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AI in the Real World: A Snapshot of What’s to Come

AI in the Real World: A Snapshot of What’s to Come

AI in the Real World: A Snapshot of What’s to Come

Artificial intelligence has been around for years, mostly lurking in the background in areas of business like logistics, data mining and medical diagnosis, to name a few. For some consumers, it feels shiny and new and for the less tech-savvy, it may be invisible still. But whether you’re using iOS autocorrect, asking Siri to set an alarm or directing Alexa to play some music, it’s clear that AI is very much a part of daily life.

On a larger scale, in today’s world where cyber attacks and breaches are making headlines more than ever, AI is contributing by applying its inherent ability to detect suspicious anomalies within patterns and data sets. And in today’s media landscape where the “fake news” epidemic is raging (and has also made many headlines), AI has the potential to help learn the patterns of fake news sites and technologies and ultimately decipher what is in fact “fake” and just how far reaching that fake news is spreading.

From a business perspective, almost every industry has access to and many are taking advantage of AI’s capabilities. It is transforming sectors such as manufacturing, financial services, retail, healthcare, construction and so many more. With 81 percent of IT leaders currently investing or planning to invest in AI, it is clear that innovative technologies are a top priority for businesses and who knows what’s to come.

With AI technologies and innovations constantly evolving, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on what is going on in the industry. We wanted to take a moment and highlight some of the fascinating news we’re following. Whether you are dabbling in the AI industry, looking to invest, or simply interested in the technology, these are definitely worth a read:

Predicting the Impact of AI

The Wall Street Journal: The Optimistic Promise of Artificial Intelligence
By Staff Writer
Artificial intelligence may be one of the technology world’s current obsessions, but many people find it scary, envisioning robots taking over the world. Two top experts in the field— Andrew Ng, a Stanford University adjunct professor and former AI scientist at Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc., and Tong Zhang, executive director of the AI Lab at Tencent Holdings Ltd. —sat down with The Wall Street Journal’s global technology editor, Jason Dean, to explain why they believe the opportunities associated with this technology far outweigh the bad.

The Huffington Post: Future Predictions For Artificial Intelligence and Automation
By Daniel Newman
Perhaps the biggest irony about artificial intelligence (AI) is that—despite the many things AI can tell us—it can’t tell us how it will ultimately impact our lives, economy, or world. In fact, the impact of AI and automation on our job market and economy has been steadily debated—and loudly—for the last few years, with the story constantly changing. With AI advancing at such a fast clip, it’s time to get to the bottom of the AI automation issue. Where do we stand? And what outcomes are most likely to shake out in the near term?

Commerce & Customer Insights:

Forbes: How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The Way We Analyze Consumer Behavior
By Rakia Reynolds
Even though human beings are already surrounded by AI in many ways, we can expect to see more of it: A report by Accenture is projecting AI to double economic growth rates by 2035. Now, more than ever, the landscape has evolved. What was once a forum where advertisers, marketers and traditional storytellers could easily determine their next move with standard research, the success of communications agencies highly depends on their ability to make the brand experience even more personalized.


ABC News: How artificial intelligence is taking on ransomware
By Anick Jesdanun
Twice in the space of six weeks, the world has suffered major attacks of ransomware — malicious software that locks up photos and other files stored on your computer, then demands money to release them. It’s clear that the world needs better defenses, and fortunately those are starting to emerge, if slowly and in patchwork fashion. When they arrive, we may have artificial intelligence to thank.

The Internet-of-Things
VentureBeat: How AI and IoT must work together
By Ed Sappin
As artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) become more commonplace, it is both useful and important to understand how these two important trends work together to benefit specialists and the average person alike. How can AI control and potentially improve the rollout of IoT? For starters, IoT creates a tremendous amount of data. That data can be captured (enter: big data) and analyzed. But it is not realistic to do this tracking by human effort, given the sheer volume of data. AI will serve an important role in tracking — going through this mountain of IoT data and distilling it into actionable themes.

At Ascent, we see tremendous potential in AI, and a number of our portfolio companies are leading innovators in applying it to new markets. Two of our portfolio companies in particular have capitalized on this technology. Rapidminer, an open source predictive analytics platform, inherently incorporates machine learning as one of its core capabilities. And e-commerce marketing company Sidecar uses AI to improve the performance of tasks and marketing technology processes, and applies machine learning to optimize product ad bidding (PLAs). One of our recent B2B IT Forums also focused on AI in the enterprise – you can find a blog post with some highlights here. As we continue looking at investment opportunities, the innovative applications of AI to solve tough business problems will continue to turn our heads, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for this compelling technology.

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