New technologies are redefining industries, blurring traditional boundaries and creating new opportunities on a scale never seen before. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has sparked a new level of industrial revolution. Designed to help humans work better, it can be classified into two phases, first, generating insight from data more quickly and accurately than is humanly possible and second, acting automatically on that insight. AI is essentially the creation of systems that use advance analytic strategy, especially machine learning and deep learning, to accomplish things that earlier only humans could do. If we look back a few years, AI was simply a concept discussed over a few hours by techies and sci-fi fans. The concept came alive in Star Wars and in novels by Isaac Asimov, but the over the years these ideas have evolved drastically and given rise to AI that today includes a myriad of technologies and tools, some time-tested, others relatively new. Consumers are now more open towards automated applications, supporting the adoption of IoT; users now believe that their smartphone will learn daily routines and perform functions on their behalf; there has been rapid advancements towards the development of autonomous cars; virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) is helping people overcome their fears and visit places, and finally, applications tracking healthcare insurance, treatment history, etc., are only the beginning of what lies ahead.
AR creating ripples
AR has become an important aspect of the next generation of mobile computing. Companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook are investing in the research, development and even application of AR in products. AR is paving the path for training and maintenance across industries such as energy, healthcare, engineering, art and design.
AI and smartphones
AI has become an important element in the transformation of the modern smartphone; soon our handheld devices will be referred to as ‘intelligent phones’. Global technology players such as Apple, Google and Amazon have showcased the prowess of AI technology with Siri, Virtual Assistant and Alexa. Samsung have announced advancements for recently acquired Bixby while Huawei is very soon going to launch a flagship product equipped with AI chipsets. Oppo has incorporated AI technology in its most recent product F5. As a camera phone centric brand, it has harnessed AI in its selfie feature. Oppo’s AI beauty technology not only gives a customised beauty effect but is based on machine learning that recognises skin tones, gender and ages.
The business perspective
A recent report by the National Business Research Institute (NBRI) states that 38% of enterprises are already using AI and 62% will use AI by 2018. AI is a broad segment that includes predictive and perspective analytics, automated reporting and voice and facial recognition. Gartner has coined a new term—Algorithmic Business, this describes the paradigm shift of digital business from big data to AI.
We have seen industries across sectors such as healthcare, automobile, banking, retail, etc., show interest in the potential of AI. This is not only true for India but also for China as companies from across sectors adapt to the emergence of AI. The various strategies that need to be adopted to build smart cities and smart mobility are again dependent on AI. We have surely come a long way from the first industrial revolution. From writing emails to having awkward conversations with Siri, the age of AI is driven by machine learning, extreme automation and omnipresent connectivity. The coming years will only see a rise in the usage of AI .
The writer is global VP and president, Oppo India