Marvin Minsky, the Artificial Intelligence pioneer, died today. He viewed the brain as a machine whose functions could be replicated in a computer. But despite his efforts, we are still a long way off achieving that vision as the complexity of the brain is increasingly understood.
This has not stopped a range of movies, TV series and films conjuring up images of Terminator like figures and technology attempting to take control of our world. But it’s vital that business does not dismiss AI as only for the movies. Nor is it just about self-driving cars, talking fridges and robots. You are already experiencing AI in your phones, delivering online ads and locating search results. It is increasingly being interwoven into your daily life in a quietly steady way. And this will continue to happen with the current range of robo-advisers in the financial advisory markets, diagnostics in healthcare and supply chain automation. No industry or sector is immune from its transformative impact. And this includes marketing which is embracing AI technologies to research markets, deliver ads and indeed make the creative. This is largely 'narrow' AI as oppose to human-style intelligence. But its impact is and will be huge all the same.
As part of what has been termed at Davos in 2016, the Fourth Industrial Age, AI is transforming all our lives. And it is becoming easier to be part of these exponential trends through AI as-a-service platforms like IBM's Watson, Quill and Ellipse. Now is a great time to be thinking about what AI could do for your business. It's also a good time to be thinking about what you can do for AI. What sort of world do you want your business to be part of creating? What is its purpose? And what sort of AI will help you achieve that purpose? And how will you take your customers with you on your AI journey?
Marvin Minsky's desire, in his words, "to impart to machines the human capacity for commonsense reasoning" is a way off despite the hype around such technologies as Deepmind. But AI is already a powerful force to be reckoned with.