Artificial Intelligence Capabilities

 

AI is one of the most popular talked about technologies today. For business, this technology introduces capabilities that innovative business and technology leadership can utilise to introduce new dimensions and abilities within service and product design and delivery.

Unfortunately, a lot of the real business value is locked up behind the terminology hype, inflated expectations and insecure warnings of machine control.

It is impossible to get the value from something that is not understood. So lets cut through the hype and focus to understand AI’s objectives and the key capabilities that this exciting technology enables.

There are many definitions of AI as discussed in the blog post “What is Artificial Intelligence: Definitions“. Keeping it simple: “AI is using computers to do things that normally would have required human intelligence.” With this definition in mind, there are basically three things that AI is aiming to achieve.

3 AI Objectives

  • Capturing Information
  • Determine what is happening
  • Understand why it is happening

Lets use an example to demonstrate this…

As humans we are constantly gathering data through our senses which is converted by our brain into information which is interpreted for understanding and potential action. You can for example identify an object through site, turn it into information and identify the object instantly as, for example, a lion. In conjunction, additional data associated with the object at the present time, for example the lion is running after a person yelling for help, enables us to identify danger and to take immediate action…

For a machine, this process is very complex and requires large amounts of data, programming/training and processing power. Today, technology is so advanced that small computers like smart phones can capture a photo, identify a face and link it to a name. This is achieved not just through the power the smart phone but through the capabilities of AI, made available through services like facebook supported by an IT platform including, a fast internet connection, cloud computing power and storage.

To determine what is happening the machine might use Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to extract the words from a sound file and try to determine meaning or intent, hence working out that the person is running away from a lion and shouting for you to run away as well.

Why the lion is chasing and why the person is running away, is not known by the machine. Although the machine can capture information and determine what is happening, it does not understand why it is happening within full context – it is merely processing data. This reasoning ability, to bring understanding to a situation, is something that the human brain does very well.

Dispite all the technological advancements, can machines today only achieve the first two of the thee AI objectives. With this in mind, let’s explore the eight AI capabilities relevant and ready for use, today.

8 AI Capabilities

AI-8Capabilities

  • Capturing Information
    • Image Recognition
    • Speech Recognition
    • Data Search
    • Data Patterns
  • Determine what is happening
    • Language Understanding
    • Thought/Decision Process
    • Prediction
  • Understand why it is happening
    • Understanding

Image Recognition

This is the capability for a machine to identify/recognise an image. This is based on Machine Learning and requires millions of images to train the machine requiring lots of storage and fast processing power.

Speech Recognition

The machine takes a sound file and encodes it into text.

Search

The machine identifies words or sentences which are matched with relevant content within a large about of data. Once these word matches are found it can trigger further AI capabilities.

Patterns

Machines can process and spot patterns in large amounts of data which can be combinations of sound, image or text. This surpasses the capability of humans, literally seeing the woods from the trees.

Language Understanding

The AI capability to understand human language is called Natural Language Understanding or NLU.

Thought/Decision Processing

Knowledge Maps

Prediction

Predictive analytics is not a new concept and the AI prediction capability basically takes a view on historic data patterns and matches it with a new piece of data to predict a similar outcome based on the past.

Understanding

Falling under the third objective of AI – Understand what is happening, this capability is not currently not commercially available.

To Conclude

In understanding the capabilities of AI you can now look beyond the hype, be realistic and identify which AI capabilities are right to enhance you business.

In a future blog post, we’ll examine some real live examples of how these AI capabilities can be used to bring business value.

The Rise of the Bots

Guest Blog from Robert Bertora @ Kamoha Tech – Original article here

The dawn of the rising bots is upon us. If you do not know what a Bot is, it’s the abbreviated form for the word Robot, and it is a term that is now commonly used to describe automated software programs that are capable of performing tasks on computers that traditionally were reserved for human beings. Bots are software and Robots are Hardware, all Robots need Bots to power their reasoning or “brain” so to speak. Today the Golden Goose is to build Artificial Intelligence (commonly known as AI) directly into the Bots, and the goal is, for these Bots to be able to learn on their own, either from being trained, or from their own experience of making mistakes. There is after all no evidence to suggest that the human mind is anything more than a machine, and therefore no reason for us to believe that we can’t build similar intelligent machines incorporating AI.

These days Bots are everywhere, you may not realise it so here are a few examples that come to mind:

Trading Bots: Trading Bots have existed for many years, at least 20 years if not more and are capable of watching financial markets that trade in anything from currency to company shares. Not only do they watch these markets, but they can perform trades just like any other Human Trader. What is more, is that they can reason out, and execute a trade in milliseconds, leaving a Human Trader in the dust.

