Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year 2020

I just wanted to wish all my readers, collaborators and others a "Happy New Year" from the edge of  "lake Sinur". I wish you the best of new years and hope for the promise of technology making all of our lives better. I expect those involved with digital activities in 2019 to make a shift in the use of those technologies more strategically. If you continue reading my blog, you will see my take on how business and technology will take advantage of AI everywhere, Automation on fire and Customer Excellence advancing beyond simple interfacing and channels to true customer journeys  :)

Here are my early takes in 2020 with more to come in January on Process and Customer Excellence. 

Top Digital Trends
Top AI Trends
Top RPA Trends 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Art for 4Q 2019

The big delivery for me this quarter was the portrait of my late daughter Beth. While it was hard to complete, there was a healing effect that has helped me to move on to a near-normal life. I will always miss her and her brother Andy. I also did a fun piece that is of a stellar origin along with some fun fractals. If you would like to see more of my portfolio click here 

                                                    Elizabeth Jean Sinur 

                                                       Space Dot Mania 

                                                             Color Explosion 

                                                          Bright Wisp 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

How an AI-powered Digital Assistant Increases Productivity in Business

Powered by artificial intelligence, digital assistants have emerged as groundbreaking tools that transform the way business professionals work. From translating documents and converting files to provide research data and benchmarks, digital assistants are playing an important part in increasing productivity. In the following case study, we show how an AI-powered digital assistant makes a difference in a goodly number of consultancies and large corporations. Let’s see how human augmentation is a “win-win”.
The translation of documents is a frequent, annoying and time-consuming task in business. Translating contracts, project presentations or training materials is costly when performed by external agencies and a waste of talent if done internally... and simply taking too much time. 
 In high-paced business environments, “wasting time” with translations prevents team members from focusing on the creative and analytical part of their work. Sure, you can copy-paste text elements to Google Translate, but the time necessary to put everything into a document in the right format and review it still takes significant time—too often leading to late working hours.
 Translating Microsoft Office documents was the triggering use case for the company’s founder when he decided to build a smart digital assistant—later named Brian. This assistant communicates via email, understands natural language, integrates multiple AI and digital services as well as selected data sources. He selects the best available translation service depending on the language pair. The integration with an OCR engine allows Brian to translate (native & scanned) PDF files as well as pictures. He is also able to translate files using client-specific terminology. 

Is the translation perfect, though? Of course not (yet), but it definitely saves a lot of time! The user experience is as simple as that: you write Brian an email saying, “Hi, please convert this file to Word and translate it from Chinese to English”. Within 3 minutes, the translated document is delivered while keeping the original formatting. Brian is an example of a tool that would not be feasible without AI technology and shows how helpful applied AI can be. With work delivered in just a few minutes that otherwise would take hours, and the assistant available 24/7, it seems to be the perfect complement to today’s business professionals. Language translation is just the tip of the iceberg for sure, but it demonstrates productivity gains.
Consultancies and corporations with thousands of employees are testing and using Brian already. The advantages of using this technology are quite obvious: saving employees’ time, reducing agency costs, accelerating processes and even making the workforce happier! For many staff members, the digital assistant is the first digital co-worker they work with—providing a glimpse of how amazing applied AI can be but also what the current limitations are.
 The lesson learned here is that human augmentation really works and leads to more cooperative digital assistants. Starting small with tedious tasks is a great strategy to test the benefits of smart digital assistants that leverage AI.
This case study was provided by www.askbrian.ai

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Top 10 AI Trends for 2020

2020 promises to be a tipping point year for automation benefits and an experimental year for customer or employee experiences. AI is initiating a change in the way both automation and experiences are constituted and delivered. The end result will change the way people interact with technology and organizations. Work and workforces will be changing starting in 2020 and continuing for the next five years. The future looks promising after several years of experimenting with AI.

