Our time is essentially a representation of ‘standing in motion;’ this motion of intelligence adoption is as incredible as what was of electricity in the early 1900s and the web in 2000s. From machines learning how to imagine to humanoids matching and even exceeding human potential, what the next iteration will achieve is becoming harder to imagine. Advancements in AI are consistently testing the boundaries between humans and machines, while making our own imperfections starkly apparent.

Echoing Arthur C. Clarke’s famous words, “Advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” today the magic of AI surrounds us, constantly pushing the boundaries of what it can achieve. As soon as the current problems are solved, newer ones appear, fueling a perpetual cycle of innovation. While these advances are available to all and should chart out a level playing field, trendsetters at the cusp are always at an advantage.

In all my interactions with global business and technology leaders, one fact is apparent –“While a lot of enterprises are interested in exploring the brave new world of AI, only a few are truly realizing the full benefits of it.”Why is that? It could be because a lot of this technology is complex and requires skills and knowledge that is beyond the reach (and definitely not the core) of most enterprises today. Another reason could be the sheer hype and noise surrounding this space, which can easily confuse business and technology leaders about their technology choices. Whatever the case may be, one thing is clear: the impact of AI and automation that we see today is just the tip of the iceberg. AI is poised to impact not only low-level activities but also tasks which are of higher order in nature and require decision-making of medium to large complexity. AI, ML, and related technologies will take the quantum of automation across a business process to a new level.

Today, HCL has developed an automation and orchestration solution called DRYiCE that can deal with complex business processes and use cognitive capabilities to deal with humans. This is impacting user experience big time and is far beyond mere automation. This is no longer the future…this is happening now. AI has tremendous applications across industries and a lot of work is underway in terms of identifying use cases that deliver maximum ROI. Great strides have been made in areas like banking (clearing and settlements, reconciliations, AML, KYC, and reporting), insurance (claims processing, member enrollment, and fraud detection), and telecom (customer onboarding, billing, plan management, and line tests). Heavily regulated industries such as life sciences are also seeing considerable applications of AI in the areas of drug discovery, clinical trial management, and pharmacovigilance. Integration of IoT along with AI has very interesting implications in the manufacturing and energy sectors.

Let’s move into discussing another year of abstracting away complexity behind AI, relegating omni-intensive tasks to our digital counterparts and finding a perpetual balance between the ever-evolving human-machine cognition and augmentation until, of course, singularity occurs.

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