“AI isn’t just about frameworks, data, and algorithms — it’s also about people.” The blogsphere is alive with discussions on why so many businesses’ AI initiatives tank, and what that missing link is that makes one AI project an unprecedented success, while the same tech in another project results in a – very expensive – flop.
The answer is not rocket science, explains business and tech writer, Alexandre Gonfalonieri, it is the human touch. “In most AI projects, companies tend to ignore the human factor. Indeed, AI isn’t just about frameworks, data, and algorithms — it’s also about people.” This is the ‘human in the loop’ concept where both human and machine intelligence are leveraged to create machine learning models.
Despite what the Sci-Fi scare mongering would have us believe, the AI-revolution is not Man vs Machine: it is man and machine, together. It is this concept that is at the core of machine learning product development studio, Predictive Insight’s approach. CEO, Neil Rankin, explains, “the sophistication of the tech is worth nothing unless you have people with a real understanding of the business and the context in which it operates, driving it – you need the ‘human in the loop’ to give depth to the data, and to inform the tech.” It is akin to buying the latest, sleekest sports car, and expecting it to drive without a driver, destination or even a clear road on which to drive.
“We see this repeatedly with our clients: relying on just humans, or just machines, will always give you bad predictions,” says Rankin, “People mistake random noise for patterns; they overweight recent occurrences relative to longer-term trends; and have difficulty accessing and assessing the large amounts of data which might help inform forecasts; while machines struggle to understand the wider economic and behavioural context. So, for each client we tailor a product from our suite of machine learning and econometric models, with the client’s bespoke data, as well as external data pertinent to their industry, such as weather, local economic conditions or days of the week. The machine’s accuracy, with the right tuning from Predictive Insight’s experts, also improves with time as it starts to learn more about the patterns in the data.”
“So many AI projects fail because the focus is on the tech, rather than on the appropriateness of the tech or using that tech to answer an actionable business question,” says Rankin. You need people who really understand the context in which the business operates to ask the right question, to collect the right data, to produce the right insights and, crucially, to understand how predictions made by AI can be translated into a business’ specific processes. “This is key,” explains Rankin, “it takes human insight, that is deep business and behavioural insights, to really get the best out of a business’ data and the tech. While we certainly get all geeky excited about AI technology, we also recognise that the tech cannot work in isolation.” In the end, while we all laud the efficiencies and knowledge that comes with AI, we also still have to rely on human insight to get the job done properly, or with, well, intelligence.
Predictive Insights is a machine learning product development studio that engages the thoughtful use of data science, machine learning and behavioural understanding to deliver valuable, actionable insights to improve business efficiency and profitability. Meet them in the Innovation Cafe to learn more.
About AI Expo Africa 2019
Curated by AI Media Africa, AI Expo Africa 2019 is focusing on real world applications & trends driving the Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Data Science Economy in Africa. AI Expo Africa is the largest Business focused AI Community conference and expo on the continent. With 700+ delegates, 60+ speaker programme, 40+ exhibitor Expo Hall, allied to the unique Innovation Cafe showcasing the latest AI start-ups in the region, we deliver a truly integrated event experience. Our speaking programme and workshops are aimed at CxOs, analysts and investors with the primary goal of educating business leaders about AI & Data Science applications solving Enterprise challenges TODAY as well as generating real business and learning opportunities for sponsors, speakers, buyers, suppliers & innovators alike. We also have FREE student / young engineer workshops to foster grass roots job creation & skills development opportunities. If you would like to join the event as a delegate or would like take up one of the exhibition, Innovation Cafe or speaking opportunities simply visit click on the links below. Learn more at www.aimediagroup.co.za
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