How To Leverage Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning During A Pandemic – Forbes

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Intelligent systems increasingly speed up and disrupt status-quo processes.

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To say that change is a constant is an understatement with the coronavirus turning the whole world upside down. Paired with accelerating cloud technologies where there seems to be no “finish line,” we find ourselves in an environment that is more and more of a challenge for the IT skills of internal teams to keep up.

In one of my previous articles “3 Steps To Address The Cloud Talent Drought,” we found that relieving the growing skills gap is becoming a great motivator for increased automation, driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). After this pandemic is over, there will be business winners and losers. Organizations that view these technologies as a critical differentiator will create a wide range of business advantages for themselves both during and after the pandemic subsides. With a combination of AI and ML, executives – and especially CIOs – will be able to view and act on better information and more in-depth analytics, enabling them to drive a faster business transformation.

Predictive Analytics Enables Automation, But Also Saves Lives

Decades of development have driven technological expectations towards more predictive business intelligence than ever before. Once you have highly accurate predictive information, the task of automation becomes much simpler. Today, computing systems capably deliver an entire world of historical data and analytical information with just a few clicks. Yet, from the very beginning, intelligence and forecasting data from computer systems are the true crown jewels.

On the business intelligence path, through advancements in infrastructure, software, mobility,  and information technology, the industry made massive strides in matching business use cases with capabilities and systems. We can see its effects being played in front of us as an example in the fight against COVID-19. While AI and ML have traditionally accelerated intelligence improved enterprise projections, these technologies are shining today as tools to help pull insights from the massive COVID-19 data pools. AI features include rapid, scaled analysis, integration into multiple points of information, and providing rapid access to information that we can all read on the CDC and WHO websites. This fast access and manipulation of data, driven by AI, will hopefully help bring the spread of this pandemic to its heels.  

Productivity, Productivity, Productivity

Along with innovation, another evergreen business driver is improving productivity, which is especially important now as most knowledge workers are forced to work from home. In time, AI and ML combined will have the capability to streamline and even replace just about any repetitive task once executed by or supervised by humans. Throughout history, technological evolution and productivity gains tether to the concepts of efficiency, automation, and scale. This can’t be truer today with so many of the workforce working from home, or in a disaster situation where many will become affected by the disease and unable to perform work duties.

No-Regrets Decisions

Today, AI and machine learning technologies fulfill business objectives by increasing productivity throughout emerging and legacy applications and the disseminating critical data in the research happening at the frontlines of this pandemic.

Aside from the COVID-19 situation, knowledge workers are more productive when:

  • They don’t have to analyze deep, extensive data in search of business insights
  •  They don’t have to answer repetitive questions or solve repetitive problems
  • They can analyze billions of characteristics found in medical information or neural networks.

Businesses that implement AI and ML components will benefit from leading-edge tools that include:

  • Natural language processing that massively increases productivity and communication
  • Continuous improvement of back-office systems performance and accuracy
  • Robotic process automation that automates repetitive tasks

With these tools in place, these businesses will participate in more than their fair share, when the economic recovery comes roaring in. These are no-regret decisions.  

Winners and Losers

Intelligent systems increasingly speed up and disrupt status-quo processes, freeing up personnel to engage better, create more with their time, and explore new possibilities. As competitive advantages line up along the powerful technologies of cloud, AI, machine learning, and automation, those that have not deployed these tools will soon be in the loser category – meaning that their competitive advantage will undoubtedly be lost. Better products, increased efficiency, minimal errors, better work conditions, and costs savings are just some of the benefits of this new realm of AI and ML that companies cannot miss out on.

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