Brian Seery, CTO, Singlepoint

Brian Seery, Singlepoint’s CTO, spoke to Aoife Valentine from The Sunday Business Post about artificial intelligence.

 Read the transcript of this interview below:

The New Electricity – Ai And Machine Learning

A lack of trust and acceptance is holding businesses back from the benefits of artificial intelligence, but it’s coming in hot anyway, writes Aoife Valentine from The Sunday Business Post.

PwC’s recent Global Artificial Intelligence Study named artificial intelligence (AI) as the “biggest commercial opportunity in today’s fast-changing economy”. Taking in the ways that AI is set to transform and disrupt many industries, the study suggested AI could contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, with $6.6 trillion coming from increased productivity alone.

Gartner estimates that more than 85 per cent of customer interaction will be managed without a human by 2020, predicting chatbots will be the number one consumer application of AI over the next five years. And according to research by TechIreland, over 40 per cent of the AI being developed in Ireland is in the enterprise software space.

AI comes in many forms, but mostly centres on computer systems that can think, learn and take action in response to what they’re sensing and their objectives. It’s often used to automate manual, routine tasks, to help employees perform tasks faster and better, to help people make better decisions, and to automate decision-making processes without human intervention. Particularly around the latter, is where a certain level of hesitation from companies to embrace AI is coming in.

“As you rely more and more on AI to make decisions for you, you have to be able to understand why it’s making those decisions. For highly regulated industries, they have to be able to stand over all of those decisions because that’s the difference between running the business and having the business shut down. When you talk about machine learning, it’s one thing to use to it drive insights, but when you start to move it towards intelligent decision-making and you hand that over to some machine learning model, if you can’t explain why it’s making those decisions, that’s a big challenge and a big risk aversion piece for sure, there’s definitely a challenge in trusting that,” said Brian Seery, technical consulting director at Singlepoint.

As the amount of data we consume and produce daily in business increases, so too will the need for stronger and better AI systems to help increase efficiencies within companies. But more than just increased productivity and efficiency, AI is and will continue to allow companies to provide better solutions for customers. “The biggest impact it has for the types of customers we work with, is the ability to personalise offerings and more effectively target customers. Most of the AI and machine learning projects we’re working on are focused on how do you do that effectively; profile your customers around appetite for risk, propensity to buy, those kinds of things. You’re looking at historic buying and purchasing patterns to do that,” said Seery.

The Sunday Business Post

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