The market for artificial intelligence (AI) technologies is flourishing. Beyond the hype and the heightened media attention, the numerous startups and the internet giants racing to acquire them, there is a significant increase in investment and adoption by enterprises. A Narrative Science survey found last year that 38% of enterprises are already using AI, growing to 62% by 2018. Forrester Research predicted a greater than 300% increase in investment in artificial intelligence in 2017 compared with 2016. IDC estimated that the AI market will grow from $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020.
Coined in 1955 to describe a new computer science sub-discipline, “Artificial Intelligence” today includes a variety of technologies and tools, some time-tested, others relatively new. To help make sense of what’s hot and what’s not, Forrester just published a TechRadar report on Artificial Intelligence (for application development professionals), a detailed analysis of 13 technologies enterprises should consider adopting to support human decision-making.
Based on Forrester’s analysis, here’s my list of the 10 hottest AI technologies:
1. Natural Language Generation: Producing text from computer data. Currently used in customer service, report generation, and summarizing business intelligence insights. Sample vendors: Attivio, Automated Insights, Cambridge Semantics, Digital Reasoning, Lucidworks, Narrative Science, SAS, Yseop.
2.Speech Recognition: Transcribe and transform human speech into format useful for computer applications. Currently used in interactive voice response systems and mobile applications. Sample vendors: NICE, Nuance Communications, OpenText, Verint Systems.
3.Virtual Agents: “The current darling of the media,” says Forrester (I believe they refer to my evolving relationships with Alexa), from simple chatbots to advanced systems that can network with humans. Currently used in customer service and support and as a smart home manager. Sample vendors: Amazon, Apple, Artificial Solutions, Assist AI, Creative Virtual, Google, IBM, IPsoft, Microsoft, Satisfi.
4. Machine Learning Platforms: Providing algorithms, APIs, development and training toolkits, data, as well as computing power to design, train, and deploy models into applications, processes, and other machines. Currently used in a wide range of enterprise applications, mostly `involving prediction or classification. Sample vendors: Amazon, Fractal Analytics, Google, H2O.ai, Microsoft, SAS, Skytree.
5. AI-optimized Hardware: Graphics processing units (GPU) and appliances specifically designed and architected to efficiently run AI-oriented computational jobs. Currently primarily making a difference in deep learning applications. Sample vendors: Alluviate, Cray, Google, IBM, Intel, Nvidia.
6. Decision Management: Engines that insert rules and logic into AI systems and used for initial setup/training and ongoing maintenance and tuning. A mature technology, it is used in a wide variety of enterprise applications, assisting in or performing automated decision-making. Sample vendors: Advanced Systems Concepts, Informatica, Maana, Pegasystems, UiPath.
7. Deep Learning Platforms: A special type of machine learning consisting of artificial neural networks with multiple abstraction layers. Currently primarily used in pattern recognition and classification applications supported by very large data sets. Sample vendors: Deep Instinct, Ersatz Labs, Fluid AI, MathWorks, Peltarion, Saffron Technology, Sentient Technologies.
8. Biometrics: Enable more natural interactions between humans and machines, including but not limited to image and touch recognition, speech, and body language. Currently used primarily in market research. Sample vendors: 3VR, Affectiva, Agnitio, FaceFirst, Sensory, Synqera, Tahzoo.
9. Robotic Process Automation: Using scripts and other methods to automate human action to support efficient business processes. Currently used where it’s too expensive or inefficient for humans to execute a task or a process. Sample vendors: Advanced Systems Concepts, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, UiPath, WorkFusion.
10. Text Analytics and NLP: Natural language processing (NLP) uses and supports text analytics by facilitating the understanding of sentence structure and meaning, sentiment, and intent through statistical and machine learning methods. Currently used in fraud detection and security, a wide range of automated assistants, and applications for mining unstructured data. Sample vendors: Basis Technology, Coveo, Expert System, Indico, Knime, Lexalytics, Linguamatics, Mindbreeze, Sinequa, Stratifyd, Synapsify.
