I just come out of the last #DubaiDataScience Meetup, with the convinction that Artificial Intelligence is a game changer in all the fields of business, but is of tremendous importance for SMBs.
Right now, in this very moment.
the GO ( a kind of chinese version of chess game, but more difficult ) World Champion, beated by AI
What is Artificial Intelligence is not to me to explain. You may find better sources. However put it very simplistic, with the forgiveness of specialists and bearing in mind that I want to talk about go-to-market and not about Data Science, here is "my" actual definition:
In other words Artificial Intelligence allows us to define the relation between INPUT and OUTPUT, learning by experience.
(and if we want to go a level down in this AI definition, the above refers to Machine Learning (ML), while, if the coding allows the formation of intermediate clustiring of the INPUT and labels these clusters with names that can be used - like Kantian Ideas - to categorize the members information, we are talking about Deep Learning (DL))
Now that we have set a common ground about AI, I want to briefly describe a few applications that have been shown at the Dubai Data Science Meetup.
The first example is about On-line Marketing.
One of the Data Scientists presented a case where he was simulating the speed of propagation of a "message" accross a social network.
A quite interesting attempt considering the importance on-line advertising is having in these days.
This very smart guy has been able to conclude that it is the same to place an Ad through my facebook account, and the Justin Bieber account (or any other Influencer ).
Once the numbers of personal contacts is above a very minimum trashold (10-15 ) the propagation of the message is all about "the Content" itself, and not the starting point.
(If you are in puzzled by this result, just think that the degrees of separation between any person on this planet has went down from 6 to 3 in the last 10 years...)
A second example was about Law Enforcement
Here the DataScientist showed how today it is relatively simple to "teach" a system to recognize an image, just tagging a few of them, and than letting the system try&error untill it is able to distinguish e.g. "Cars" from "Human" and use it to regulate a traffic lamp.
The third example that attracted my attention was about Deseases Identification
A group od DataScientists has used the AI to expose it to a large set of documented clinical cases, until the AI system was able to diagnoses a desease by itself with an accouracy higher than the one of a medical equipe.
Now that I have (I hope) aroused your attention, I want to explain why I think that embracing AI now, could be not only a life-saving move but even a life-changing move for a SMB.
On my opinion infact AI is one of those technological infrastructure that one cannot miss. To make a comparison, It is like missing Internet in the '90s or the Personal Computer waves in the '80.
From a strategic point of view of an SMB, today we are early enough to embrace the AI, and make of it a strategic differentiator in the next 1-5 years.
Now, in fact, the technology is enough evoluted to bring practical results in a specific niche of application, while still in its infancy in terms of specializations types and qualities that can be required to make it run.
In other words, you can still think to have a small team of specialists that can have a broad enough set of competences to handle the AI technology, and apply them to solve a unique practical problem.
But the time is now.
If you start now, probably in a couple of years you have gained a unique AI capability that can differentiate your SMB from competition ( even larger companies than you, if they have not embraced AI ).
Not only: in few years from now (2-4) you may have built a unique competency to solve a very specific problem, that can put you in a business niche where even companies with larger resources cannot (because of the specialization) or will not (because of the relatively modest business volumes) compete.
Finally, starting now, an SMB will gain a definitive time advantage over lazy competition, that will find itself in 3-4 years in a totally different technological environment: one dominated by large "services provieders", the only one capable to orchestrate a chorus of very specialized resources, that cannot sing their song if not into a choral exibition,. in the hands of the usual Large Company CEO. A time, indeed, where having a small team of experts will not lead to any result, cause they will be too much specialized to work in small teams, and too few generalist to assemble specific solutions.
These Lazy SMB will i.e. loose the momentum and fall apart.
To close this post, I want to give a bad news and a good news.
The bad news is a warning: if you embrace AI be sure not to loose Customer Focus.
One of the presentation at the meetup was not convinging, because the DataScientist was too focused on using AI to improve "Customer's Experience", while completely forgetting to give any importance to "Customer's Use Case". I am of the idea that defining the Job-to-be-done in a proper way and addressing those that are repeatible, profittable and scalable, is still key into any business endeavor. ( And here, an Industrial Marketer can still be of help ;-) )
So beware to fall in love of AI technicalities and to forget what "Customer wants".
The good news ( at least from a certain perspective) is that AI seems "capped"
our teaching capability limits the learning capability of AI? it seems so looking at this scoring of AI in GO game
In other words: AI simulates the Human brain, with the advantage (?) of not making errors. So it works by our same "tools". This means that AI is intelligent as far as we can teach to it.
At least this it the opinion of Gary Kasparov, who insists to call AI
To talk about this, contact me at the numbers below.
Your comments are welcomed! Leave them here
PS: In case you would like to discuss the implication of AI into your go-to-market strategy,
- before it's too late -
please contact me and my team of DataScientists at CRAZYDATA.
We cannot solve everything, but we strive to make it in the intelligent way.
If you want to join the #DubaiDataScience meetup, I recommend you to do so, and get in contact with Pavel Nesterov, who is the Deus ex Machina behind it.