Why are AI and data such powerful engines of innovation?
“In order to benefit from the value of good AI, you must first ensure that you have great data. So, in order achieve this, you need to first understand your practices, then understand your data, and only then can you effectively work out where to add value with AI.’’ That’s according to Phil Harvey, Senior Cloud Solution Architect for Data & Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft UK. Through a combination of design workshops, hacks and advice, Phil empowers Microsoft’s vast partner community to make the best use of Azure’s data and AI powers.
One of Microsoft’s Gold Partners is business analytics provider Concentra, which has invited Phil to speak at Big Data & AI World 2020 about AI-driven digital transformation. Techerati sat down with Phil before his VIP lounge session to learn why AI and data are such powerful engines of innovation and, additionally, how businesses can unlock their combined power to achieve a competitive edge.
The term “digital transformation” is the favoured neologism of today’s data-driven economy. The oft-repeated phrase can mean different things to different people. For Phil, digital transformation is about “embedding analytics and intelligence (through data) into the heart of how your organisation knows itself.” If this step-change in self-understanding is driven by intelligent signals and digital feedback loops, “organisations can transform how they work internally and how they approach the world around them”.
A tool within AI’s toolbox that epitomises its power is Machine Learning. With ML organisations can create models or “data-derived software which can process data far quicker than hand-coded software”. “Take speech-to-text models that transcribe audio to text. It’s an amazing technology that gives organisations new sets of data through which to know itself.”