Here’s how cognitive technologies can transform your business

Busting some myths about cognitive technologies and understanding how they can help your business gain a competitive edge
6 March 2018

If you know how to harness its power, AI can help your business achieve maximum efficiency. Source: Shutterstock

M ost businesses have only heard of cognitive technologies and the transformative power it wields – but few have experienced it or know how to harness it.

This has unfortunately fuelled many myths in the minds of business leaders, making the technology seem more complex than it should be.

Cognitive technologies such as computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing use artificial intelligence to perform tasks that only humans could do previously.

However, it’s a technology that’s often misunderstood by businesses that struggle to evaluate the risks of the technology against the ways in which it can benefit them.

L&T Technology Services, for example, recently announced AiKno, a cognitive intelligence framework it developed.

AiKno combines contextual intelligence and AI, to help customers develop a range of digital virtual agents, problem-solving applications, and robotic process automation – and gets better with time as it learns from your data.

Currently, L&T is working on integrating AiKno into a range of solutions that have been deployed in smart factories, smart machines, and serve as building blocks for smart cities.

Here are some myths about cognitive technology that we’ll dispel so you can get to grips with the technology and explore bold new applications for your business:

Everything will be automated

It’s true a lot can be automated with the help of AI, but it’s not necessarily something organizations want to do.

In fact, a Deloitte study found AI applications generally fall into three categories: product, process, and insight.

Product applications embed cognitive technologies into products or services to help provide a better experience for the end user.

Machine learning and computer vision can help businesses analyze data to reveal patterns and make predictions for better decisions. Source: Shutterstock

Process applications use cognitive technology to enhance, scale or automate business processes.

Insight applications use machine learning and computer vision to analyze data to reveal patterns, make predictions, and guide better decisions.

In several instances, Deloitte found that product, process, and insight applications are used to do work that no human could have otherwise performed.

Unemployment will rise

AI isn’t going to be used to make employees redundant anytime soon. In fact, it’s expected to improve job roles, make employees more effective, and help staff delight customers repeatedly, effortlessly.

A Genpact survey of more 5,000 people last year found that only 10 percent of respondents believed AI would threaten existing jobs. However, most did agree that new skills will be needed if employees are to perform at their best.

“Artificial intelligence brings a seismic shift in the future of work – making some roles obsolete and enhancing others, while at the same time, creating new jobs, and even spawning new professions,” Genpact Chief Digital Officer Sanjay Srivastava told The Indian Express.

Achieving ROI targets are difficult

Investing in AI might seem like a difficult proposition in the boardroom, especially in cases where the business lacks a digital maturity roadmap and clear case studies specific to the industry and application.

As a result, many businesses feel that achieving the ROI targets on AI projects are difficult.

However, there are plenty of examples of companies doing AI really well, creating solutions that save millions in costs and bring in billions in revenues.

Many businesses feel achieving ROI targets on AI projects are difficult. Source: Shutterstock

Experts at IBM, for example, suggest that using chatbots built on AI can reduce customer service costs by 30 percent. Another story on CNBC recently cited a report that claimed 90 percent of customer queries in healthcare and banking would be handled by chatbots within the next five years.

The technology is a fad

AI is no longer a buzzword from science fiction books and movies. It’s real, it’s here, and it’s only going to get better.

And while regulations might be murky in some parts of the world around how AI can be used for business or what it can be used to do, nothing can change the fact that AI will make life simpler and the world better – and is here to stay.

Arridhana Ciptadi, Machine Learning Scientist, Amazon explained why AI is set to go places:

Some of us might be skeptical about the potential impact of AI. After all, AI has a history of overpromising and under delivering. So, what caused this seemingly rapid progress and why should we expect it to continue?

The big advances in AI today come from machine learning, a field that studies how we can train a computer to perform certain tasks by using a large amount of data