Artificial intelligence driving new insights for businesses

New York, 19 Apr 2017

Increased investment in machine learning and artificial intelligence is helping enterprises drive improvements in areas such as business intelligence and analytics, cybersecurity and ecommerce.

As uptake of these technologies increases in 2017, businesses will have access to more insights than ever on consumer behaviours and their own operations.

While big data has been a major theme in the technology sector for several years, it is only now that companies are unlocking tools to help them use the analytics they have collected on their activities.

Over the next 12 months, businesses will find new ways to combine big data analytics with machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to gain better insights on their products, services and consumers, according to Macquarie Capital.

Research and advisory firm Forrester has forecast a 300 per cent increase in global investment in artificial intelligence by business in 2017 compared with 2016.

More broadly, it forecasts that businesses that employ a combination of big data, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technologies to better understand their performance and markets will make $US1.2 trillion more in annual revenue than their competitors that don’t by 2020.

Companies are starting to talk about integrating an artificial intelligence capability into their tools or services. Big data has been a thematic for several years but, until now, the question has been what do businesses do with the extensive data they have collected on their operations?

Industries will start to see AI tools being utilised better to make decisions from all of that big data that has been accumulated.

By using these tools to mine company data, businesses can gain better insights into the behaviour and preferences of their customers and target their products more effectively.

In ecommerce, artificial intelligence is already being used to improve customer experience through the supply of communication tools such as chatbots.

Companies such as Netflix and Spotify are also using the technology to supply personalised recommendations to consumers based on their previous streaming habits.

Artificial intelligence also has applications in cybersecurity, with companies increasingly turning to AI platforms to make their enterprises and data more secure.

As cyber attacks become more sophisticated, many organisations are considering ways to integrate an AI capability into their daily management of cyber risk both for quick detection of threats and facilitation of a response plan.

One of the advantages of AI over some traditional cybersecurity sources is the speed with which it can detect intrusions. It will also be a valuable tool for businesses that find it difficult to source staff with the necessary skills to manage cyber security.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will begin to drive a lot of the cybersecurity used to prevent hacks into networks or hacks into data to help make enterprises more secure, Macquarie Capital says.

As an industry, artificial intelligence is expected to grow at a 62.9 per cent compound annual growth rate to a global value of $US16 billion by 2022, according to research firm, MarketsandMarkets.

While its direct applications for the general consumer are still developing, its value as a tool for business is clear because these are platforms which can be deployed throughout multiple areas: from cybersecurity to business intelligence to business and financial analytics.

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