The Increasing Expansion Of AI In Business And Government -- Insights From AI World


It’s clear that artificial intelligence is making its presence widely felt across a broad range of industries, organizations, and government sectors. The momentum continues since last year’s AI World event in Boston with many of the organizations represented deepening their investments and deployments of AI, machine learning, and deep learning technologies.

AI Expanding Its Role in Healthcare

AI is making its presence felt deeply in the healthcare, medicine, and life sciences. At the event, a broad range of speakers shared insights and real-world examples in which AI is being applied to healthcare and life sciences. Sandy Aronson, Executive Director of IT at Partners HealthCare Personalized Medicine shared how AI-powered insights are being used to improve the "last mile" of care delivery. Erica S. Shenoy, MD, Ph.D., Associate Chief, Infection Control Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital spoke on the use of AI to improve the detection and treatment of infectious diseases such as Clostridium difficile. Aalpen A. Patel, MD, Chair, Department of Radiology at Geisinger Health explained how AI-powered computer vision is being used to assist with medical imaging and radiology use cases, including the detection of skin cancer.

Other notable talks and sessions included one from Katherine Andriole, Ph.D., Director of Research Strategy and Operations, MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science and Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School explained how AI-enabled healthcare applications are gaining clinical adoption. Adam Landman, MD, Vice President and CIO at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Karim Botros, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer of The MetroHealth System, and Mary Margaret Jacobs, Director, Capacity Management, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, explained how AI and machine learning technologies are being adopted across different situations in healthcare diagnosis and delivery.

The Government Goes All-In on AI

At AI World, we heard from a number of government agencies, organizations, and contractors about how AI is being implemented across many different use cases. Earlier this month, the White House announced that it launched AI.GOV as a way of uniting all the US Government’s efforts under one umbrella. In addition to encouraging adoption of AI and spreading best practices among agencies, these initiatives include thought-leading AI training and certification aimed at speeding the delivery of AI services in the government. Clearly, AI is part of the larger picture for how the US sees itself maintaining its competitive edge in a world where other governments are deepening their own AI investments.

The event included an AI in Government panel, a precursor to the upcoming AI World Government event this June that focused on the use of AI to enhance services to constituents, increase the efficiency of government workers, reduce the cost of operations, and accelerate digital transformation efforts at federal, state, and local governments. Speakers represented a number of firms including MITRE, Deloitte Consulting, NCI, and others. Attendees took away how AI will continue to give government the edge it needs in a world rapidly accelerating in its AI adoption.

AI Across a Wide Range of Industries

In addition to hearing about strategic AI initiatives in government, attendees heard from speakers from a wide range of industries such as automotive, finance, insurance, and banking who talked about their unique applications of AI and machine learning. Wells Fargo shared how they are using AI to transform customer experience, operations, and risk management. The company shared its approach to AI through a centralized cross-functional team aimed at accelerating the adoption of AI throughout the organization. In addition, companies including Nielsen, Broad Institute of MIT, and Uber shared their AI implementation strategies, focusing on gaining broad adoption for machine learning and AI within their organizations.

Some of the highlight talks and sessions from the event included Deeksha Joshi, Managing Director Corporate Strategy and Research at Liberty Mutual Insurance sharing insights into how data analytics best practices are being applied to make AI more reliable and value-driven for the organization. Ken Hatano, Chief Specialist of Software & AI Technology Center at Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation shared how AI is being used to improve the intelligence of facilities and realize some of the goals of an intelligent Internet of Things (IoT). Additionally, panelists including John Roese, CTO at Dell Technologies, and James Kuffner, CEO at Toyota Research Institute Advanced Development (TRI-AD) shared insights into how AI is being used as a strategic enabler for the automotive sector.

Another talk to note was from Srinivas Krovvidy, Director, Advanced Analytics Enablement, for Fannie Mae who shared how AI was being used to improve the reliability of financial data and assist with increased service capabilities for the organization. William Kinlaw, Senior Managing Director at State Street also dug deep into how AI is changing the way that financial services are being delivered.

Greater Focus on AI Safety and Responsible AI

Another trend heard loud and clear at the event was how organizations and government agencies are addressing concerns of AI safety, responsible, and explainable AI (XAI). Talks by John Griffith of MITRE and Francis Govers III of Bell Helicopter provided insights into advancements in transparent and reliable AI, as well as how to apply safety and certification standards to the deployment of AI systems, and research being done in XAI.

At the conference, we also heard talks about AI ethics and bias. Ser-Nam Lim, Ph.D., Research Manager at Facebook shared how the company is working to ensure the safety of its platform and how machine-learning data is being trained and used in the process to protect its platform as well as continue to provide useful features for Facebook users. Kesha Williams, Senior Software Engineer at Chick-fil-A Corporate shared how AI systems can be improved by removing bias from machine learning model training data sets, and shared how to build systems that are bias-free.

These insights are just a sliver of the activity happening across a wide range of industries using AI. It’s clear that companies have transitioned from talking about AI and machine learning in theory or in small experiments and are beginning to broadly adopt AI implementations that are at the core of how businesses, organizations, and agencies operate.

Ronald Schmelzer, columnist, is senior analyst and founder of the Artificial Intelligence-focused analyst and advisory firm Cognilytica, and is also the host of the AI Today podcast, SXSW Innovation Awards Judge, founder and operator of TechBreakfast demo format events, and an expert in AI, Machine Learning, Enterprise Architecture, venture capital, startup and entrepreneurial ecosystems, and more. Prior to founding Cognilytica, Ron founded and ran ZapThink, an industry analyst firm focused on Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Cloud Computing, Web Services, XML, & Enterprise Architecture, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in August 2011.