It's not all fantastic and there will be fakes and failures. In fact, there will be high profile fails, but they are unlikely to cause another AI Winter. Even if the fails can be avoided there are significant challenges with explainability and ethical issues. Guidance will have to be applied with wisdom through goal-driven approaches that have sensible guardrails. It's not a cakewalk, but it will be an emerging careful AI journey for many. Here are my top ten AI trends for 2020

Data Will Continue to Sharpen AI

New data methodologies and algorithmic challenges will be a major factor in getting AI to be more on point in more contexts than ever. The challenges for getting the amount and proper kinds of data to train AI will continue, but organizations will find ways to leverage already synthesized data. They will build on and extend existing data sources while cleaning up some of their own legacy sources. Data will continue to be mined and leveraged with and for AI.

AI Will Shape Customer and Employee Experiences

AI will be leveraged to create the customer and employee experiences of the future. Organizations will morph away or augment chatbots to become real digital assistants. AI will help understand and interpret the real-data based customer and employee journeys. The vision of really helpful customer journeys that span departmental and company boundaries will be turned into a reality with the help of AI. AI will leverage machine learning and deep learning to identify improvement opportunities to act on or consider. Every touchpoint can be gainfully watched and mined.

Full Life Cycle Iteration Will be the Target

Improvement cycles require sensing, orienting, deciding and acting in an interactive or iterative fashion. Pipelines of learning will be funneled into AI discovered opportunities and threats for organizations to consider and eventually anticipate. Workload balances can be influenced by the learnings from AI in a speedy fashion. Iterations of improvements can be watched and compared for even more enhanced learnings.

Sense & Understand Will Progress Quickly

Voice command will be commonplace and combined with more sophisticated Natural Language Processing (NLP). AI will understand and respond more intelligently over time and make some big leaps in 2020. This will improve the lives of individuals in various roles. AI will be baked into chips allowing for the better recognition of objects, objects in motion and objects in context for smarter production lines, cities, and organizational processes.

Conversational "Bot Buddies" Will Emerge

AI will start to tackle harder problems faster than people can. As workers, customers, and people in various roles become comfortable in the reliability of these AI bots, they will become coworkers and even trusted advisors. These trustworthy bots might even become reliable allies for creating desirable outcomes. Visible success stories and examples will start to emerge in 2020.

AI Will Be Integrated in Everything

Not only AI is baked into chips, but it will also be integrated into every software category that exits today. AI will integrate or cooperate with algorithms often, so they will no longer be siloed away from each other. AI will be integrated into platforms to perform security functions and tasks early and often. Many software categories will exhibit ad growing IQs starting in 2020 becoming ubiquitous in five years down the road.

AI Will Be Entering Industry 4.0, Supply and Value Chains

We will see more modern supply and value chains emerge in 2020. AI will help create the ever-elusive management cockpit for organizations or individuals engaged in supply or value chains.  AI will provide valuable insights to ease previously tedious tasks like product redirects. Eventually, AI will help configure and create products dynamically and manage them to completion and eventual destination. 

Smart Super Infrastructures Will Gain Momentum

These Digitial Business Platforms(DBP) can either be business-focused or technically focused, but few are both. These super infrastructures are built to securely combine various aspects of digital business or technology streams. They often include a significant set of AI or analytic feature, they seamlessly integrate multiple data types and speeds, manage work to completion, and support monitoring for improvements. Examples of business DBPs include Salesforce, SAP, and Oracle. Examples of technical DBPs include Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and Google.

AI Will Engender More Predictive Behaviors

As the next decade rolls out, a real-time reaction will not be good enough. Organizations will have to grow to anticipate putting a premium on predictive capabilities and behaviors. AI will participate in monitoring existing channels and integrating the sensing of events and patterns to the predictive models and algorithms. Savvy organizations will have identified key triggers and have responses can be pulled off the shelf. Of course, there are always "black swan: situations, but the combination of AI and algorithms can speed the coping mechanisms for even those situations.

AI Will Supercharge Knowledge Management

AI with the help of NLP and data ontologies, content can be turned into knowledge. This knowledge, in turn, can be leveraged through the presentation at the right time of notifications, advice, videos, and t bot buddies that can interpret conditions to pull the proper knowledge resource.

