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Find out how corporations are tapping artificial intelligence for the future

From chat bots to robotic video surveillance, companies are harnessing artificial intelligence as enablers of change

Big data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are fundamentally changing the way organisations implement their business processes, extract insights and make decisions. As a result they have the potential to fundamentally disrupt core business, but at the same time also provide opportunities for businesses to innovate and evolve their business operating models. Below, 10 companies integrating AI into their roadmap for growth.

Yeoh Oon Jin
Executive Chairman
PwC Singapore

Firstly, we need to embrace the disruptive change that AI will inevitably bring. For example, deploying robotics and cognitive process automation could improve the productivity of our knowledge workers and change the way we deliver our services to clients.

Secondly, our consulting practice provides advice on how AI will impact businesses, and how they can formulate and execute their AI strategies. Given the growing interest of AI enablement by businesses, we have been making significant investments globally in AI (for example, deep learning, large-scale machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics), analytics technology (for example, data exchange, apps, and infrastructure), our people (for example, industry experts, data scientists, and external advisers), and technology alliance partners.

More recently, we made an important investment in an Analytics Impact Centre in Singapore that is wholly focused on helping our clients embed the underpinning data and analytics architecture and platforms to seed AI capabilities. By leveraging this Impact Centre to deliver projects such as bringing AI to the “front office” of key financial institutions, our clients will be able to interact with their customers via bots and their agents can provide AI-enabled investment advice in real time based on the data platform co-created by our Impact Centre.

Interestingly, the critical success factor to enable this transformation is the need to blend human and digital assets into a single cohesive operating model.

Fredrik Nyberg
Chief Executive Officer
Asia-Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed)

Artifical Intelligence is already transforming the healthcare landscape. Advances in medical technologies supported by AI and big data will dramatically change the way health care is delivered and benefit millions of patients across the globe. We are seeing AI providing decision support to physicians in areas such as oncology by instantly referencing hundreds of thousands of articles and case studies.

AI is also set to revolutionise diabetes treatment and research. Surgical robotics can already conduct safer, more precise procedures – and soon these robots will have built-in sensors and feedback systems allowing an AI engine to make independent decisions intra-operatively

Helen Ng
Chief Executive Officer
General Storage Company Pte Ltd

The self-storage industry still relies heavily on manpower but that will change with the advent of artificial intelligence. I foresee that we will move most of our customer support services online where chatbots will not only provide standard replies to customer queries but also process information, such as calculating the ideal storage unit size, and present it to the customers.

Security surveillance is another area where AI will play an important role. Computers can be trained to monitor activity within self-storage facilities and trigger alerts based on actions deemed as suspicious.

(RELATED: Which jobs will machines replace?)

Chris Lee
Country Manager, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
Autodesk

We are standing at the edge of a new industrial revolution. Computers augment our ability to imagine and design things, but robotic systems specifically will help us build and make things that were previously impossible.

For example, Autodesk’s Project Discover applied generative design to architectural space planning. Using algorithms based on human input, AI generated 10,000 designs that explored different combinations to maximise human comfort and productivity while minimising distraction.

Tapping AI is akin to a dance – while the computer can compute massive amounts of data, it needs a human being to lead with intuition and goal setting. Together, they are greater than the sum of their parts.

Yara Paoli
Director, Growth, Skyscanner Global Growth and APAC region leader
Skyscanner

Travellers are migrating from click-type-tap patterns to more conversational formats when interacting with apps and sites. We are the first travel search engine to create a skill for Amazon’s Alexa voice service and launch a bot for Facebook Messenger, and we pioneered the first group chat travel search bot in collaboration with Skype.

Currently, we are building robust machine learning algorithms that anticipate travellers’ needs before they even think to ask, such as proposing flights based on their past searches. Ultimately, innovation trends are simply enablers for customers to make better decisions and enjoy more flexibility in how they interact with us, which is why we continue experimenting with engineering techniques to refine our service.