There are certainly many business benefits gained from AI technologies today, but according to a survey Forrester conducted last year, there are also obstacles to AI adoption as expressed by companies with no plans of investing in AI:
- There is no defined business case 42%
- Not clear what AI can be used for 39%
- Don’t have the required skills 33%
- Need first to invest in modernizing data mgt platform 29%
- Don’t have the budget 23%
- Not certain what is needed for implementing an AI system 19%
- AI systems are not proven 14%
- Do not have the right processes or governance 13%
- AI is a lot of hype with little substance 11%
- Don’t own or have access to the required data 8%
- Not sure what AI means 3%
Once enterprises overcome these obstacles, Forrester concludes, they stand to gain from AI driving accelerated transformation in customer-facing applications and developing an interconnected web of enterprise intelligence.
source: Forbes, 1/23/2017
From "click and collect" to "ship from store", the Internet invites itself in all strata of traditional commerce. Forced turning for some, opportunity for others, the integration of the Web is now inevitable.
Gone are the days when physical commerce stood at a distance from e-commerce! Here it is today caught up by the boom of online commerce. Most of the growth in the sector is currently driven by the "click and collect", which puts physical stores at the heart of the global dynamic of brands. While there are many signs of e-commerce, the road has not been easy for everyone. A leader in mail order sales throughout the second half of the 20th century, La Redoute is one of those who have radically changed their model with the arrival of the Internet. The brand to ten million customers today realizes 90% of its sales online and has become a model of adaptation. "The Internet has changed the relationship of our brand with the customer," explains Philippe Berlan, Deputy General Manager in charge of La Redoute's business. It has access to more information about products and deliveries and expects to be served in real time. "
Customer requirements are not diminishing, confirms Philippe Bianchi, CEO and founder of the omnican services platform Proximis: "Customers are very much ahead of the brands and are looking for ever more innovative services. "Expansion of the time slots, delivery on D + 1 or in 24-hour instructions ... La Redoute has for example set up many services to satisfy customer 2.0. "Delivery is a key point in our business of e-commerce," continues Philippe Berlan. The free and fast delivery becomes a means of comparison for the consumer. "
The store is integrated into the e-commerce value chain
Historical actors are not the only ones to take advantage of the possibilities of the Web. New concepts are embedded in integrating these issues. Comptoire de Campagne- formerly Conciergerie Rurale - skilfully combines physical commerce and e-commerce. A first shop opened in Champdieu, in the Loire, last February, with clear objectives: "Use modern marketing and communication tools to benefit local products and services," explains Virginie Hils, President of the young enterprise. The first establishment was chosen according to the size of the market, but also to prevent the closure of the post office of the village, which is now managed by the shop. It offers a whole range of services: grocery, shoe repair, pressing, ironing, alterations, snack service ...
The online shop, launched in September 2016, allows residents to order products they lack, and the store to limit stocks - an e-service area has also been installed in the shop to allow customers to place their orders, but also to print documents or access the Internet. And while the players in the traditional trade are not all as good students, new trends are in this direction. More and more brands today offer the return to the store of products ordered online. The "ship from store", or the dispatch of e-commerce orders from stores, is also on the agenda, explains the CEO of Proximis: "This service will inevitably happen in the distribution chains. But what is the deadline? "
By Camille Prigent, www.lesechos.fr / February 13th 2017
A global network of interconnected devices linked to the internet is about to revolutionise the way we live and work today
Interconnectivity changes things. You can control the temperature in your house while sitting in an airport. Your car can update the maps for its navigation system while sitting in your garage. You can monitor the water levels of rivers in Oxfordshire or reservoirs in California from your couch. You can see pollution levels in the biggest cities in China or Europe on your smartphone.
This opens up the possibility of interconnecting just about anything, from the very simple to the very complex, to offer remote control, monitoring and sensing.
