Machine Learning Becomes Legit, but Not Mainstream in 2017

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There has been a lot of hype around machine learning lately. Over the past decades, we’ve heard about various concepts around machine intelligence that in most cases didn’t get anywhere. But more and more frequently, organizations are learning how to bring together all the ingredients needed to leverage machine learning, and there is a simple reason for that: according to Moore’s law, the performance of microprocessors has increased since 1980 be a factor of more than 16 million! A program that ran on a 1980 computer for more than half a year today delivers its results in one second!

That is why I think Machine Learning will be the story for 2017. We’ll see it move from a mystical, over-hyped holy grail, to more real-world, successful applications. Those who dismiss it as hocus-pocus will finally understand it’s real; those who distrust it will come to see its potential; and companies that apply ML to appropriate use cases will achieve real business benefit without the high cost of entry that was common in years past. In 2017 it will be clear that it has a credible place in the business toolkit.

The four necessary enablers for machine learning – huge parallel processing resources, cheap storage, large and appropriate data sets, and accessible machine learning algorithms – are all now mainstream. Most large organizations have readily-available access to all these components (appropriate data sets are potentially the only open question, as they are always business- and use-case-specific), which makes machine learning a real possibility to reduce risk, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, create new business models, identify patterns, and optimize complex systems.

One area where machine learning is growing rapidly and already showing success is for cognitive search and analytics applications. It won’t take over core algorithms anytime soon, but ML is already supplementing and enhancing search results based on user actions and smart analysis of content.

I don’t foresee machine learning achieving “mainstream” status in 2017, but it will within the next few years because the technology is advancing exponentially, quickly enabling its use in broader contexts.

For more on my complete prediction on machine learning, check out this article in Virtual Strategy Magazine.

 

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Artificial Intelligence in 2017: Expands Capabilities, but Impacts the Workforce

Artificial-Intelligence-SinequaThe beginning of the new year is a good time to reflect on the events of 2016 and on their forebodings for the coming year and beyond.There has no doubt been a great deal of buzz around artificial intelligence (AI) this year. However, it’s difficult to sort through what’s hype and what’s not to determine where these technologies will actually take us in 2017. While we know the trend will continue in some form, what will be new or different next year? Here are some of my predictions: 

Artificial Intelligence is taking the industry by storm, and not just in “Westworld.” We’re entering a new phase of AI thanks to advances in computing power and volume of data. This has opened the door to solve computational problems on a scale that no human mind could approach – even in a lifetime. The result is that computers are now able to provide responses that aren’t dictated by a collection of “if A, then B” rules, offering results that can only be explained by saying that the computer “understands.” The benefit is that complex and time-consuming cognitive processes can now be automated, and we can do things at scale that were previously impossible because unlike humans, computers are not overwhelmed by volume.

We’re definitely headed in the direction of workforce displacement and I believe it’s going to happen quickly, as there are huge economic incentives to increase efficiency and to automate manual tasks. This will happen faster than we expect because we think linearly, while technology is advancing exponentially. We struggle with that perspective because it quickly outpaces what we can readily grasp, whether that be in size or speed, or both. This will bring additional challenges because the disruption will occur across the occupational spectrum (unlike the industrial revolution, which primarily impacted “low-skill” jobs). I don’t see any particular sector being hit by this tidal wave in 2017, but AI is a disruptor like we’ve never seen before and it will be here soon whether we are ready for it or not.

However, with this transformation, tasks that have been impractical because of the time/labor involved now become feasible, which means we’ll be able to do things we haven’t been able to do before. It will also free us from many mundane and repetitive tasks, enabling people to focus on new or more valuable activities. This will increase efficiency in the workplace as well as consistency, which will improve quality and safety. So while the workforce will look very different from how it looks today – certainly in 10 years and probably in five, AI and ML are going to greatly extend and expand our capabilities in ways that, for now, we can only imagine.

What are your predictions for 2017 and beyond? For a full list of my predictions on AI other topics such as machine learning and big data, check out my post in VMblog.

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Finance & Banking: Collecting High Value from Cognitive Search and Content Analytics

In today’s rapidly changing technology climate, financial services customers expect their banks, insurance companies and asset management providers to know them. It’s expected that providers know about recent transactions, account details, and even anticipate future needs. But this can be challenging with the numerous silos of content in which customer data resides. With a 360° view of the customer through cognitive search and analytics, financial services organizations can deliver the customer experience that provides more value, drives increased sales and meets rapidly evolving customer expectations.

As an example, Crédit Agricole, one of the largest banks in the world, has launched an ambitious project to deliver a new digital workplace, offering a 360° view of customers to its representatives as well as to the customers themselves. The bank’s more than 60,000 internal users will be able to know the exact situation of the customer in front of them, to find the most relevant offerings for the customer and the corresponding procedures. The customers connecting to the bank’s online service also find themselves in a similar “work place” that allows them to know the current status of all their business with the bank including accounts, contracts, records of transactions, share portfolio and share prices, banking charges, additional services, and more.

