Artificial intelligence, also known as AI, is woven throughout the economy. It’s used to provide investment advice, test vehicle autopilot systems, and to create the can’t-live-without virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri. AI is also being used to predict future sales. The potential of AI to increase economic growth is being explored all over the world.
The heaviest advances in AI are stemming from a data-intensive technique known as machine learning. With machine learning, a ton of data is required to test, create, and train the AI… so as AI is becoming more important, so is data. Needing data about customers as well as the ability to program AI to analyze that data have become some of the most important tools businesses use to compete against each other. But what happens if a business lacks access to good data? How much control over data is there? If access to data is too complex and difficult, business may not enter the arena, there may no longer be competitive pressure, and ultimately innovation could suffer.
The obstacles some businesses could face may extend beyond competition and innovation. A common method for bypassing lack of customer data is to train a company’s AI on publicly available datasets. However if these datasets are even the slightest bit biased, the results will mimic that bias and the data could be tainted. If this happens to one business, it will happen to another and the amount of skewed data will become a domino effect.
An established business’ access to data allows it to refine its AI over time, which in turn allows it to get better at offering it’s AI enabled product over time. Because of the learning curve effect, there could potentially be an increase in data control. For example, if a company that has a self-driving car does well initially, it can collect more data and keep improving it’s algorithm and eventually other companies will not be able to catch up.
Barriers in accessing data can have a negative impact on not only businesses, but consumers as well. No data means that consumers are not benefitting from innovative products that a data-less business might offer. It also means that data-rich businesses may not see the need to innovate or create something new because there is no threat of a competition.
So while AI has a massive potential to provide many benefits to our growing economy, access to data is imperative in order to train AI systems. If you’d like to find out how to implement AI into your business, contact Blueworx today!