How companies are tapping AI for change

VR Srivatsan
Managing Director for South-east Asia
Adobe

At Adobe, we blend Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the creation and delivery of standout customer experiences through a unified AI and machine learning framework called Adobe Sensei. Adobe Sensei helps brands we work with predict what their customers want, and in turn, create a personalised journey that enhances customer experience. It empowers content creators to work faster, giving them more time to focus on creative concepts instead of the process.

In Creative Cloud, for example, by anticipating a designer’s next move based on previous outputs, Adobe Sensei can re-create elements in photos where they did not previously exist, by studying nearby pixels.

Within Document Cloud, it can turn paper into editable digital documents, and automatically include the right fonts and properties, transforming the way people work.

AI is a core part of Adobe’s cloud platform, and we are constantly looking to leverage it to drive innovation and inspire creativity. By reducing the time people spend on mundane tasks, we create more mind space for creativity to flourish – the backbone of almost every organisation in today’s idea-based economy.

Kevin Chow
Chief Executive Officer
Thales in Singapore

Thales uses AI in our defence and civil systems to augment our customers’ situational awareness and quality of decision-making across all of our businesses, including aerospace, defence, security, ground transportation and space. One example lies in how AI is revolutionising video surveillance for urban security.

Instead of an operator trying to manually spot anomalies, AI allows for vast amounts of video feeds to be analysed automatically, both in real time and post-event, and enables future forecasting, all of which help prepare responses to situations that may arise.

Alongside AI, Thales is actively strengthening capabilities in three other key “digital” technologies: Big Data, connectivity and cybersecurity, which we believe are the core building blocks to enable the digital transformation of our customers.

(Related: How Google’s Vinton Cerf helped create the Internet)

Paul Henaghan
President, South Asia and Korea
Dell EMC

ARTIFICIAL Intelligence can offer organisations immense value as it can process huge amounts of data and make sense of it in a way that may not have been possible by even trained professionals. We believe that AI and automation will bring greater opportunities and insights allowing business leaders to make better decisions.

At Dell Technologies, we’re actively tapping the potential of AI. We recently helped develop a platform, Alice (introduced at Dell EMC World 2017), the first-ever AI adviser for women entrepreneurs that connects them in real time with the resources needed to scale their business. This is just one example in which Dell will continue to explore AI to simplify decision-making and build better experiences for customers.

Anupam Pahuja
General Manager, Singapore Development Center
PayPal 

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Data Science have supported PayPal since its early beginnings. They are an essential part of PayPal’s customer experience, but beyond that, these technologies – especially deep learning tools – are critical in fraud detection and providing peace of mind. A key goal of the AI.SG programme announced recently is to address major challenges that affect society and industries. We believe that with AI, critical pain points with payments can be addressed, and PayPal is continuously looking at how AI can create safer and more personalised experiences. For example, we are conducting research on how password-less authentication will allow smart devices to understand its owner’s behaviour for user identification, preventing hacking and phishing scams. Predictive analytics and ranking algorithm can also be used to recommend customised solutions that may save time for the customer. With Singapore’s push to boost AI use across the economy, AI is poised to take an even bigger role in payments.

James Tan
Chief Executive Officer
Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore Ltd (TMLS)

ARTIFICIAL intelligence has been opening up a whole new world of opportunities for the global insurance industry, and we are excited about its enormous potential to strengthen our engagement with clients and advisers alike, as we accelerate our digital and insurtech journey.

TOMI (short for Tokio Marine Insurance), the industry’s first self-learning chatbot launched by TMLS earlier this year, is an example of how we are using AI to enhance our internal efficiency and adviser engagement. Developed in collaboration with Singapore’s homegrown startup Pand.ai, TOMI has been embraced by our agency force and selected independent financial advisers as an instant resource for all their operational queries – thereby enabling them to focus fully on addressing more complex customer queries. It also proactively notifies our advisers about the latest developments in the industry.

The development and launch of TOMI is thanks to a key AI capability – Deep Learning for Natural Language Processing (Deep NLP), which enables TOMI to answer questions quickly and accurately, regardless of question structure. Plans are already underway to expand TOMI’s functions for customer-facing interaction, and as we continue to focus on engaging our customer value chain in the coming years, we expect AI to play an increasing role in improving our business operations and efficiency.

Adapted from The Business Times