What Thought Leaders Are Thinking
eWEEK talks to thought leaders in this area on a regular basis. Here are some thoughts from Chris McLaughlin, chief marketing officer in the Enterprise Content Division at EMC.
--Smart machines and cognitive systems are forming the foundation for automating knowledge work and play an expanded role in enterprise content management—not only in speeding access to information and better personalizing customer experiences, but also in automating routine knowledge-worker activities.
--Smart machines will play a crucial role in customer service and engagement. Not only can Web content be personalized, but cross-channel customer service interactions can be similarly personalized and highly automated. Gartner Research predicts that, by 2017, 70 percent of customer communications will be digital, contextualized and consumed on demand via multiple channels, including the Web, mobile devices and social media. My prediction is that by 2020, smart machines will entirely automate many routine customer communications and service interactions, effectively mimicking human-to-human interactions to provide engaging customer experiences while dramatically reducing costs.
--Smart machines will automate how new content is captured and ingested. One of the ongoing challenges many companies face with digital transformation is that much of their existing knowledge and information is still analog, or trapped in traditional paper forms. Machine learning is starting to play a critical role with document-capture technologies, automating how paper-based content is captured and ingested into corporate knowledge bases. This will not only take tremendous cost out of traditional back-office capture activities, it will also greatly expand the pool of information or knowledge that is available to the organization for reuse, analysis and decision-making.
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--Smart machines will increase knowledge-worker productivity. A knowledge worker spends much of his or her day searching for existing content and creating new content. We are seeing expanded applications of cognitive technologies to help knowledge workers find critical and relevant information. Smart machines will be used to observe user behaviors, understand user roles and to deliver critical information proactively to knowledge workers, eliminating valuable time lost each day in searching for content.
Insights From Infosys
Here are insights eWEEK obtained from Abdul Razack, senior vice president and head of big data and analytics at Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and IT services.
--"Artificial intelligence is defining the future of work: In 2016, the pace at which enterprises more widely adopt artificial intelligence to replace manual, repetitive tasks will rapidly increase. We're already seeing enormous investments from companies such as Toyota to use AI for more precise decision-making, and we'll only see more companies taking this approach to foster higher productivity and business profits, and also streamline responsibility for high-skill jobs. We'll also start to see the effects of AI in the way we work, with a shift from problem-solving [as one of the most coveted skills in organizations] to problem-finding becoming the way to rise within an organization and drive innovation."
--"Automation will deliver on the promise of big data: Time and again, we're seeing big data initiatives fail because of how companies are organizing their data. But in order to capitalize on big data investments, companies need to transform insights into actions. We're already seeing big data automation being used to streamline and eliminate processes, but in 2016, it will be more widely used to accentuate the unique human ability to take complex problems and deliver creative solutions to them. Google's open-sourcing its AI engine TensorFlow is a big step in this direction, enabling more companies to apply automation to their big data."
--"Machine learning is invisibly transforming our lives: 2016 is the year machine learning is making the leap from the workplace to the consumer. We're already seeing it happen with self-driving cars from Tesla and Amazon Echo's voice commands. Next year, machine learning will quietly find its way into the household, making the objects around us not just connected, but smarter every day."