How AI Is Disrupting Business By Jennifer L. Schenker

Robots dressed in a business suit

Robots dressed in a business suit

No longer the domain of science fiction, artificial intelligence is poised to impact everything from how steel is produced to the way women buy bras and farmers grow lettuce.

It will change what we do inside cars and inside cities.

It will not only eliminate jobs it looks poised to wipe out entire professions and change the ones that remain.

And it could be the deciding factor in how quickly major economies grow. Accenture analyzed 12 developed economies, and found that artificial intelligence or AI – technology that allows computing systems to sense, comprehend and act – has the potential to double their annual economic growth rates by 2035.

Some call it the next industrial revolution and it is not just hyperbole. Within 10 years AI and robotics are expected to create an estimated … Read More

Interview with Volkswagen Group’s JJ Jungwirth By Jennifer L. Schenker

johann_jungwirth-780x439As cars become more about software Europe’s automakers are gearing up for battle with Silicon Valley. Are they up to the job?  Johann Jungwirth, Volkswagen Group’s Chief Digital Officer, a self-driving car expert, worked for Apple and Mercedes in California before taking on his current position. He says he would not have returned to Germany to work for a European carmaker if he didn’t believe Volkswagen would play a key role in mobility going forward.

“Infotainment services are commodities, it is not where the game will be won or lost,” says Jungwirth. “The value is in developing the self-driving system and in adding digital platforms,” he says.

The Volkswagen Group is planning two digital platforms – one for trucks and buses that will help with fleet management and another for consumers that will develop unique customer IDs and profiles across … Read More

AI Is Driving The Future Of The Auto Industry By Jennifer L. Schenker

A sign that says "Driverless Cars Ahead."

Advances in artificial intelligence promise to transform both the automotive industry and the passenger experience

Within four years consumers will be able to buy self-driving cars powered by artificial intelligence (AI) made by auto makers such as VW, BMW, Ford, Daimler and Renault Nissan. Driverless cars are expected to drastically reduce accidents, transform the face of our cities and reduce the environmental impact of mobility.

That’s not all. Before long, thanks in part to AI technology, cars will not only drive themselves they will know who you are, understand your changing moods, adapt to circumstances, and react to new demands and new tasks on the fly, according to a recent McKinsey report.

With better connectivity, and later autonomous technology, drivers and passengers can use their time in transit to stay connected with their friends, educate themselves or be productive.

Auto … Read More

Combining AI With Human Medical Expertise by Jennifer L. Schenker

3D illustration of Liver - Part of Digestive System.

When 1.2 million residents in north central London are feeling ill they now have the option of consulting an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. It performs the triage normally done by humans manning Britain’s National Health Service telephone hotline for urgent but non-life threatening conditions.
Patients are able to check their symptoms with the chatbot, a conversational computer program that customers can interact with via a messaging interface like SMS or Facebook Messenger.
The chatbot might advise a patient to seek a face-to-face consultation with a doctor or emergency care but the aim is the same as the telephone hotline – to avoid unnecessary doctors appointments.
“Our AI triage system reduces doctor consultations for Babylon patients by up to 50% because half of the cases do not need to see a doctor,” says Ali Parsa, CEO and founder of London-based Babylon Health, … Read More

Voice: The Next Billion Dollar Computing Platform By Jennifer L. Schenker

william-tunstall-pedoeBritish computer scientist William Tunstall –Pedoe is the inventor of much of the artificial intelligence technology behind Alexa, a user interface that can understand and respond to natural language commands, a development that promises to be a boon to business.

Alexa is summoned via Amazon’s Echo, the brand name of speakers on sale in the U.S., UK and Germany, which are designed to be installed in consumers’ homes.

Millions of people are already using Alexa to summon more than 5000 “skills”, including the ability to find their favorite music, get cooking instructions, order flowers, control devices in their home, track packages or check their bank balance, using only their voice.

Major brands like U.S. bank Capital One see it as a great new way of interfacing with customers and have started using the Alexa Skills Kit to create code that … Read More

How AI Is Changing A Multi-Trillion Dollar Industry By Jennifer L. Schenker

Security bridge concept as business people running across two high cliffs with the help of a safe giant umbrella bridging the gap.

A man’s Canada Goose parka –worth $979 – was stolen on a freezing December night from a New York City restaurant. When it didn’t turn up after several days he entered the details into a mobile app provided by his insurer, a start-up called Lemonade founded by three Israelis.

A “ bot”, a computer software program able to communicate with humans using artificial intelligence, sprung into action. It took a total of three seconds for the bot to review the claim, cross-reference it against the policy, run 18 anti-fraud algorithms, approve it, send wiring instructions to the bank for the transfer of $729 (the policy had a $250 deductible), and inform the client that his claim had been processed, according to Lemonade’s blog.It is just one example of how “insurtech” start-ups using are disrupting a multi-trillion dollar industry that hasn’t … Read More

AI Could Help Europe’s SMEs Go Global by Jennifer L. Schenker

joel-hyatt-2Artificial intelligence won’t just change the way large corporates do business. It could also help Europe’s small and medium sized services businesses expand internationally.
Globality, a Silicon Valley start-up, combines artificial intelligence and expert curation to help large corporates connect with qualified service SMES globally. The impact could be particularly strong in Europe, where 99.8% of companies are small and do limited business outside their home markets.
Today over 95% of services exports globally are handled by less than 1% of companies, namely large international companies who do a premium business in professional services.
Globality is aiming to change that. Its AI-powered marketplace replaces the request for proposal (RFP), a type of tender in which a company announces that funding is available for a particular project and invites bidders. “Not only is this an outdated analog process in a digital … Read More

AI: The New Face Of A Company’s Digital Brand by Jennifer L. Schenker

3D visual of a humanoid robot overthinking something.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is winning acclaim for a service that uses artificial intelligence to not only send customers booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding pass, and flight status updates but to also answer their questions.

The service uses a chatbot, a conversational computer program that customers can interact with via a messaging interface like SMS, Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage, Slack, Kik, Telegram, and WeChat. The result: huge time savings for customer service agents, who can instead focus on customers with more pressing or complicated needs.

Beyond the airline industry chatbots are being used in fields such as retail, banking, insurance and health, signaling a sea change in the way customers converse with companies or engage in commerce.

“AI is making the user interface both simple and smart – and setting a high bar for how future interactions will work,” says … Read More

Balancing Human Ethics And Artificial Intelligence by Jennifer L. Schenker

(This article first appeared in the 2017 Techonomy print and digital Magazine.)

You are driving along and your car’s brakes suddenly fail. If it swerves to the left, three old men and two elderly women will die. If the car veers to the right, it kills a woman doctor, two babies and a boy and girl.

Who should die? This question is part of MIT Media Lab’s “moral machine,” a platform for gathering peoples’ opinions on moral decisions made by machine intelligence, such as self-driving cars. In the coming age of automation and artificial intelligence (AI), such life and death decisions and many other complicated ones will increasingly be made by machines rather than people.

A lot depends on who determines the value systems for artificial intelligence software. Those values could be carefully and methodically crowd-sourced from society at … Read More

Will Banks Become Brokers of Personal Data? By Jennifer L. Schenker

Privacy may not be dead after all.

A $20.5 million joint investment by six banks in a fintech start-up called SecureKey is part of an ambitious plan to roll out a national digital identity network in Canada that aims to offer a secure way for consumers to exchange all types of personal data.

It is being hailed as the largest privacy- by –design consumer digital identity service initiative to date, is expected to be among the first widespread commercial uses of blockchain distributed ledger technology by financial services institutions and, if it lives up to its promise, could serve as a model for other countries.… Read More