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Fraiday #7: AI in Business

Fraiday is the monthly meet-up for professionals who are AI-curious. We have a simple format: involving drinks, a theme, lively debate and a group picture.

Some companies outsource their data work, some do it themselves, and some find a hybrid form of cooperation with a startup. For our AI in Business edition of Fraiday, we looked for someone who could embody several approaches that corporates can have towards AI. We found exactly that in Tijmen Blankevoort from Scyfer, whose story reads like a fairytale, ending in the recent acquisition by Qualcomm.

Tijmen sat down with interviewer Jim Stolze in an “inside the actor’s studio” like setting to tell us something about his background and how he got where he is. There where quite some things that you wouldn’t expect from a CTO at a former tech startup! Did you know for example that Tijmen was a contestant of “beauty & de nerd”, or that he studied Japanese before he started his study of mathematics? Read More

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Is AI changing the face of business?

Paul Daugherty (CTO at Accenture) wrote this piece for the World Economic Forum. Image by Techonomy.

Accenture estimates that artificial intelligence could double annual economic growth rates of many developed countries by 2035, transforming work and fostering a new relationship between humans and machines. The report projects that AI technologies in business will boost labor productivity by up to 40 percent. Rather than undermining people, we believe AI will reinforce their role in driving business growth. As AI matures, it will potentially serve as a powerful antidote for the stagnant productivity and shortages in skilled labor of recent decades.

While it is early days, we are already seeing AI’s impact. Combined with cloud, sophisticated analytics and other technologies, it is starting to change how work is done by both people and computers. It’s also changing how organizations interact with consumers, sometimes in startling ways.

AI is flourishing now because of the rise of ubiquitous computing, low-cost cloud services, near unlimited inexpensive storage, new algorithms, and other related technology innovations. Cloud computing along with advances in Graphical Processing Units (GPU’s) has provided necessary computational power. AI algorithms and architectures have progressed rapidly, often enabled by open source software.

Artificial Intelligence is not just one technology, but rather a variety of different sorts of software that can be applied in numerous ways for different applications.

But equally important is a vast increase in the availability of data. AI does not think for itself. Its insights are possible because the software gets fed information, and the more information it gets, the more insight it can produce. Over the last decade, crowdsourced data in particular has proliferated on internet and social media. People in their daily lives upload massive quantities of images, videos, social media comments, and chat dialogues. All that creates labelled data that is available for machines to use in what’s called machine learning.

→ Read the full article at the WEF site.

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