Harvesting Bots were originally created by computer gamers who were tired of performing repetitive tasks in the games they played. Instead of sitting at their computer or consoles for hours killing foe for resources such as mana or gold, one could simply load up a Bot to do this tedious part of gameplay for you. While you slept, the Bot was “harvesting” game resources for you, and in the morning your mana and gold reserves would be nicely topped up and ready for you to spend in game on more fun stuff, like buying upgraded weapons or defences!

Without Harvesting Bots and their widespread proliferation in the gaming community we are all very unlikely to have ever heard of Crypto Currencies, you see it can be argued that these would never have been invented in the first place. Crypto Currencies and Block Chain technologies rely in part on the foundations set by the computer gaming Harvesting Bots. The Harvesting Bot concept was needed by the Crypto Currency Pioneers who used it to solve their problem of mimicking the mining of gold in the real world. They evolved the Harvesting Bot into Mining Bots which are capable of mining for crypto coins from the electronic Block Chain(s). You may have heard of people mining for Bitcoins and other Crypto coins, using mining Rigs and the Bots; the Rigs being the powerful computer hardware they need to run the Mining Bots.

What about Chat Bots? have you ever heard of these? These Bots replace the function of humans in customer service chat rooms online. There are two kinds of Chat Bots, the really simple ones, and the NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) ones which are capable of processing Natural Language.

Simple Chat Bots follow a question, answer, yes/no kind of flow. These Chatbots offer you a choice of actions or questions that you can click on, in order to give you a preprogramed answer or to take you through a preprogramed flow with preprogramed answers. You may have encountered these online, but if not, you will have certainly encountered this concept in Telephone Automation Systems that large companies use as part of their customer service functions.

NLP Chat Bots are able to take your communication in natural language (English, French etc..), making intelligent reasoning as to what you are saying or asking, and then formulating responses again in natural language that when done well may seem like you are chatting with another human online. This type of Chatbot displays what we call artificial intelligence and should be able to learn new responses or behaviours based on training and or experience of making mistakes and learning from these. At KAMOHA TECH, we develop industry agnostic NLP Bots on our KAMOHA Bot Engine incorporating AI and Neural Network coding techniques. Our industry agnostic Bot engine is used to deploy into almost any sector. Just as one could deploy a human into almost any job sector (with the right training and experience) so too we can do this with our industry agnostic artificially intelligent KAMOHA Bots.

Siri, Cortana and Alexa are all Bots which are integrated to many more systems across the internet, giving them seemingly endless access to resources in order to provide answers to our more trivial human questions, like “what’s the weather like in LA?”. These Bots are capable of responding not only to text NLP but also to voice natural language inputs.

Future Bots are currently being developed, Driverless vehicles: powered by Bots, any Robot (taking human or animal form) that you may see in the media or online in YouTube videos are and will be powered by their “AI brain” or Bot so to speak. Fridges that automatically place your online grocery shopping order – powered by Bots, buildings that maintain themselves: powered by Bots. Bot Doctors that can diagnose patients, Lawyer Bots, Banker Bots, Bots that can-do technical design, image recognition, Bots that can run your company? … Bots Bots Bots!

People have embraced new Technology for the last 100 years, almost without question, just as they did for most of Medical Science. Similar to certain branches of Medical Science, Technology has its bad boys though, that stray deeply into the Theological, Social, Moral and even Legal territories. Where IVF was 40-50 years ago, so too are our Artificially Intelligent Bots: pushing the boundaries, of normalities and our moral beliefs. Will Bots replace our jobs? What will become of humans? Are we making Robots in our own image? Are we the new Gods? Will Robots be our slaves? Will they break free and murder us all? A myriad of open ended questions and like a can of worms or pandora’s box, the lid was lifted decades ago. Just as sure as we developed world economies and currency in a hodgepodge of muddling through the millennia we are set to do the same with Bots; we will get there in the end.

It’s not beyond my imagination to say that if Bots replace human workers in substantial volume, then legislation will be put in place to tax these Bots as part of company corporation tax, and to protect human workers it is likely that these taxes will be higher than that of humans. If a bot does the work of 50 people? How do you tax that? Interesting times, interesting questions. My one recommendation to any one reading this, is do not fear change, do not fear the unknown, and have faith in the Human ability to make things work.

Love them or hate them Bots are on the rise, they will only get smarter and their usages will be as diverse as our own human capabilities. Brave new world.

Click on the image below to see our bots:

Business Driven IT KPIs

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are a critical management tool to measure the success and progress of effort put in towards achieving goals and targets – to continually improve performance.

