Artificial intelligence and cloud computing are merging, creating the means for increased innovation for each industry. While cloud computing still has room to grow in both small and large companies, its large grasp on the market provides enormous amounts of data that can help fuel growth for artificial intelligence. This coming combination of cloud computing and AI will create an explosive mixture that will fuel growth for companies that embrace this technology.
The numbers point to the fact that both cloud computing and AI are vital markets in the upcoming future. Sixty-five percent of early adopters of AI claim that it is “very important to their organizational strategy and success,” according to the IBM study, the cognitive advantage.
Over 50 percent also agree that “AI is essential to digital transformation” and “see it as a ‘must-have’ to remain competitive within the next few years.” As we can see, AI is certainly in the future of tech.
As we’ll explain, AI is helped through cloud computing, meaning that as AI demand increases (predicted to reach $31 billion by 2019), cloud computing increases as well. In fact, the public cloud market is expected to hit $146 billion this year, 2017.
The benefits of cloud computing are clear and already proven, including lower computing costs, increased scalability, larger flexibility, and more. The question now is how merging cloud computing and AI will evolve and what that means for us. The cloud is important to adopting AI initiatives, according to 90 percent of early adopters who were questioned in IBM’s study.
While products like the Internet of Things (IoT) or mobile phones and computers have changed the movement of cloud computing, AI is expected to cause a larger shift.
One of the most recent changes in cloud evolution, according to Gartner analyst Tom Austin, “has involved a combination of cloud and mobile, with smartphones acting as the delivery mechanism for services in the cloud.” Now, the next big advancement is expected to be combining cloud computing and AI.
How does combining cloud computing and AI make both stronger?
Essentially, the cloud represents a massive amount of data that AI can tap into to learn. Simultaneously, AI will be able to provide the cloud with even more data as it's used.
As of right now, Microsoft Azure offers over 30 cognitive services under the categories of vision, speech, language, and knowledge. The application for these cloud-delivered AI products is more numerous than we can count.
Currently, businesses are investing more in the deep learning potential of AI products that can understand and learn from human conversation and speech. The most obvious applications of such are used with products like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri.
The cloud computing giant AWS has already started utilizing AI by adding “predictive analytics -- data mining to forecast trends — to its cloud services, opening up machine-learning algorithms first developed for internal use.”
The potential of artificial intelligence that can learn from an almost never-ending supply of data from the cloud is practically endless. Facial-recognition software can help improve security, documents can be translated correctly without the need of humans, and even simple automated customer service will seem entirely different from what we have now.
The merging of cloud computing and AI can help make these deep learning potentials into reality. The numerous servers around the world connected to cloud computing “hold the data, which an AI can access and use to make decisions.” As the artificial intelligence learns, it can then “impart this new data back to the cloud, which can thus help other AIs learn as well.”
For example, organizations are now “relying on IBM Watson to help fight cybercrime,” teaching Watson what to do if it encounters any criminal activity on the network. As it learns and stores information, it becomes more effective.
The problem that currently exists is that Watson still makes basic mistakes that a human wouldn’t, such as “thinking that ‘ransomware’ indicates a place.” So, until deep learning becomes more evolved, there is still an important role for humans to play.
The fact is that, while both of these technologies could exist on their own, “55 percent of users prefer cloud-based services and leveraged both Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to develop and deliver AI-infused solutions.”
AI has already been adopted for use for product and service innovation, as well as IT automation and business process automation “[echoing] the market trend to infuse AI in every application, platform and process across the business.”
What comes next?
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, believes that “they have now reached a point where [AI and machine learning] will start to have a far greater effect on the company and its cloud customers,” adding that “we will evolve in computing from a mobile-first to an AI-first world.”
The first step for businesses to take advantage of the fusion of cloud computing and AI is by utilizing the public cloud to help provide services to their customers. Gartner’s Aust explains, “You have to use the cloud to access large pools of publicly accessible information.”
As the technology is developing, cloud computing helps AI learn more than it ever could before. While humans are currently still necessary to fix the mistakes of these machines, with deep learning, they won’t be needed for long.
Companies will utilize the quickly growing crowdsourced data available on the cloud to allow their machine learning technology to provide next-level AI with things like facial recognition, conversation, and more.
All of the major IT companies seem to be in agreement that AI “is going to be the foundation for the next layer of programming,” according to Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. He continued to argue that AI will be more important and useful than any other benefit given by cloud computing.
According to many experts, “2017 could be the year when AI becomes a ubiquitous part of our daily lives.” The merging of artificial intelligence and cloud computing and the unprecedented levels of gathering and learning from data will, without a doubt, affect almost every industry.
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