Dr. Cindy Gordon, CEO of SalesChoice Inc. recently spoke at the RSI Summit sharing her insights on Artificial Intelligence and the rise of guided selling. Here is a script of her speech.

Cutting through the role and future of artificial intelligence, a market that is expected to grow from USD 1.52 billion in 2018 to USD 10.88 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 48.2% during the forecast period. The graph below provides an indication in the growing interest in the interrelationships of: Big Data, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Deep Learning.

A critical question to ask is: “AI will underpin every business process on the earth?” This underlines an important aspect of AI: it is a foundational technology rather than a disruptive one. That is, AI will be a foundation for profound changes as to how business, society or home functions are designed and developed. In many respects, Dr. Gordon views AI not as the new electricity but rather the new air that will surround everything we know today.

A key success factor for AI will be the development of robust regulatory, security, legal and fairness frameworks to govern AI effectively and efficiently. As the industry matures, global frameworks will be needed. The UK has rapidly positioned a fairness framework for guiding AI developments, while the European Economic Union are just framing a point of view, while USA and Canada lag in a clear privacy position on Data and AI.

A universal set of new governing laws will be needed and will require co-operation across jurisdictions to plan the new flows effectively, much like we had to think of Air Travel routes carefully, with international safety and regulatory standards, we will need to think hard about the new pathways that AI and ML methods are rapidly creating, while the technology innovators are well underway. Countries like Saudi Arabia have given their first major Robot Sophia, more legal status that a female human, causing international concerns on AI Ethics.

Gordon’s corollary point is that AI will not just address the long-standing human fragilities, such as lack of attention or a human’s tendency to make mistakes. One of the key observations that Dr. Gordon made is that the human cognition capabilities have declined by 50% since the advent of mobile, driving the Rise of The Distracted Economy, which is often referred to also as the Attention Deficit Economy. One of the areas highly impacted by cognitive declines is B2B Sales Professionals who are already attention deprived, with 30% of sales professionals having attention deficit disorder. B2B Sales Professionals productivity has dropped to less than33% of focused time on what counts, the customer, a drop from 50% productivity only 10 years ago.

New Sales Augmented intelligence tools are now available to help guide sales and marketing professionals to identify the best fit for a new lead, or the best customer buying profile ready to purchase, or even the best bundled solution to fit the customer profile. AI can crawl the world-wide web, as well as internal CRM business processes and string together the customer bread crumb trail to help provide insights on win or loss signals that can often yield 98% accuracy with AI and Machine Learning methods. But the replacement of error-prone humans with dependable AI systems may lead to job losses of an unprecedented scale.

The Nobel Prize-winning physicist, the late Stephen Hawking, suggested that in time human beings themselves may become extinct, due to their inability to evolve to cope in a more intelligent machine world. “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race….It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded (Source: Stephen Hawking, 2017)”

One of the key success factors in getting ready for the new world order will be to ensure that corporate boards are fully educated on what AI and ML methods can do to solve different business challenges. Areas that AI is in particularly strong at is analyzing large data sets to predict anomalies, or fraudulent activities, or being able to crunch hundreds of millions of transactions to find insights that are difficult to find, given the intense computational needs to analyze large data sets, particularly in financial institutions.

As one looks ahead to the top AI trends in 2018, outlined below are some of the key ones that we recommend as leaders you are aware of:

  • Increase in Processing Capabilities of new and more powerful computers will accelerate AI and ML enablement;
  • New AI applications will be more data intensive due to cheaper access and storage to apply more unsupervised learning methods;
  • Back Office Applications using AI will intensity in areas like Legal Contracts, Policy Management, Medical and Insurance Claims processing etc.;
  • Acceleration of AI will be hindered by Legal, Privacy and Data controls that if not planned effectively will impact the evolution of AI, and
  • AI Developer Toolkit will become widely available to increase the utilization of data science methods into business users access.

In summary, what is important to understand is that AI is going to have a transformative impact to everything around us. AI will integrate more into human levels by around 2029. By 2045, we will have multiplied the intelligence, the human biological machine intelligence of our civilization a billion-fold – hence we enter a new world order where man and machine could reach singularity as one.

It will take many brilliant minds to ensure we think of the new world we want to create, from many diverse view-points.