Insights | 4.2.21

Technologies That Inspire – Artificial Intelligence – Another Look By Rob Baum, CEO of TechFlow

A little over a year ago, I shared my thoughts on artificial intelligence. Of course, even in this short timeframe more developments have taken place and I thought I would revisit this fascinating technology.

The tech: Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions) and self-correction.

My take: Last time I wrote about it, I said the time for AI is now. Well, it really is. AI has been around for a very long time (more than 40 years by my count).  Early attempts at modeling environments and systems were inhibited by program language constructs and algorithms that could not model learning.  Early AI was not ready for prime time.  Fast forward 40 years, add cloud storage and cloud computing, add IoT, add the digitization of the world, and add pre-built components from web service providers like Amazon Web Services that take a lot of the work out of programming, and you have an environment that is ready for PRIME TIME!

This technology is evolving at a rapid clip and growing in importance as the world around us becomes digital and actionable. We are in the so called “data decade”.  By 2025, worldwide data volume is expected to hit 175ZB. Over these next ten years, AI will grow significantly in importance – it is only just beginning to have an impact on the world. Where will we see it deliver on this promise? AI creates efficiency by finding undiscovered patterns across data elements in a way that we as humans are not wired to see.  As more and more AI is deployed, we will see growing efficiencies across industries and populations creating a demand for new and different skills.  As AI is applied to robotics and automation, entire industries and work forces will change.

The biggest innovations today are in smarter algorithms and in simplifying the development environment.  Smarter algorithms translate to better and more actionable results that demonstrate measurable value.  The simplified and streamlined development constructs mean using AI is no longer just for PhDs and graduate students of data science.  Web service providers are developing easy to use environments and cases that can be applied readily across similar but different data sets very easily – increasing usage.  With smarter results and more applications, we are going to see greater adoption and more efficiencies being driven in our world.

Today, less than 0.5% of worldwide data is being analyzed. Clearly, we at TechFlow understand that the competitive advantage for our customers is going to come from data that will need to be mined by AI.  There will be a drive to push the intelligence out to the edge – to where it is collected and needs to be actionable.  Data collection, data storage and processing power will need to keep improving – meaning faster networks, more robust storage, and faster more powerful chips distributed over long distances in small yet powerful containers.  On current customer projects, we are already seeing smart vehicles collect and transmit up to 10TB of data in a single day from sensors around a vehicle that impact every facet of its performance.  The distribution of intelligence will need to be local, perhaps regional, nationwide, and worldwide for direction and action.  For AI to continue to live up to its promise of efficiencies, every aspect of our digital environment will need to continue to evolve – which is just amazing!

At TechFlow, our tagline “Always Ahead” crystalizes our focus on helping customers to anticipate and prepare for the future.   As our future becomes digitized, AI will be the work horse to unlock the secrets of efficiencies not yet realized creating a better world for all of us.