Every business set their specific KPIs to measure the criteria that drive the business success – these vary from business to business. One thing every modern business has in common though, is IT – the enabler that underpin operational processes and tools used to commerce daily. Setting KPIs that measure the success of IT operations does not just help IT leadership to continuously improve but also proof the value of IT to the business.

Here are ten IT KPIs that matter most to modern business

1. % of IT investment into business initiative (customer-facing services and business units)
How well does the IT strategy, reflected in the projects it is executing, align with the business strategy? This metrics can help to align IT spend with business strategy and potentially eliminate IT projects for IT that does not align directly with business objectives.

2. % Business/Customer facing Services meeting SLAs (Service Level Agreements)
IT is delivering service to customers; these are internal to the business but can also be delivered external to the business’ client/customers directly. Are these services meeting required expectations and quality – in the eye of the customer? What can be done to improve.

3. IT Spend vs Plan/Budget
Budgets are set for a purpose – it is a financial guideline that indicates the route to success. How is IT performing against budget, against plans? Are you over-spending against the set plans? Why? Is it because of a problem in the planning cycle or something else? If you are over-spending/under-spending, in which areas do this occur?

Knowing this metrics give you the insight to take corrective actions and bring IT spend inline with budgets.

4. IT spend by business unit
IT service consumptione is driven by user demand. How is IT costs affected by the user demands by business unit – are business units responsible to cover their IT cost, hence owning up to the overall business efficiency. This metrics put the spotlight on the fact that IT is not free and give business unit manager visibility of their IT consumption and spend.

5. % Split of IT investment to Run, Grow, Transform the business
This is an interesting one for the CIO. Businesses usually expects IT to spend more money in growing the business but reality is that the IT cost of running the business is driven by the demand from IT users with an increased cost implication. Business transformation, now a key topic in every board meeting, needs a dedicated budget to succeed. How do these three investment compare in comparison with business strategic priorities.

6. Application & Service TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)
What is the real cost of delivering IT services and application. Understanding the facts behind what makes up the total cost of IT and which applications/services are the most expensive, can help to identify initiatives to improve.

7. Infrastructure Unit Cost vs Target & Benchmarks
How do you measure the efficiency of your IT infrastructure and how does this compare with the industry benchmark? This is a powerful metrics to justify ROI (Return on Investment), IT’s value proposition, IT strategy and the associated budget.

8. % Projects on Time, Budget & Spec
Is the project portfolio under control? Which projects need remediation to get back on track and what can be learned from projects that do run smoothly?

9. % Project spend on customer-facing initiatives
How much is invested in IT projects in the business for the business (affecting the bottom line) in comparison with customer-centric projects that impacts the business’ top line.

10. Customer satisfaction scores for business/customer facing services

Measure the satisfaction of not just the internal business units that consume IT services but also the business’ customer’s satisfaction with customer-facing IT services. Understand what the customer wants and make the needed changes to IT operations to continuously improve customer satisfaction.

KPI vs Vision

In the famous words of Peter Drucker “What gets measured gets improved”, KPIs give you the insight to understand:

  • your customer
  • your market
  • your financial performance
  • your internal process efficiency
  • your employee performance

Insight brings understanding that leads to actions driving continuously improve.

Bimodal Organisations

The continuous push towards business improvement combined with the digital revolution, that has changed the way the customer is engaging with business through the use of technology, have introduced the need for an agility in the delivery of IT services. This speed and agility in IT delivery, for the business to keep abreast of a fast evolving and innovative technology landscape and to gain an competitive advantage are not just required in the development and/or introduction of new technology into the business, but in the way “keep the lights on” IT operations are reliably delivered through stable platforms and processes enabling business growth as well.

IT Bimodal

We can agree that once systems and solutions are adopted and integrated into business operations, the business requirement for IT delivery changes with IT stability, reliability, availability and quality as key enablers to business performance optimisation. There are thus two very distinct and equally important ways or modes of delivering IT services that should seamlessly combine into the overall IT Service Operations contributing to business growth.

Gartner minted in 2016 the concept of IT Bimodal – the practise to manage two separate coherent modes of IT delivery.

Mode 1: Focussed on Stability Mode 2: Focussed on Agility
Traditional Exploratory
Sequential Non-linear
Emphasis on: Safety & Accuracy Emphasis on: Agility and Speed

Each of the delivery modes has their own set of benefits and flaws depending on the business context – ultimately the best of both worlds must be adapted as the new way in which technology delivers into business value. Businesses require agility in change without compromising the stability of operations. Change to this new way and associated new Target Operating Model (TOM) is required.

