What do you think of when you hear the word “artificial”?

Artificial ingredients. Artificial color. Artificial sweetener.

Everything sounds like a second-rate, weak-kneed imitation of something good.

Prepare to be shocked. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is actually starting to be better than the real thing (us humans) and it’s happening at warp speed.

Remember in 1996 when IBM’s Deep Blue computer was programmed for 10 years before it could beat chess master Garry Kasparov? And in 2011 the IBM computer, Watson, won $1 million against the best Jeopardy contestants only after digesting 5 million books and magazines. But just last year a Google computer called AlphaGo beat the best Go master – an ancient Chinese chess game — with methods that have startling implications for the future of machine intelligence. It actually learned by training on 30 million expert moves and then playing millions of games against itself – teaching itself as it went.

Today we have AI all around us, in our smart phones, our cars, our thermostats, and our home appliances. And they “learn” when you come home, what temperature you like, where you work, what route you drive, whom you speak with at work, whom you talk with after work and much, much more.

That doesn’t mean computers are ready to be engage in common-sense reasoning, attain knowledge in multiple areas, feel, express and understand emotions. But they are improving faster than most people realize and promise to radically transform our world. They are tools, not a competing form of intelligence. But they will reshape what work means and how wealth is created.

All of these technologies raise deep policy (and downright philosophical) questions about their impact across every segment of our life, spanning legality and liability, certifications, agency control, innovation and privacy, labor and taxation. And of course, our economy and jobs. AI will likely replace tasks rather than jobs in the near term and will also create new kinds of jobs. But many experts believe the new jobs that will emerge are harder to imagine in advance than the existing jobs that will likely be lost.

Want to see what these changes can really mean? This recent CBS 60 Minutes report captures much of what has been done – and what is coming.. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/artificial-intelligence-positioned-to-be-a-game-changer/

No single blog can begin to touch all the aspects of AI and how it will affect our healthcare, farming, environment, economy and education. Stay tuned for more thoughts and insights in future entries.

And thanks for reading.

About the Digital Transformation Series:

Over the next few months Applied Tech President and CEO Kurt Sippel will be exploring “Digital Transformation” in a series of articles with the hope to inform, educate, and discuss its many different facets. Digital transformation is the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way, with present and future shifts in mind. Kurt will explain how this effects your business, how to best prepare and how to leverage the technology to get the upper hand on your competition.

If you would like to be notified of the upcoming articles sign up below!

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About Kurt Sippel:

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