This comprehensive “work place” is created through inclusive enterprise search and analytics of all of the bank’s data sources. From CRM and account transaction applications to external sources such as stock exchange data, corporate websites, financial and trading news-feeds, the bank can provide a complete customer picture from which to deliver robust service, new offerings and build increased customer satisfaction.

Cognitive Search and Analytics platforms index all the structured and unstructured data sources and create a semantically enriched index, optimized for performance in dealing with user search queries.  In fact, some search and analytics solutions even offer as many as 150 smart connectors, ‘out of the box,’ that can seamlessly connect multiple sources of data.  These companies integrate your company’s and industry specific dictionaries allowing the information to be integrated and indexed, putting your specific knowledge ‘under the hood’ of one platform – making it an intelligent partner for workers looking for business insight at their digital workplace.

See here how Sinequa’s Cognitive & Analytics platform brings business value to Finance and Banking organizations.

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5 Ways Finance & Insurance Organizations Take Advantage of Cognitive Search and Analytics

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Leading banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies are known to be data-intensive organizations and depend more than ever on data to make well founded decisions. They also rely on data to extract insights on customers that can result in increasing revenue streams. In order to address these challenges they need to be agile, innovative and responsive to evolving customer needs. Find here five ways Financial organizations leverage their big data using cognitive search and powerful analytics:

  1. Get Actionable insight from the most diverse data sources: the objective is to analyze, structure and categorize all available data to get intuitive and unified information access across all internal and external data sources, including customer contracts, insurance claims, payment history, email communications, CRM data, company policies and processes and more. Employees must be able to access relevant information without having to know where data is stored, in which format or how to access it.
  2. Obtain instant 360° views of customers, portfolios, investment targets, contracts, financial performance, and any other subject linked to the business of an organization. People can do so across all business units – from banking to insurance, leasing, property management, asset management, and beyond. Only an efficient “insight engine” – as some leading analysts call cognitive search and analytics platforms – can provide rapid 360° views to users without the need to change existing applications.
  3. Detect fraudulent activities & prevent money laundering: banks and insurance companies face the daunting task to accurately and rapidly identify fraud by analyzing Big Data volumes. To face this challenge, a cognitive insight platform enables the detection of “unusual” data patterns by predictive machine learning algorithms and the mapping of relationships between people, bank accounts, credit card numbers, financial transactions, and many other data types. To uncover patterns in behavior, analysts use a combination of interactive charts, timeline analyses, tables and relationship maps.
  4. Reduce customer churn: the combination of cognitive search and powerful analytics help organizations improve customer retention. Here, Natural Language Processing with text mining agents plays a major role in detecting relevant information in customers’ data and behavior, for example by analyzing information requests and navigation patterns on the company’s website. Predictive Analysis also plays a role in reducing churn rates. For example, machine learning algorithms help detecting patterns and trends in customers’ transactions which can identify them as “high-risk” potential defectors.  Companies can propose tempting offers to potential churners that prove usually quite effective in retaining them. This also reflects in staggering yearly ROI figures, up to tens of millions of dollars.
  5. Recommend up-sell and cross-sell offers: Once customer data is collected and analyzed across all available channels, additional functionalities can be added with marginal effort. Machine learning algorithms, such as “collective filtering and recommendation”, can then be used to optimize marketing campaigns, improve up-selling and cross-selling. Indeed, on top of the 360° view of customers, we can use machine learning algorithms to recommend products and/or services that are relevant to customers, based on deep analytics of contents and customers’ behavior data.

In the fast-evolving world of Finance & Insurance, it becomes increasingly important for these organizations to capture, process and analyze massive amounts of structured and unstructured to make better business decisions while better serving their customers. A Cognitive Search & Analytics platform that delivers superior agility, flexibility and scalability and turns data into business insight can bring significant value.

Interested to learn more about this platform for your organization? We’d love to help.

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Join Sinequa at Bio-IT World Conference & Expo 2016 (Booth #421)

Sinequa will present and exhibit at Bio IT World Conference & Expo that will take place on April 5-7 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, USA.

Sinequa For Life Sciences

We invite you to stop by the Sinequa booth #421 to discuss innovative use cases of our solution for the Pharma industry – Sinequa For Life Sciences - and see how our customers raised their competitiveness by implementing our Big Data Search and Analytics solution across the most diverse data silos.

  

Also, make sure to book your agenda and attend our presentation in the Bioinformatics Track #5:

Wednesday, April 6, at 2:55-3:10 PM

“Increasing the Competitiveness of Pharma Companies:
Real Time Search and Analytics Across Structured & Unstructured Data”

Speaker: Xavier Pornain, Vice President of WW Sales & Alliances

Book your agenda

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