By now, you’ve probably heard a lot of things about artificial intelligence (AI). You’ve heard it’s going to eliminate jobs. You’ve heard it’s going to push the world to the brink of destruction. In the most-watched debut season of any HBO show, Anthony Hopkins uses AI to create a robot reality amusement park set in the Old West. Quite the range of possibilities.
One thing is for sure, we will see the impact of AI in our everyday lives. Researchers and analysts at Gartner have chosen AI as the top tech trend of the next decade. In fact, Gartner predicts that it will be featured in nearly every software product by 2020, and “most of the world’s largest 200 companies will exploit intelligent apps” by 2018. So, before the modern marketing machine shoves this trend in your face every day, here are a few things to keep in mind.
What is AI? What is Machine Learning?
Artificial intelligence is a broad concept of a machine’s ability to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart” or “intuitive.” Amazon Echo, your car’s bluetooth technology, and video games are common examples of this concept at work.
Machine Learning (ML) is one application of the concept of AI. This gives machines the ability to “learn” for themselves if they are given access to a set of data. For example, those pesky advertisements keep showing up on your social media accounts because they’ve seen you browse for similar products in the past. Maybe you’ve noticed your phone’s GPS app will automatically try to send you home from work if you leave at the same time every day. The machine uses data, and outputs a result based on the patterns. These are simple examples of ML, an application of AI.
Which industries are using it?
The truth is, these concepts can benefit almost every industry. Not only are people busy at work, but the human brain is only able to collect and process a certain amount of data at a certain speed. Machines can provide an advantage in any industry to take actions based on data collection, which is, frankly, almost every industry.
Doctors are hopeful that AI will reverse two decades of failed experimental treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. They’ve gathered plenty of data in twenty years of studies, but haven’t yet produced a successful preventative therapy. Essentially, doctors believe that machine learning could process the data in a way that we cannot, which would help identify the factors contributing to risk for the disease.
Weather and climate researchers hope to leverage machine learning to process the massive amounts of data coming in from powerful satellites. Climate science is, well, an inexact science, and researchers are already leveraging AI technology to help rank climate models and predict extreme events.
How can it be used to simplify business processes?
If you’re familiar with our team at Samanage, you’ve heard us talk about automation. Workflows in your organization can be automated. Simple break/fix incidents can be largely automated. This efficiency will save time for your techs, and make for better customer service.
Now, imagine the stress of a university’s IT department in the coming weeks. There could be 20,000 students returning to campus, some of which are brand new. They will all use the technology resources at the library and in the classroom, much of which will be unfamiliar. This will result in a massive, unmanageable amount of incidents and requests.
But, what if machine learning could track, predict, and suggest solutions for common issues? What if the IT service management solution could indicate to administrators that they will need to expand their staff (and by how much), or that the network is likely to overload based on this influx? These are predictive and preventative measures that machine learning can provide for IT departments in a variety of organizations.
Hopefully, that gives you some idea of the practical, everyday use of AI so that it’s not just a buzzword that will take your job or cause human extinction. If you’d like to learn about how smart technology is making its way into IT service management, sign up for our free webinar on automation.
About Chris McManus
Chris McManus is a Marketing Manager with a variety of media and creative content experience. He works with SolarWinds Service Desk customers on case studies, webinars, and spotlight videos.
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