These are all examples of what can be done with the internet of things or IoT – the network of interconnected physical devices such as sensors and actuators in cars, oil pipes, meters, buildings and other infrastructure, linked to the internet so they can exchange data to create new ways of understanding and controlling the world.
The IoT holds huge promise, according to multiple studies. Research company Gartner says that by 2020 it will comprise 26 billion devices, up from 900 million in 2009. By contrast, there will be about 7.3 billion PCs, smartphones and tablets.
“Connectivity will become a standard feature,” says Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner. “This opens up the possibility of interconnecting just about anything, from the very simple to the very complex, to offer remote control, monitoring and sensing.” By 2016, Gartner says, about 43 per cent of large businesses will have implemented IoT in some way.
Birth of the ‘Internet of Things’
The beginnings of today’s widespread use came from work in the late-1990s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which was investigating how devices and sensors could interact and identify themselves using radio-frequency identity (RFID) devices. The British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, who worked there, says he coined the phrase “internet of things” as the title of a presentation for Procter & Gamble where he was working in 1999.
“Linking the new idea of RFID in P&G’s supply chain to the then red-hot topic of the internet was more than just a good way to get executive attention,” says Mr Ashton. “It summed up an important insight.”
That insight, he says, is: “If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things, using data they gathered without any help from us, we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best.”
It’s a grand vision, but it could be realised. Gartner reckons the IoT will generate $300 billion in incremental revenue, mainly from services built on top of software, which will run on cheap hardware that might cost a pound, yet be able to run internet services and exchange data.
The key to the IoT’s success is scalability, building on those cheap devices which will also have low-power demands and could remain in place for years. By using well-known free software such as Linux and connecting to the internet, they can quickly create webs of interconnected devices; the only problem then becomes control, comprehension and security.
Some use IoT interchangeably with machine-to-machine or M2M connections. But, explains Tom Rebbeck, who leads the digital economy research practice at the consultancy Analysys Mason, they’re different. “M2M implies closed systems; IoT is more about sharing and opening of data. So M2M might be a smart meter, which only communicates with the utility company, whereas IoT would be something like a smart city system, bringing together weather and transport and event data to give you travel times,” he says.
Key drivers of IoT uptake
Mr Rebbeck names three key drivers of IoT uptake: regulatory measures, such as the European Union mandating installation of smart meters, capable of reporting meter readings over the internet; well-defined use in large businesses, such as monitoring systems ahead of repair, as happens with lifts and street lights; and growing consumer interest with smartphones and apps that connect to thermostats, heating and alarm systems.
Implementations of IoT systems are already widespread. British Gas’s Hive system, which allows remote control of heating and hot water systems, is installed in more than 100,000 households. The utility company bought AlertMe, an IoT maker which powers Hive, for £44 million in February 2015. That points to uses beyond heating, such as security, smoke detection and lighting, among others. Google-owned Nest internet-connected thermostats and smoke alarms are growing in use.
British Gas has also installed one million smart meters in British homes, which show the householder how much energy is being used at any time and send meter readings back via the internet.
What about cyber security?
However, the rush to deploy IoT systems carries risks as well as rewards. Michael Oh, chief technology officer for TSP, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, warns that the biggest-ever known hack – of the US shopping chain Target, in which 40 million debit and credit card numbers, and personal information of 70 million people was stolen – was enabled via the internet of things. The hackers accessed Target’s computer network via the internet-connected HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems controlled by an outside contractor.
He says current IoT systems are being built with too little regard for security: “It’s like when the Wright Brothers were building planes – they just threw stuff together and they had accidents, but they learnt. And lessons will be learnt in the next five years.”
By Charles Arthur, 30 March 2016 on www.raconteur.net
Here is the first newsletter of INI, SME Cluster dedicated to the digital technology and big data.
Here is the number 1 of the newsletter of the very first group of innovative companies from the worldwide automotive and mobility French cluster Mov’eo dedicated to the digital technology and big data named INI.
If 2016 dedicated the maturity of Big Data for all the economic sectors such as retail, insurance, bank, smart city… 2017 will be the year of the algorithm and its applications.
