We know AI has the potential to transform businesses. But so many companies fail to reap the benefits. Here, we see that a lack of data scientists is often the problem. We show how our unique blend of AI solution provider and data science consulting help.
Artificial intelligence is that rarest of things—a truly disruptive technology. Over the past three centuries, there have only been a handful of technological developments that compare to the potential AI offers. Yet we see so many companies failing to take proper advantage. In this blog, we will look at some of the reasons why this is so and explain why you may be better off turning to an AI solution provider.
Artificial intelligence isn’t a new idea. You can trace it back to the very dawn of the computer age. Alan Turing, often described as the father of modern computing, wrote a famous paper in 1950. Computing Machinery and Intelligence addressed the idea that a computer could become as intelligent as a human. You could test this using an approach he called the Imitation Game, more recently called the Turing Test in his honor. The Turing Test allows you to find out how realistic and intelligent a chatbot is. In essence, the chatbot passes the test if it fools you into believing it to be human.
This form of AI is quite complex, and it’s only extremely recently that chatbots have been able to beat the Turing Test. However, other, much narrower forms of AI are now commonplace. Nearly all of these are based on machine learning (ML). Here, you teach a computer to identify patterns in data and use these to make predictions or decisions about the data. I covered this in detail in a previous blog.
Recap on machine learning
Briefly, there are three forms of ML: supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning. In all cases, you are trying to spot patterns in the data, but they differ in how you do this. In supervised learning, you use known data to train the computer. This is akin to teaching language to a small child using an ABC book. In unsupervised learning, you just give the data to the computer and ask it to find interesting patterns and features. Imagine finding yourself in a new town with no map. You wander around and over time you learn all the landmarks and features and how they fit together. In the same way the computer is finding landmarks or patterns in your data. Finally, in reinforcement learning, the computer uses a system of ‘rewards’ to learn. This is like trial-and-error learning. Imagine a child riding a bike. To start with, the child falls off a lot. But sometimes they manage to pedal a short distance before they fall. Each time they pedal a bit further until suddenly, they are able to cycle without help.
Data science and AI
Modern machine learning grew out of the data science discipline. As the Cambridge Dictionary puts it, Data science is “the use of scientific methods to obtain useful information from computer data, especially large amounts of data.” This interdisciplinary field first emerged in the 1990s. As computers became more powerful and collected more data, we saw traditional statistics start to struggle. Instead, researchers began to develop new techniques to process this data. By the 2000s, we were beginning to enter the era of big data. Such data is characterized by both its sheer volume and, often, by its lack of structure. This is where machine learning techniques began to come into their own.
How a data science consulting firm helps with AI projects
The process of creating an AI solution requires a number of steps. To start, you need to collect together all your data and process it into a form you can use for ML. You then need to choose a suitable AI approach, select an algorithm, and create a working ML model. All this requires you to employ skilled data scientists and data engineers. But you may well struggle to find data scientists—there are very few people in the world with the requisite skillset. Fortunately, you can turn to a data science consulting firm like Sonasoft for help.
Data science consulting firms can help you take your data, plan your AI models, and create a working AI solution. Without this help, you will often spend months and months, but still fail to solve all the problems. Even when companies do succeed in creating a working solution, often this solution is less effective than it should be. You can find that your models suffer from bias. Or your models may be less accurate than they could be. A data science consulting firm will be able to improve your models and give you a better result.
Specific ways we help
There are several specific ways data science consulting will help you.
Planning your AI project. Often, you know what you want your AI project to achieve, but have no idea how to do it. Or you may know AI will assist you, but be unsure exactly how. We can help you to scope your project, plan it properly, and ensure it will succeed.
Transferring data to the cloud. Machine learning relies on having access to data. Often, your data will be spread across multiple systems, some of which might, charitably, be described as ‘legacy’. This data needs to be assembled and transferred to the cloud, so the AI models can work on it.
Processing the data. Your raw data can be subject to all sorts of issues, such as bias, noise, or missing features. Our data scientists can help clean up and preprocess the data ready to create ML models
Analyzing the results. Not every ML model is equal. So, you need to thoroughly assess and fine-tune your models before you can rely on them. Sonasoft consultants can assist you here and ensure your project is more successful
What if I want a complete solution?
Sometimes, you may just want the equivalent of an off-the-shelf AI solution. Sonasoft SAIBRE, our AI ecosystem, can make your life really easy. It helps us take your raw data and use it to produce fully-functional AI applications. These applications can be used for a multitude of business problems. From forecasting and anomaly detection to elastic pricing and customer segmentation.
With our unique dual approach, Sonasoft can ensure that your AI project succeeds. We are an AI solution provider who can also provide you with data science consulting. However complex your needs, we can assist you in taking your project from idea to delivery. Better still, we can usually deliver the finished solution in just a matter of months.