In today’s connected world vast amounts of data is captured and analysed to help improve operations and optimise the citizens experience.

So what is AI and how can this be used?

Artificial intelligence (AI) focuses on making already “intelligent” systems capable of simulating human-like decision-making and execution – enabling those systems to perform functions traditionally executed by skilled human professionals – but do so at a much higher level, because of the speed and power available on modern computing platforms. AI systems can be very simple, like business rules that replicate a simple human decision – or extremely complex – like executing real-time customer “conversations” in a call-centre, while still providing a natural experience to the customer. Advances in data processing speeds, lower costs, big data volume, and the integration of data science into technology has made practical AI a reality for many organisations, and has brought it within reach of many more. Modern customer interaction systems now frequently include actual “learning” – the ability of the system to consistently improve performance through interpretation of historical patterns, actions taken, along and an understanding of what’s considered a successful outcome.

For example, Pega’s Adaptive Decision Manager applies a form of machine learning to continuously improve Next-Best-Action recommendations, by capturing a feedback loop so that the results of previous recommendations can inform future recommendations. Other examples of machine learning include text analytics and sentiment analysis. Pega’s sentiment analysis determines whether a tweet (or any other text) was “positive,” “negative,” or “neutral.” Rather than programming the system to understand the sentiment of a block of text through a complex set of business rules, the system is “taught” by being fed a large number of text blocks and the sentiment associated with each. The system then discovers and builds connections between words and patterns in the text and the sentiment, allowing it to discover the sentiment of new blocks of text.

Is further regulation required?

Data protection and privacy regulations protect citizens, however we all do need to be educated and reminded about data we're sharing and thinking about the organisations we trust. This proposed focus on skills and education is essential and should be shared widely.