Indeed without algorithms Big Data is of no use.
From now, it is a question for those companies which understood the wealth of the data which they could collected to be able to give them some meaning and value.
Insurance, bank, automotive, tourism…all these sectors are concerned by this fundamental revolution which will allow the enterprises to develop new products and services.
That’s all part of INI, gathering 4 innovative companies which have developed over more than 20 years an experience in the Internet of connected objects and Big Data. INI aims to share its knowhow with all of these economic actors committed to the redefining of their “customer experience”.
So, let us wish to you all a very happy new year hoping that 2017 will dedicate INI as your future reference partner for your Iot and Big Data projects.
Michel Bodet, Sales Manager, Softeam, Member of INI
Water and Big Data: an alliance which should flow
The UN water report, published in 2015, is alarming: before 2030, the worldwide resource shortage of water (all consumptions included) would achieve 40 %. For companies and water managers of the networks of drinking water, the issues are highly critical: it is about to manage intelligently water ressources, fighting against the waste and water losses. It is one of the biggest challenges for Big Data today: [...]
Big Data, secret agent (or not) of the insurances
In the area of insurance, where data have always been the raw material to forecast and anticipate the risks, the advantage of Big Data is undisputable. Objective: know the customer as precisely as possible to price him the right insurance product the most adapted to his needs [...]
Big Data, the oil of the road transport
Data recording in transport vehicles has been coming on for a while: already in 1920, there was an embedded named device clock Aurorex capable to collect data during driving and rest times! The ancestor of Big Data of the 21th century. Today, a unique vehicle can be equiped with hundreds of sensors. So, in the United States, US XPRESS installed 1 000 sensors in every truck [...]
Smart cities, a key passeport for tourism
There is not only one Big Data of Smart City but several ones. Most of the urban operators have already or are going to launch Big Data projects thanks to the flow of collected information. Smart tourism is booming today : major touristic cities all around the world use digital to boost their attractivity [...]
From surveillance cameras to refrigerators the number of objects connected to the Internet 24 hours a day multiplied. And the risk of diversion too.
At the end of September 2016, a deluge of connections occurred on OVH, the European giant of Internet hosting. It comes from a network of at least 145,000 connected objects, all piloted without the knowledge of their owner, completely disrupting the operation of the servers of OVH, which are saturated. Barely a month later, part of the American Web is shaken by a similar attack. The company Dyn, which provides part of the basic architecture of the network, was targeted by a horde of connected zombie cameras: they have multiplied the connections until saturated its services. Several major sites have been rendered unavailable by this attack, known as "denial of service".
The problem of the security of connected objects, the operation of which can be altered by hacking or whose data can be intercepted, is well known. But the attacks on OVH and Dyn, characterized by the use of connected objects gathered in a remotely controlled network by an attacker, put a third risk on the scene. That of the diversion of objects connected in vast zombie networks able to launch very powerful attacks. This issue was one of the topics addressed at the 9th International Forum on Cybercrime, which ended in Lille on Wednesday 25 January.
Two evolutions explain this renewed concern. Firstly, the multiplication of the number of objects connected to the Internet: it is not only computers and telephones that are provided with a connection to the network, but also surveillance cameras, certain industrial machines and even refrigerators, and this 24 hours a day.
Manufacturers with very diverse profiles
Then, the frequent failures of the manufacturers of these objects to the basic requirements of safety: many of them have too little protections.
In an article published after the attack, OVH noted the frequency of "failures due to defects in their software design, neglect of manufacturers, who often attribute the same default password to all their products, or the negligence of the installers, who do not take the trouble to modify it when deploying them".
Manufacturers of connected objects have very different profiles. The question of safety is more or less a priority for different sectors: essential for a stand-alone and connected car manufacturer, it comes to the forefront for a producer of small cameras a few euros a piece.