Net; Net: 

2020 will be a make or break year for AI delivering more automation results. Smarter RPA bots, straight-through processing, and helpful smart assistants will accelerate automation benefits. This will allow organizations to weather any downturn. 2020 is also a year for applying AI to customer and excellence funded by some of the automation benefits that AI brings. Smart organizations will take a portion of the savings and use it as a smart investment fund.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Top 5 Digital Trends for 2020

2020 is a tipping point year for digital. The executives have tasted digital benefits in a tactical fashion, for the most part, and see the promise. Now top management is looking to use digital strategically to look for opportunities or threats in a more proactive manner. In some cases, executives will want their organization to be the disruptor rather than being reactively disrupted. This is my best shot at predicting the likely trends based on business and technical predictions enumerated below.

Business World

The world of business is in a state of flux and flex like it has never been before. We can see it all around us with threats of economic and real war. Stability is a concept that seems to be fading at an ever-increasing rate of speed. Organizations will be moving at high speed and yet ready for a variety of conditional changes that can be enabled by leveraging more digital listening posts and making decision opportunities from big, fast and dark data. The agility provided by digital capabilities will be faster to respond to directional turning and tuning. Digital practice becomes digital momentum in 2020 by leveraging digital's ability to intercept, expect and react to change.

Technical World 

Digital technologies have been used tactically to increase automation, speed, and agility in an ever-increasing manner over the past few years in an isolated fashion for the most part. New combinations of complementary digital technologies will be leveraged to keep pace with increasing demands from the need for better business outcomes. A stronger, more secure, and faster internet will enable a good portion of the 50% of the unserved world to join the internet and for more business to be completed securely there. Maybe "OK Boomer" will fix this one problem :)

Top Digital Trends

1.  Anticipation will be the crown jewel of digital desire by putting a premium on intelligent sensing, pattern recognition, decisions, and appropriate actions. This means that autonomous outposts will be feeding in their observations to match strategic plans that outline expected and unexpected opportunities or threats. Digital plays well here with advanced predictive analytics, decision models, AI, data mining, citizen development, corporate performance, and bots.

2.  Since 70% of customers will now leave you if they are not treated properly, an emerging balance between customer goals and organizational goals will have to be established and tuned frequently. While the elusive personalization goal will not be attained anytime soon, customer excellence will now be a major theme for organizations going forward. This excellence will go beyond simple channel customization and ease of use efforts to identifying the real customer journey that breaks down your functional silos and how your organization can contribute it's part to the journey even if other organizations are involved. Digital plays here too with customer journey mapping, customer journey mining, NLP, emotive AI, smart digital assistants, and knowledge accelerators for employees interacting with customers. Maybe customers will believe that organizations have their best interests at heart.

3.  Automation has been and will still be a major deliverable of digital to make the lives of customers, employees, and managers better. While the elusive straight-through processing ideal may be closer, the collaboration and cooperation of automation, machines, autonomous bots, and people will be a major challenge and benefit of digital in the future. The digital play here is RPA, low code, citizen development, AI, mining, processes, and analytics.

4.  There is and will continue to be a huge mismatch on jobs, skills, and locations. The markets, let alone organizations, can't keep up with the level of skills needed to become and stay on top of digital opportunities. Digital can lend a hand in capturing knowledge, expertise and effective practices. By leveraging NLP, knowledge ontologies, AI, data/process mining, video, digital assistants, and knowledge accelerators, organizations can narrow the skills gaps over time.

5.  The aggregation of these many digital technologies poses a challenge for all organizations otherwise new technology silos will emerge. As all of these digital technologies will need to allow organizations to complete businesses securely across clouds, new digital platforms are emerging with smart security plus built-in digital combinations that enable the trends aforementioned. There will also be the emergence of specialty digital business platforms by vertical industry plus horizontal business functions like sales and field management. There will also be bottom-up technology combinations that will serve business needs like digital platforms for intelligent automation, collaboration, and content capture/management.

Net; Net:

Digital is gaining speed and momentum and is likely to continue to even in established organizations with or without new business models. 2020 will be a key year for digital to be tested in more strategic ways. From unified decision making to human augmentation with anticipation, digital will be assisting us more and more. Heck, it is even helping us with our legacy portfolios by surrounding, extending them and rewriting them fast with agility. The challenge for us is to think strategically and not grab tactical benefits which are real indeed.