The essential components of AI (Forbes)

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is optimizing the way business is conducted, enabling predictions with supreme accuracy and automating business processes and decision making. The outcomes range from greater customer experiences to more intelligent products and more efficient services for enterprises. Just as the auto industry suddenly flourished in the early 20th century after many years of incremental developments and experimentation, AI has reached this point in the 21st century with many of the key technologies and building blocks firmly in place.

AI’s value proposition is now generally understood: It has the potential to make virtually any task or process more efficient and yield powerful new business insights.

These days, organizations with no AI strategy are like businesses in 2000 that had no Internet strategy, or those in 2010 that had no mobile strategy. And yet, for many organizations, AI is still uncharted territory.In my view, there are six key components that are essential to AI. While they may not all fit in the classical definition of AI, the following represent the core building blocks that are needed:

AI Applications: Packaged applications that solve a business problem (i.e., virtual agents, financial planning)

Data Prep and Cleansing: Make your data ready for AI

Model, Build, Train and Run: The studio of a data science artist to build, train and run models (machine learning)

Consumer Features: Speech, images and vision, primarily used in consumer use cases

Natural Language Processing: The nervous system of enterprise AI

Lifecycle Management: Managing the lifecycle of AI models and understanding how they perform

As companies progress on their AI journey, incorporating all or most of these components into their businesses, trust is becoming paramount. Helping users understand how the AI is working and being able to explain decisions is becoming essential to fostering trust and confidence in AI systems. In fact, 68% of business leaders believe that customers will demand more explainability from AI in the next three years, according to an IBM Institute for Business Value survey.


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