The sector also has many start-ups with a very limited security budget compared to the more mature industries. "A lot of connected devices have to get out of the market very quickly, which leaves less room for security," adds Christophe Moret, vice president of cyber security at Atos.
How can I secure the connected objects? OVH, in his September 2016 note, puts forward some technical avenues to solve the problem: "Resisting [attacks] aimed at our customers is our job! [But] what can we do, for example, if the manufacturers of connected equipment do not correct the flaws of their [software], if the resellers do not dare to warn their customers that their hardware is infected? "
Yves Rochereau, director for France of the company Check Point, agrees: "A solution would be to make security from the design of the object", or to be able to automatically and remotely modify the software that equip the products to fill loopholes.
But most experts believe that the effects of attacks caused by pirated connected objects need to be addressed rather than tackled. "If there are abnormal behavior, it is up to the companies to equip themselves. As it stands, we are not able to secure all connected objects, "said Coralie Héritier, head of IDnomic.
Can public power play a role? "A standard on minimum security is inevitable: currently there is no standard on what can be connected to the Internet. States must be more proactive. A French standard for connected objects would be a beginning, although France obviously can not do anything alone, "says Christophe Moret.
In November 2016, the US Department of Homeland Security took over the issue and proposed "strategic principles" to secure connected objects, echoing the suggestions of professionals in the sector.
The latter consider that the situation is pressing, as connected objects are increasingly entering businesses, homes and administrations. It is less the threat of zombie objects than that of a dysfunctional attack that is dreaded. "There are more and more connected objects that have security impacts in vital sectors, for example in transport," warns Coralie Héritier.
Threat to critical infrastructures
The threat of an attack on industrial systems or critical infrastructures is regularly raised, in particular by the public authorities. The computer security of the most sensitive French companies, administrations and infrastructures is subject to a precise legal framework, resulting from the military planning law of 2013.
The future is not necessarily bleak. For Mr Moret, "standards are beginning to emerge: protocols where security has been taken into account are being put in place".
During her hearing on 10 January, before the Committee on Economic Affairs of the National Assembly, Laure de La Raudière, the co-author of a report on connected objects, "Confident": "We are only in the first phase of development of connected objects and the problem is well identified; It will be treated, even if it is not yet. "
More information on http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2017/01/27/le-casse-tete-de-l-securite-des-objets-connectes_5069854_4408996.html#2RxvSzJSgshgMORc.99
The transformation of the industrial sector has begun. Whether it's called Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, or Digitization, companies have begun to use available technologies to completely reimagine their business model.
For companies with the right mindset, Internet of Things platforms and technologies will open up major opportunities for improved asset performance, new service offerings, improved operational efficiency, and completely new ways of offering value to customers.
In this extremely dynamic, complex, and fast-moving space, ARC's Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) analyst team provides the intelligence you need to incorporate the latest IIoT-related developments and best practices into your strategies.
Industrial Companies Need IIoT
With ARC's help, technology users may be able to dramatically improve both asset performance and operating performance through the use of IIoT technologies. IIoT can improve:
- Asset Health & Uptime
- Operating Performance
- Safety and Risk Management
- Worker Experience
- Business Processes
Machinery Manufacturers Need IIoT
Industrial Machine manufacturers can potentially grow their business by introducing digitized products and expanding their aftermarket services. ARC helps machinery manufacturers make decisions about technologies and technology providers, potential new service opportunities enabled by the Industrial Internet of Things, and competitive strategy and positioning.
Technology Suppliers Need IIoT
ARC helps technology suppliers define and implement their competitive strategy for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Our service helps core technology suppliers position their products for industrial markets, identify strategic partners, and target high potential market opportunities. It helps software, automation, and implementation companies to identify and shape high value IIoT solutions for their industrial customers.
ARC provides guidance on:
- Go-to-Market Strategy
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There is not only one Big Data of Smart City but several ones.
