Trending Now: AI, 5G, Data and Analytics

Trending Now: AI, 5G, Data and Analytics

A recent IDC report calls artificial intelligence (AI) “inescapable.


By 2025, at least 90% of new enterprise apps will embed AI; by 2024, over 50% of user interface interactions will use AI-enabled computer vision, speech, natural language processing (NLP), and AR/VR.


Key drivers include boosts in time to market, enhanced product innovation and improved customer satisfaction.


MuleSoft research predicts a 95% growth in the adoption of AI this year. “Machine learning (ML), basic task automation and virtual agents/chatbots are the most common use cases of AI,” they say, and anticipate that 25% percent of "customer service operations will be using virtual customer assistants.”


The research also highlights the use of surgical robots, warehouse pick-and-place robots, and drone use cases. In financial services, AI uses cases for fraud detection, investing services, and loan approval automated processes that were identified with specific company implementation models. In retail, AI is used for personalized offers and promotions. Fifty-three percent of consumers are willing to allow retailers to track their shopping behavior with and outside stores if it means they can receive personalized offers and promotions. Healthcare institutions use machine learning to enhance disease detection.


AI is inevitable because it’s essential to survival. Genpact predicts that within five years “AI-driven enterprises will be up to 10 times more efficient and hold twice the market share of those that don’t adopt the technology.”


The why behind these predictions lies in AI’s unprecedented power to drive other processes and technologies. In a sense, AI isn’t digital transformation (DX) per se. It’s what makes digital transformation possible.


You’ve probably read a great deal lately about Big Data, 5G and dramatic enhancements in analytics. These technologies are as transformative as you’ve heard and artificial intelligence is the engine that makes them go.


AI Transforms Big Data Into Big Intelligence


Ankur Laroia, managing director at BDO Houston, notes that we’ve been seeing “increasing volume, velocity, and variety of data” for some time. “The amount of data that needs to be stored doubles every six months, and it’s increasingly in unstructured formats that make it difficult to integrate and synthesize into something meaningful.” [emphasis added]


Meanwhile, the profusion of cheap storage increases the temptation to hoard data, which in the absence of processing horsepower generates confusion, not clarity. As any number of researchers and theorists have made clear, data isn’t information, information isn’t knowledge and knowledge isn’t wisdom: data is only useful when it can be converted into higher orders of intelligence.


AI analyzes far more data than humans can (and it does so far more rapidly). It identifies patterns and relationships in datasets that humans might miss and in doing so sparks process improvements and innovation.


Ultimately artificial intelligence dramatically enhances an organization’s ability to transform raw data into actionable intelligence. Businesses without this capability will be at an existential disadvantage versus AI-driven competitors.


Solving the 5G “Problem”


2020 is the year 5G, the next wave of mobile communication technology, is expected to explode. The ISACA explains that 5G “will be driven by speed, quality of service, reliability and so much more that it can do to transform the current way we use the internet and its related services.”


5G is going to enhance the capabilities of our traditional networks. Even the speed we get over wire or fiber goes much further over a 5G network and evolves to support the applications of IoT in various fields, including business, manufacturing, healthcare and transportation. 5G will serve as the basic technology for future IoT technologies that connect and operate entire organizations, the aim being to support differentiated applications with a uniform technical framework.


Its promise, though, hinges on AI. While 5G accelerates cloud services by effectively bringing users into closer proximity to the cloud, artificial intelligence provides the processing power to drive customization and innovation.


From an operational and developmental perspective 5G actually poses problems, and AI is the solution.


…with rapid development, AI is rising to these challenges as it becomes a promising potential support to the problems associated with the 5G era, and will lead to revolutionary concepts and capabilities in communications. This will also “up” the game in the applications world as business requirements become more prevalent. As mentioned, the narrowing gap between cloud and on-device processing will be foregone. The reinforcing of the massive IoT network dream will become more feasible.




ZDNet puts it simply: “Unlocking and analyzing data is at the heart of digital transformation.”


Companies are putting data to work to improve customer service, streamline operations and innovate at speed. Removing friction and movement of resources is directly influenced by how companies can leverage data to develop their anticipatory muscles.


As noted above re: 5G, data is of no value in and of itself. Organizations investing in analytics must also invest in AI and machine learning in order to process the data required to make the analytics work. The reason is straightforward: AI processes massive amounts of data in real time without human intervention.


An example most of us are familiar with illustrates the point. When shopping online, we’ve grown accustomed to sites showing us results that are directly relevant to what we’re searching for at the moment (or have searched for recently). Further, the experience stays with us as we move from site to site and platform to platform.


Expect AI-driven analytics to improve more and more in coming years as predictive analytics get better at interpreting and anticipating our behavior. Also, expect the same sorts of real-time insights to further penetrate the physical retail environment and the logistic/supply chain.


In other words, AI isn’t necessarily the thing in and of itself. Instead, it’s the thing that makes other things happen. And because of its rapid evolution and dramatically increasing applicability, many other things are going to be happening in the coming years.

Sam Smith, PhD | Contributor
Sam has worked in technology and communications marketing for more than 20 years and during that time has served a host of Fortune, enterprise and mid-market leaders. He earned his doctorate from the University of Colorado, where he focused on the development and adoption of emerging digital communication technologies.