When will artificial intelligence simply be ‘intelligence’?

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, IBM introduced a new concept to the business world, ‘e-business’.

It was transformational not just for IT solutions organisations but for all industries. Since then, doing e-business via the internet has become the norm, business apps are common place and we think nothing of storing data and hosting services in the cloud. 

And it wasn’t too far into the 2000’s before we stopped talking about ‘e-business’ when we used the internet as our medium, and just called it ‘business.’

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is “technology that appears to emulate human performance typically by learning [and] coming to its own conclusions” amongst other things.  Al has been in the imagination of humans since Alan Turing created the famous Turing Machine back in 1936. Simple technology by todays measure, the Turing Machine threatened everything held sacred about personhood.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterised by the World Economic Forum’s Klaus Schwab as “a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres,” is well and truly upon us.

We’ve seen the perception of thinking computers, with their artificial intelligence, transition from the ‘killer robot’ cyborgs of the Terminator films to now being an efficient, effective and safety focussed solution to everyday tasks.

In the next 10 years we could be seeing autonomous vehicles on our roads, computers with human-like thought process and huge changes in health care monitoring. In the here and now, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is already disrupting the established ways of doing business and fundamentally changing the way we think about and interact with our environment. AI isn’t just becoming mainstream, it’s becoming imperative to any successful entity.

With this in mind, at Cenitex we’re exploring the potential of AI and automation through ARIA, our Automated Robotic Interactive Assistance. ARIA is in development as a proof of concept exploring how to simplify finding information across the organisation. ARIA will be ‘taught’ how to search for information in different databases and repositories, enabling it to search all available sources in an instant.

We plan to introduce ARIA as a chat bot; a computer program designed to participate in conversations. ARIA will be able to have meaningful conversations, to understand the users’ intent and reply accordingly.

ARIA arms crossed
Automated Robotic Interactive Assistance, ARIA

Our staff will be able to ask questions and ARIA will source the most relevant answer. The more experience ARIA has answering questions, the smarter it will become, as correct associations between questions and answers are stored in memory and referred to as a short cut in the future.

From a business perspective, this should save an enormous amount of time sifting through eleven-year-old repositories as it will help to find the right information, in an instant. The development of ARIA means we will be better placed to support future endeavours such as software defined networks.

So how long, I wonder, will it take for the artificial intelligence that powers tools like ARIA to simply be thought of as ‘intelligence'?