Most of the urban operators have already or are going to launch Big Data projects thanks to the flow of collected information. Smart tourism is booming today : major touristic cities all around the world use digital to boost their attractivity. Paris&Co, the economic development agency of the French capital, encourages all these technologies to facilitate the orientation of the tourists in the French capital. Smart city connects the whole town to foreign tourists coming from elsewhere and having trouble to move or who don’t necessarly speak the language : for example, by a customization of the stays and thanks to applications such as WeguideYou or Meetrip, with which tour guides can be booked in advance in a way that the visits are organized to taste of individual cultural background.
In Rennes, for example, Big Data analysis are particularly used to optimize the networks of self-service vehicles available for users or to put in relation certain groups of the population.
In Spain, the BBVA bank realized a mini-site which analyzes the behaviour and the spendings of the foreign tourists during summer. At Santander, more than 20 000 sensors were spread in all the city: the mass of the information collected enables to develop around thirty applications, which offer to the citizens as to the tourists, an accurate information about everything that happens in the city.
One thing’s for sure : from now on, no journey without smart tourism.
The UN water report, published in 2015, is alarming: before 2030, the worldwide resource shortage of water (all consumptions included) would achieve 40 %. For companies and water managers of the networks of drinking water, the issues are highly critical: it is about to manage intelligently water ressources, fighting against the waste and water losses.
It is one of the biggest challenges for Big Data today: shifting from an intuitive management of water resources to a scientific one in real time.
Thanks to GPS, to sensors' networks, to mobile phones, we can already collect with efficiency and at a lower cost masses of data on water systems and assure so an optimization of the maintenance.
Some French cities are going further : Montpellier creates a web portal which aims to consolidate the consumptions and to decrease the time between the location and the repair of leaks.
Montpellier relies on Big Data too to monitor the senior health status by following their consumption of water hour by hour.
But the most advanced are the Netherlands that has one the best monitored water system in the world. Thanks to Big Data and to a revolutionary program named Digital Delta, local authorities are able to take into account extrem meteorological phenomemenon particularly, to better plan the risks of flood, drought, but also the quality of the water, while reducing its management costs of 15 %.
Data recording in transport vehicles has been coming on for a while: already in 1920, there was an embedded named device clock Aurorex capable to collect data during driving and rest times! The ancestor of Big Data of the 21th century.
Today, a unique vehicle can be equiped with hundreds of sensors. So, in the United States, US XPRESS installed 1 000 sensors in every truck.
Permanently connected to the computer system of the operator, the sensors offer an infinite amount of information: driving time, of rest, energy consumption, traveled kilometers, driving styles, passengers number, history of the real time course, the wear of the vehicle, the weather conditions,…
We consider that 150 000 deliveries are realized every day all around the world, putting in circulation more than 90 000 vehicles. With a unique watchword: deliveries always faster at the cheapest cost as possible. The numerous information bring by data became essential to the good development of the large companies of logistics and e-commerce, such as Amazon.
Analyzed and managed in real time, the data allow transport companies to improve the performances of their deliveries and thus to optimize the satisfaction of their customers. The financial gains can be considerable, but not only: Big Data can also be a major asset for the ecological and human environment. Because driving "in an intelligent way” allows not only to reduce the pollution but also the stress to the steering wheel, and to improve so the safety of the drivers.
Smart Cities between Datapolis and Participolis
When it comes to the near future of Humans on Earth, the future that our children will experience - and this is the subject of this essay - literature is obviously speculative and readily theoretical. Francis Pisani avoids this double trap with ease, which is what makes his work quite fascinating. How is it ? These intelligent cities in which several billion people will live one day, he saw the first, embryonic or already formed, in China, India, Asia, Latin America and Europe. As a journalist, he investigated on the spot, questioned the actors as witnesses, prioritized his information and cross-checked his sources, which he did not fail to mention. As a writer, he gathered the pieces of his puzzle and made it appear intelligence. The result is the description, in simple words and in a fluid logic, of what we are going to do - to manage the urban space in which we are going to live.
Francis Pisani is a journalist.
This essay was published in March 2015 by l'Observatoire Netexplo.