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2017 will be the year of AI: alternative intelligence

Jenny Beresford | Feb. 8, 2017
Technology will be used to discern what is really happening in our world

Like many of you, I feel that I’ve spent most of January drinking from the fire hose of fake news and alternative facts about the changing political world order. If you thought you could find a politics-free space in the technology news, think again.

What’s clear already is that 2017 will be the year of AI: alternative intelligence, but technology will be used to discern what is really happening in our world, the arbiter of real intelligence or truth. As technologists, we’re continuing to turn up the dial on our influence, which has me thinking about what that will mean for CIOs and IT leaders sitting in the rising power seat of organisations.

The power of technologists is rapidly rising in influence

After the US election, it was widely reported that a British audience targeting company was credited with helping President Trump win. The firm apparently used big data and psychographics to analyse huge volumes of personal data on each adult in the US to determine their personality type.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz was quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald on 24 January as saying: “There are no longer any experts except Cambridge Analytica. They were Trump’s digital team who figured out how to win.”

For me, the US election was an indicator that the power of technologists is becoming superabundant. This may be the year where the tide sharply turns and the CIO becomes the only expert the CEO can trust to steer business strategy and tactics in a wildly fluctuating environment. One where new opportunities and threats are the daily flotsam and jetsam of corporate life.

By 2020, Gartner predicts that the world will contain more than 20 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices, generating trillions of dollars’ worth of business value.

As the IoT continues to expand and the condition of connected ‘things’ changes, the data and networks that CIOs are accountable for will never be stable nor complete.

The smartest analysis of these lakes of data will never be ‘perfect’, but ‘just in time’. The IoT ecosystem characteristics and elements should be accepted as fluid, growing and mutable, so that decisions can be made as quickly as conditions change.

Leading organisations continually scan for emerging opportunities to fuel their algorithmic business strategies. This enables them to disrupt markets, drive new humanistic customer experiences and monetise this new flood of information from the IoT.

You think you are reading the internet, but it is reading you

As the IoT grows, nearly every action you take and the environment surrounding you is being recorded. Power transfers to those who possess the data and have the capacity to know you better than you know yourself.


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