Bimodal Organisation

This transformation is not just applicable to IT but the entire organisation. IT and “the business” are the two parts of the modern digital business. “The Business” needs to adapt and change their work style (operating model) towards digital as well. This transformation by both IT and “the business”, branded by Gartner as Bimodal, is the transformation towards a new business operating model (a new way of working) embracing a common goal of strategic alignment. Full integration of IT and business are the core of a successful digital organisation competing in the digital era.

The introduction of Agile development methodologies and DevOps, led to a transformation in how technology is being delivered into business operations. IT Service Management (ITSM) and the ITIL framework have matured the operational delivery of IT services, as a business (#ITaaBusiness) or within a business while Lean Six Sigma enables business process optimisation to ultimate quality delivery excellence. But these new “agile” ways of working, today mainly applied within IT, is not enough for the full bimodal transformation. Other aspects involving the overall organisation such as business governance and strategy, management structures and organisational architecture, people (Human Capital Management – HCM), skills, competencies, culture, change management, leadership and performance management as well as the formal management of business and technology innovation and integration, form additional service areas that have to be established or transformed.

How do organisations go about defining this new Bimodal TOM? – In come Bimodal Enablement Consulting Services in short BECS.

BECS – Bimodal Enablement Consulting Services

Gartner’s definition: “An emerging market that leverages a composite set of business and technology consulting services and IP assets to achieve faster more reliable and secure, as well as business aligned, solutions in support of strategic business initiatives.”

To establish a Bimodal enabled TOM, organisations need to architect/design the organisation to be customer centric, focussing on the value adding service delivered to the client/customer – a Service Oriented Organisation (SOO) designed using a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). This set of customer services (external facing) should relay back to a comprehensive and integrated set of supporting and enabling business services (internal facing) that can quickly and effectively enable the business to innovate and rapidly adapt and deliver to changing customer needs and the use of technology within the digital era. This journey of change, that businesses needs to undergo, is exactly what digital transformation is about – not just focused on the technology, processes, quality and customer service, but on the business holistically, starting with the people working within the business and how they add value through the development and use of the right skills and tools, learning an applying it rapidly throughout the business value chain.

A customer centric delivery approach requires the development and adoption of new ways in which work are conducted – new management structures, building and enhancing A-teams (high performing individuals and teams, getting the job done), optimised processes and the right tool sets.

BECS must address the top bimodal drivers or goals, as identified by Gartner research:

  • Deliver greater IT value to the business
  • Shorten the time to deliver solutions
  • Enable digital business strategies
  • Accelerate IT innovation
  • Transform IT talent/culture/operations
  • Increase the interaction between business and IT
  • Embrace leading-edge technologies, tools and/or practices
  • Reduce IT costs (always a favourite)
  • Change the organisation’s culture

Take Action

Are you ready, aligned and actively engaging in the digital world?

Can you accelerate change and enable revenue growth with rock-solid service and business operations?

Are you actively practicing bimodal, continuously adapting to the changing digitally empowered customer demand?

The ultimate test to determine if you are bimodal: Every business process and every enterprise system needs to work without a blip, even as more innovation and disruptors are introduced to make the business more efficient and responsive.

It is time to be a bimodal organisation!

___________Renier Botha specialises in helping organisation to optimise their ability to better integrate technology and change into their main revenue channels – make contact today.

Related post: Success – People First; Performance ImprovementAGILE – What business executives need to know #1; AGILE – What business executives need to know #2; Lean Six Sigma; The Digital Transformation Necessity; Structure Tech for Success

Systems Powering Healthcare – Corporate Video

SPHERE (Systems Powering Healthcare Ltd) is an IT Service Provider delivering IT Service Management and shared IT infrastructure services to the healthcare sector. In March 2015, the Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust moved to a shared service model for common IT functions through the formation of SPHERE (Systems Powering Healthcare Ltd). SPHERE, is a company jointly and wholly owned by Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trusts – it represents a collaboration and pooling of resources between the Trusts to deliver improved IT services to its members.

https://www.systemspoweringhealthcare.com

Structure Technology for Success – using SOA

How do you structure your technology department for success?

What is your definition of success?

Business success is usually measured in monetary terms – does the business make a profit, does the business grow?

What_about_ROI

What is the value contribution on IT within the business?

Are the IT staff financially intelligent & commercially aware?

Renier spoke at Meet-Up about how you can design your IT function, using Service Orientated Architecture (SOA) to design a Service Orientated Organisation (SOO), to directly  contribute to the business success.

Slide Presentation pdf: Structure Technology for Success

Slide Share via LinkedIn: Structure technology for success

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