Artificial Intelligence (AI) is obviously all the rage. Consider the search traffic on “Artificial Intelligence” since early 2016. As a result, just about every technology product in the world now seems to have the artificial intelligence “label” attached to it.
Which is ironic, because AI has actually been with us for decades, not months. People have been thinking about the relationship between people and machines going all the way back to ancient times, and process automation goes back to the early 20th century. Frank Chen, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, does a great job discussing the origins of modern AI in AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning: A Primer. He notes that in the Summer of 1956, a group of computer scientists came together as the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence to program computers to behave like humans.
“Expert systems” – a form of AI – emerged in the late 70s and really took off in the 80s and allowed a person to create encoded rulesets to automate specific tasks. Airlines are one example of how they used expert systems to help with ticket pricing and trip provisioning.
This core focus of AI – understanding exactly how something is done, turning these steps and actions into rules, and computerizing them – governed the discipline until recently. So what’s so different now about AI, and how does it need to be incorporated into your thinking about process automation?
All along, a different variation of Artificial Intelligence– based on emulating the human brain and how it learns, or machine learning – co-existed with this rule-based school of AI. But optimizing machine learning struggled for many years from a lack of computing power, a lack of data, and a lack of resources. Obviously, all of that has now changed. All around us are examples of the triumph of machine learning and its potential to create exponentially greater possibilities than traditional rules-based approaches.
John Mancini, president and CEO of AIIM, is an author, speaker, and respected leader of the AIIM global community of information professionals. He is a catalyst in social, mobile, cloud, and big data technology adoption and an advocate for the new generation of experts who are driving the future of information management. John predicts that the next three years will generate more change in the way we deploy enterprise technologies and whom we trust with this task than in the previous two decades.
His passion about the evolution of information workers into information analysts spurred John to establish the Certified Information Professional (CIP) program to enable anyone, anywhere to benchmark and develop new and strategic skills. His commitment to education includes the continual development of leading-edge training and publishing of ongoing industry research to help guide new thinking.
As a frequent keynote speaker, John offers his expertise on the transformational challenges and opportunities facing information professionals and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually to his blog Digital Landfill. He has published six e-book titles including “#OccupyIT — A Technology Manifesto for Cloud, Mobile and Social Era” and the popular “8 Things You Need to Know About” e-book series. He has a Klout score in the high 60s, is ranked #5 in online SharePoint influence by harmon.ie and #42 in the KnowledgeLake SharePoint Influencer50. John can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77.