AI and Machine Learning
If you’ve been paying attention to the headlines for the past few years, you’ll know we are now experiencing another revolution in computing. As computer power increases, artificial intelligence techniques that once seemed out of reach are now increasingly becoming commonplace. It’s clear that to remain competitive, you need to be using these techniques wherever you can.
At the same time, however, there are so many mixed messages out there about these advanced techniques - are they all hype? Are they only accessible for the largest and best-funded organizations?
There’s truth behind the headlines — there may be tremendously valuable insights to gain about your business, your customers, and the world by utilizing these techniques. There is also a lot of hype, misunderstanding, and magical thinking.
In order to be successful in implementing a machine learning program for your business, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:
You’ll Need Data First
Machine Learning and AI require large data sets to work well, and the data must actually contain the meaningful patterns that you hope to find. You cannot simply feed meaningless information into an AI system and get out important insights. Therefore, the first step in any ML program is to figure out what kind of data you already have, what kind of data you might like to have in the future, and come up with a plan to develop a data set that is of sufficient size to be used with machine learning.
Identifying Your Problem
It’s also important to know what problem you are trying to solve. You may not know exactly what patterns your data contains, but it is helpful to know what you are hoping to achieve. For example, you might have a goal of saving fuel across a fleet of vehicles, or reducing customer service calls, or shortening the time needed to complete an industrial process. In order to get to your destination, you’ll need to know what direction to start traveling. We often find that a simple conversation about your biggest headaches as a business leads to the identification of a key problem.
There Are Many Flavors of Machine Learning
There is a huge spectrum of machine learning techniques. Some are classic programming approaches that are being re-branded as “AI” and “ML”, but are nevertheless effective. Others are classifiers that utilize statistics and pure mathematics to discover hidden patterns in raw data. Others are specially developed neural networks trained to understand specific data sets. At the higher end are vast pipelines of interconnected algorithms built for special purposes, utilizing many different techniques. There are cloud-based providers who offer to solve specialized problems on an ala-carte basis. And finally, there is cutting edge research and development taking place at Universities and large Fortune 100 companies.
Putting Together a Plan
Given the huge spectrum of sophistication that is out there, it can be extremely intimidating to begin a journey into these advanced technologies. SynaTree can help you develop a plan to gather the right data, and can help you implement a sophisticated solution. We are not a research institution, nor can we compete with the technology giants that are winning Jeopardy games against world-champions or manufacturing self-driving cars; but we can help you develop a program that is appropriate for the scale of your business and that uses many of the most advanced techniques.
We can help you:
Optimize processes to reduce costs or improve performance
Predict what will happen next
Understand the content of documents and photographs
Identify hidden variables
Utilize the offerings of third-party AI vendors
Integrate AI into every level of your operation
Let SynaTree design and build you something incredible. Reach out and let’s talk!