Top takeaways from AI World, as seen by Appen


A team from Appen, a global leader in speech and search technology services, recently attended the inaugural AI World Conference & Expo in San Francisco, where over 2,000 attendees from a variety of industries convened to hear from business leaders who are using Artificial Intelligence to drive growth for their companies. According to the conference organizers, “more than 55% of our attendees came from global 2000 organizations, including innovation leaders from Google, General Electric, Nielsen, McKinsey, Schlumberger, Facebook, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, NTT, IBM, SRI and Baidu.”

While the concept of AI is not new, the technology is experiencing a rebirth in the form of machine learning and cognitive computing, with companies from startups to enterprises looking to benefit from AI’s potential.

Here are our top takeaways from the event:

While AI may replace some human effort, it won’t eliminate it.
Dr. Neil Eklund, Chief Data Scientist, Schlumberger who spoke in the day 1 executive panel,  suggested that human experts are still a necessity for fine-tuning AI. Further, Dr. Eklund  recommended that as a best practice to set acceptable accuracy rates and when data shows a drop below those thresholds, human intervention is necessary. You’ll want to make sure that human-generated data is a key component of your AI initiatives.

Before jumping into AI, make sure you have a strong business case.
Two speakers – Beena Ammanath, VP, Data and Analytics, General Electric and Mark Bünger, VP of Research, Lux Research – strongly recommended that firms considering AI make sure that to clearly identify the business need for AI and the economic value they are seeking to accomplish before starting up an AI initiative. In other words, don’t let the technology dictate the business problem you are trying to solve; make sure that the business problem has been clearly identified and that AI is the right solution.

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