Why your data is far more important than which AI you use

Be AI-agnostic, because the quality of your data will determine your competitive edge

It doesn't really matter if you use Google, Amazon or Microsoft's AI algorithms, according to experts.

The real differentiator is not whether you use Lex, Azure AI or Google's machine learning tools, but the quality of your own data, speakers at OpenText's Enterprise World 2018 conference said yesterday.

"The algorithms are nothing without the data," Mike Gualtieri, principal analyst at Forrester, said. "Algorithms get all the press, but the competitive advantage, the accuracy of those models, the decisions that the models can make, it all comes from the data, and the data that enterprises have is very specific to them and their customers."

While Google and the other tech giants investing fortunes into machine learning models have trained their tools on billions of images, pieces of text and other media, none of these AI systems have the specific data that companies have to hand, Gualtieri explained.

"They've got a lot of web content but do they have the transaction information? They don't have that so enterprises shouldn't think 'I'll just wait and Google will do all the AI for me'. Every enterprise has their own valuable information and from that they are going to be able to create the models using machine learning."

That makes having quality data enterprises' primary concern, OpenText argued, before picking an AI or machine learning tool that can turn that data into insights.

Industries could also benefit from sharing data with one another, the analyst explained, warinng that enterprises should be wary of sharing information that gives them an edge over their rivals. "That balance has to be found about what's competitive and what's good for everyone in the industry to share."

Lalith Subramanian, VP of engineering for analytics at OpenText, said that with the advent of emojis and text language, AI was having a tougher time analysing conversations.

"It's not English anymore, it's abbreviations and all kinds of things," he said. "To me one of the most fascinating areas of exploration for this company has got to be around 'what is modern conversational linguistics' because it's not about strictly structured language with very formal grammars. You're having instead abbreviations and words and vocabularies [are] changing."

While every vendor is eagerly advertising the apparent benefits of applying AI to business processes, Subramanian said it's unlikely that drivers for using the technology would be very different to the usual factors of cost-cutting, increasing revenue, or fear of regulatory infringements.

"[Customers] say 'we would like to improve our customer service and build a chatbot'. Okay, but what's it going to take for you to buy one of these systems with a chatbot?" he said.

"You're not going to buy it unless you can lay off 15, 20, 30, 40 people in your staff because nothing else is going to justify it. Because I can't tell you your customer stats are going to go up by X per cent. It's got to be a little bit more of a concrete use case which usually I define by fear of jail, or greed."

Featured Resources

Preparing for AI-enabled cyber attacks

MIT technology review insights

Download now

Cloud storage performance analysis

Storage performance and value of the IONOS cloud Compute Engine

Download now

The Forrester Wave: Top security analytics platforms

The 11 providers that matter most and how they stack up

Download now

Harness data to reinvent your organisation

Build a data strategy for the next wave of cloud innovation

Download now

Recommended

The IT Pro Panel
Business strategy

The IT Pro Panel

26 Jul 2021
2031: Reimagining the future of life and work
Business strategy

2031: Reimagining the future of life and work

25 Jun 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

26 May 2021
Getting everyone on board with the corporate vision
Business strategy

Getting everyone on board with the corporate vision

13 May 2021

Most Popular

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility
high-performance computing (HPC)

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility

28 Jul 2021
Zyxel USG Flex 200 review: A timely and effective solution
Security

Zyxel USG Flex 200 review: A timely and effective solution

28 Jul 2021
Square to acquire Afterpay for $29 billion
mergers and acquisitions

Square to acquire Afterpay for $29 billion

2 Aug 2021