Industrial utilization of AI (artificial intelligence) is progressing in various fields. I think there are more than a few people who have a sense of crisis, thinking, “If we don’t introduce AI into our company soon, will we be left behind?”
However, the introduction of AI requires investment in new equipment, technology, and human resources. In this article, we will explain what the technology of AI can do and what you need to do to avoid falling victim to AI investments. At the same time, we will touch on the importance of DX (digital transformation) with AI at its core.
AI is no longer the technology of the future. It is already being used as one of the practical solutions in various fields such as medical care, security, mobility, as well as manufacturing and various service industries.
First, let’s take a look at the reasons why AI has come to be used in such a wide range of fields and its future prospects.
AI is good at reasoning
AI is characterized by being able to make some judgments about situations that have not yet learned by “learning” from data given in advance. In recent years, the practical application of a learning method called “deep learning” has made it possible to imitate the human learning process to some extent. For example, if AI is given a large number of images of animals, it will be able to classify even unknown images as “dogs” or “cats.”
Inference based on data may not be suitable for creative activities such as creating something new from scratch. On the other hand, it is flexible enough to be incorporated as elemental technology in various fields. Complicated decisions that have had to rely on people until now can be made more quickly and accurately with the appropriate introduction of AI. These characteristics have become one of our strengths, and AI is now widely used in various businesses.
Use of AI is expected to continue
AI is a technology that has been researched for a long time, and there have been several booms in the past. Some of you may be worried that the current AI will end as a passing fad. But today’s AI stands apart from past booms in terms of practicality. It is also regarded as important as a national strategy in developed countries including Japan, and the AI market continues to expand rapidly due to cooperation between the public and private sectors.
Furthermore, 5G, the next-generation communication standard, will also boost the development of AI. This is because if the spread of 5G progresses, we can expect to enter a full-scale “data age” in which a large amount of information is exchanged. With the emergence of various new businesses centered on data, it is only natural that the scope of AI utilization will expand.
Examples of AI utilization
While AI is a technology that is expected to evolve in the future, it is already a practical tool for those who make forward-thinking efforts. Here, I will explain how AI is actually useful with examples.
Entrust asset management such as stock trading and investment trusts to the “robo-ad” app
The AI market, which is expected to develop in the future, has become a popular genre among investors. On the other hand, there are also moves to use AI as a tool for investment decisions. “Roboad”, which allows individuals to utilize AI, is one such tool.
Robo-Advisor is a general term for a service that uses AI-based software (robot) to give advice on investment decisions such as stock trading and investment trusts. Based on the judgment of AI, there are also those that automatically carry out actual transactions. It is attracting attention as a new form of asset management because it is often easier and cheaper than interacting with a human advisor.
So how is AI used in robo-advertisements? For example, in stock trading, it is common to make buying and selling decisions based on past price movements. At this time, if there is an AI that has already learned the price movements of various stocks as time-series data, it is possible to predict future stock prices to some extent. This allows them to get advice from AI instead of relying on human advisors.
Eliminate individuality from work
Among the operations that many companies rely on people, there are many areas that can be automated and streamlined by AI. There is a possibility that various operations can be improved, from work processes in factories to desk work in indirect departments.
For example, AI can be introduced into the manufacturing process of food products to detect defects in raw materials and finished products through image processing. In the human resources department, by analyzing the contents of resumes and reports using AI’s natural language processing, it is possible to understand the characteristics of human resources and use them for recruiting new employees and assigning human resources. In legal affairs, it is also possible to reduce costs by replacing some of the checking work such as contracts with AI, which has been considered essential until now.
This kind of business improvement using AI has a common point of “elimination of individuality”. AI eliminates processes that were left to only a few employees with craftsmanship skills and uneven quality due to differences in the person in charge. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should get rid of all the personal stuff. However, it can be said that the introduction of AI is effective in operations where reliance on visual inspection and manual work can be a risk.
Creating new services with AI-based DX
Adopting AI itself can be a business value. This is because AI can be used not only to improve the inner workings of operations that are invisible to users, but also to build the services that users directly interact with.
For example, some companies have introduced chatbots on their websites as part of user support. This creates the value of providing 24/7 conversational support by incorporating AI into the service. In addition, the robo-advisor introduced in this article can be said to be an example of a service born from AI.
It is believed that the background to such new services is the promotion and realization of DX with AI at its core. Positioning the utilization of data by AI as a cornerstone of corporate transformation is helping to improve added value and strengthen competitiveness in the market. Depending on how it is used, the technology of AI can also be a catalyst that can greatly change the appearance of companies and businesses.
To prevent DX using AI from failing
The promotion of DX with AI at its core may be a completely new initiative for many companies. There are many things that are different from conventional knowledge and ideas, so there are many cases where things do not go as expected.
Here, I will explain the way of thinking necessary to prevent AI-based DX from ending in failure.
Learn more about AI techniques
AI is a hot technology with many possibilities, but it is not magic that can do anything. When companies consider using AI, it’s a good place to start by learning more about what AI can do. If you can distinguish between what you can do and what you can’t do, you will naturally understand how to use it as a technology.
If possible, it would be ideal if everyone involved, from managers to field members, who may come into contact with AI in the future, should acquire a certain level of knowledge about AI. This will also increase the possibility of discovering business issues that can be solved by AI and generating attractive new business ideas from within the company.
Learn the difference by comparing AI with traditional methods
As long as AI is a type of digital technology, a certain amount of system development is required to utilize it according to the needs of each company. At this time, management is required to be conscious of the point that AI is a new and special method. Even companies with sufficient experience in software development often fail when they try to proceed with an AI system project thinking that it is “business as usual”.
The development of AI systems is a process of iteratively improving the model itself. It has a strong experimental tone, and it inevitably requires an approach different from the conventional one. In order to promote an AI project, it is important to understand the difference from general system development and build an agile process that fits AI. This makes it possible to keep uncertainty under control while repeating implementation and verification cycles.
Make DX a long-term commitment
The fundamental purpose of DX for companies is to maintain their superiority and competitiveness even in a rapidly changing market. Efforts to create and provide new value through businesses that utilize data and AI are an important factor in achieving this. In addition, in order to continue adapting to changes in the business environment, AI systems that can be flexibly customized are also necessary.
This means that DX is not a one-time activity that says, “If you can do this far, it’s over.” It is important to position DX as a long-term initiative and aim for an organization that can continue to transform.
Develop human resources and aim for in-house production of DX
In order to gain the flexibility to quickly respond to changes in the business environment, it will be necessary to build the system in-house. With a system that relies solely on external vendors, it is not possible to respond quickly in an emergency. However, the development of the system that forms the basis of DX requires human resources with highly specialized skill sets. For many companies, relying on vendors and consultants familiar with AI and DX may be realistic.
Even so, it is important to have the attitude of aiming for in-house production of the system in the end. By owning a DX foundation that you can control yourself, you will be able to be “independent” about DX.
To that end, instead of continuing to incur costs on external resources, we should consider investing in AI and DX in the form of human resource development. This makes it possible to accumulate unique know-how on AI and DX in-house.
Recommended method for companies that want to produce results by investing in AI
AI is one of the digital technologies that are currently in progress and continue to develop rapidly. In addition to improving existing operations, companies can also use AI itself as the cornerstone of new business. To that end, it is important to invest in human resource development and aim to realize DX through long-term initiatives.
We provide human resource development services for companies aiming to realize DX. You can acquire the management and engineering knowledge and skills necessary for in-house production of the system that is the foundation of DX through online courses.