The Future of AI for Crisis Management Here and It is Bright!

There is no reason and no way that a human mind can keep up with an artificially intelligent machine by 2035.”

Gray Scott, Futurist, Techno-Philosopher

Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we’ll augment our intelligence.”

Ginni Rometty, President and CEO IBM

Artificial intelligence would be the ultimate version of Google. The ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the web. It would understand exactly what you wanted, and it would give you the right thing. We’re nowhere near doing that now. However, we can get incrementally closer to that, and that is basically what we work on.”

Larry Page, CEO Alphabet Inc.

I love all our emerging exponential technologies but If I were to pick one with the most potential to change every aspect of humanity in the shortest period of time it would be AI. It is here, it is now and it is part of your life, whether you know it or not. Some of the things I share in this post will light you up to the possibilities and perhaps change the course of your business and personal future.

In this post, we will discuss:

  • What AI is and its value to you
  • A brief history of AI
  • Amazing AI advancements and successes
  • Tools that can help non-data scientists play with AI and even develop applications

As always, think about how you can leverage this amazing emerging technology for your current or future business and career in new innovative ways. I will provide ideas as well.

AI Overview

AI is the ability of machines to think, learn and be creative. Yes creative! I describe a story in this post where experts feel an advanced deep learning machine has already acted creatively.

Most likely AI will change your industry, profession and personal life. Now is the perfect time to begin learning how you can use it to your advantage.

AI is being used in autonomous vehicles and drones to make critical real-time decisions. Retailers will soon be loading products on trucks before you even order them. Yes, they will know what you need and when you need it before you do. Financial Institutions can detect fraud using powerful algorithms. Professions in fields diverse as medical, legal and customer service are becoming better and faster using AI. Later in the post, ‘How to Leverage Content, the Currency of the Digital World’, you will learn about an innovative company that produces automated news stories and baseball box scores that are indistinguishable from human reporters using AI and big data.

Combining artificial intelligence with big data and smart algorithms is the secret sauce. It can deliver predictive analytics that help you solve complex problems and even help to predict the future. AI can comb through terabytes of data in seconds and identify hidden patterns. AI can accurately predict what will happen next, whether it is a threat such as a tornado, an active shooter planning an attack or opportunities such as how to medically treat a patient or the likelihood of an increase in a stock price.

AI and big data also raise the bar on preventive maintenance of industrial machines. GE pumps terabytes of data from a single jet engine on a single flight in real time through AI systems to understand where and when maintenance should occur. Compare this to waiting for a scheduled maintenance or worse, until an engine fails. Every airline should be doing this. Casualties are no longer acceptable because of parts breaking from fatigue and possible catastrophic casualties.

Telematics on trucks can monitor, in real time, critical engine and tire health and driving patterns by the operator. Telematics improves safety and reduce expenses. Tires can

communicate that they need replacing, engines can send alerts to fill fluids or impending engine trouble. The alternative is to wait until a tire blows or an engine fails.

Telematics can also suggest when to reduce or increase speed. It can pinpoint if a driver is hitting the breaks to often or too hard. Maybe a larger distance from the vehicle in front of them can help. The number of scenarios AI and big data can help operators is wide and valuable.

Smart home assistants including Amazon Alexa and Google Home use artificial intelligence. If you are not experimenting and enjoying one of these devices yet, I am confident one will be in your near future. My wife is not a ‘technical’ person but she gets so much enjoyment from Google Home. In addition to making our lives easier our Google Home device has allowed me to experiment by integrating voice commands with smart light bulbs and electrical sockets and run them through a data bridge, IFTTT, to my organizations mass notification system.

AI infused chatbot’s are becoming extremely popular. They benefit customers 24×7 and reduce expenses for the organizations employing them. Now is a great time for companies to begin understanding the business value in chatbots. Facebook messenger is a platform that has launched over 100,000 different chatbots.

Short for ”chat robot,” a chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation, or chat, through artificial intelligence. ALICE (Artificial Linguistic Intelligent Computer Entity) is an open source, natural language chatbot. It uses artificial intelligence for human interaction.

Chatbots are beginning to get personalities and the ability to conduct increasingly sophisticated conversations. Retail companies use them to intelligently answer questions from online shoppers. Most any company can benefit from a smart chatbot.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is exploring how chatbots can be used in improving health.

AI encompasses Machine Learning and Neural Networks which take traditional rule based AI to a breakthrough level. Combining AI with other emerging

technologies, such as robotics, empowers us to create machines that think.

AI can provide answers, improve predictions and solve problems. It does certain tasks thousands and millions of times faster than a human can do them. It can power robots to do dangerous and tedious tasks with close to zero errors.

Three types of AI learning can occur:

  1. Supervised learning in which the machine analyzes high quality historical data and makes decisions about future data
  2. Unsupervised learning in which the machine makes inferences about future data based on patterns it finds within past data
  3. A combination of supervised and unsupervised learning

The U.S. Government is as excited about AI as I am. In a 2018 strategic plan, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified AI as one of the “five emerging technologies that will potentially transform society.” What we have seen from our unique government-wide perch at GSA is that agencies are tremendously interested in AI and other emerging technologies – not because they are the latest fad, but because people recognize the potential to transform and simplify the way Americans interact with their government.”

A March 2018 hearing, ‘Game Changers: Artificial Intelligence’ detailed four ways the U.S. Government is supporting AI evaluation and adoption:

  1. The Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) provides contracting vehicles and mechanisms including Schedule 70 and its associated programs, Startup Springboard and FAStlane, as well as several other government-wide acquisition contracts, which encourage competition and help connect agencies and businesses to allow government to efficiently procure the most effective new AI services.
  2. We are piloting within our agency Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and other related technologies  that are designed to augment our workforce to achieve more with less and establish a foundation for greater data-driven decision-making through AI.
  3. The interagency Emerging Citizen Technology Office (ECTO), we are helping support and coordinate government-wide development of citizen-facing AI programs, both  public-facing as well as for internal agency use, with active participation from both the public and private sectors.
  4. Along with our private sector and federal agency partners, we are pursuing a greater understanding and alignment of IT modernization through cloud adoption, data services, and emerging technologies, including AI, that deliver the greatest benefit to the American people.’

The Department of Homeland Security has stated they believe that the future AI trajectory will proceed in the following three ways:

  1. First, AI technology is increasingly providing us with new knowledge and influencing action. Fueled by sensors, data digitization, and ever- increasing connectedness, AI  filters, associates, prioritizes, classifies, measures, and predicts outcomes, allowing the Federal government to make more informed, data- driven decisions.
  2. Second, algorithms are ingesting and processing ever higher volumes of data. Their complexity, especially in the case of deep learning algorithms, will continue to increase, and we need to better understand how outputs are produced from the set of inputs, which may not be able to be understood or analyzed in isolation.
  3. Finally, private industry is leading the way in AI development, as many see the implementation of AI as a key competitive advantage. The private sector’s significant investments and the ability to adopt new AI models and processes faster than the public sector present the government with a key decision point on how to best participate in this growing, but still nascent field.

Government should move forward with adoption of emerging technologies such as AI to improve citizen services. Government plays an important role in promoting research and development. Government should ensure it is informed of developments in the private sector, while continuing to support AI research and development, and promote the use of AI technology to create government efficiencies and enhance the public good.