All hail the advent of Augmented Intelligence
The impact of COVID-19 on businesses has laid bare the inter-dependencies and vulnerabilities of a connected and global landscape.
While so many facets of our lives and the economy have been disrupted in recent months, one challenge facing the business community is the overwhelming amount of news, discourse and associated risk management; companies are faced with balancing both information overload, and information scarcity. This ocean of global news and data, coupled with two of the great success stories of the last thirty years - an explosion in computational power, and the advent of machine learning - allows us to approach this new challenge through the power of artificial intelligence (AI). So how can AI help us?
AI allows businesses to surface levels of external data, information and insight that would have traditionally been inaccessible. From analyzing complex content and sentiment to categorising subject matter within documents, AI helps organize information in an understandable format, within seconds of the content being published. This is an impossible task for a human to do without technology, and eminently more effective when combined with human intelligence.
Some of the most powerful and impactful AI tools are those that help or augment the human experience. The idea of AI systems that augment human capability is known as Augmented Intelligence.
Established examples of augmented intelligence evolving today include areas where immediate insight is required over large, complex and frequently unstructured data sets. A radical shift in risk monitoring has for example become possible through AI, where businesses can track unfolding global events to predict disruption and potential crises in real-time.
The publication of regulatory information is proliferating rapidly, due to reach 300 million documents by 2023. Firms large and small are evolving their processes and the way they leverage technology to manage the volume and complexity of changes across multiple jurisdictions – from corporate reputation to tax, ESG and supply chain management.
This means that companies must determine how to streamline insights from the constantly shifting public and regulatory sentiment, and also uncover and track unfolding global news and events to predict disruption in real-time. In this way AI powers insight, and augments the decision making of the C-suite.
We live in an age where looking to non-financial measures to assess the health, quality and values of a business is critical. As stakeholder capitalism - where employees, customers and partners matter as much as shareholders - takes hold, we can look to both ourselves and to AI to help solve this problem. Quantifying trust, confidence, reputation and purpose can have a fundamental impact on the way an organization is perceived. Measuring businesses in this way is increasingly happening as investors use AI-powered monitoring tools to track the ESG activity of an organization to score company performance.
Increasingly, staying abreast of reputational risk has become a litmus test for business leaders and for the C-suite collectively, frequently including the Chief Communications Officer. Communications strategy has gone far beyond simply monitoring the news, and requires real-time insight into sentiment, public perception, and staying ahead of an increasingly dynamic external narrative.
At Signal AI, our platform captures over 5 million news and regulatory items from some 3 million sources, every day. Our AI can evaluate near-infinite pieces in real-time, as they are published. Neural machine translation software now allows communicators, agencies and PR professionals to work with news from any language in the world. Sentiment analysis means the feeling behind every piece of coverage can be automatically detected. AI-powered reach calculations give increasingly accurate estimates as to the number of people that have truly engaged with a piece of content.
Beyond monitoring keywords, our artificial intelligence is built to identify relevant and trending topics and derive connections; we recently trained our AI in the topic of Covid-19, to help businesses globally navigate their new realities. Much like human intelligence, quality artificial intelligence must continue learning new concepts to remain relevant. Here we find the mix of AI and IQ, and the resulting sweet spot of augmented intelligence.
AI is already meaningfully evolving the way we perceive and drive our businesses, from PR & Communications, reputation, risk, ESG, and supply chain risk, to tax and compliance, M&A and business development. Like so many things, Covid-19 has accelerated the need for timely and deep insights that can fuel critical business decisions as the world’s reality continues to unfold. Augmented intelligence may have arrived to take this forward just in time.
This article was contributed by Matt Brown, President, Americas & Asia-Pacific, Signal AI
Signal AI is a fast-growing artificial intelligence company creating pioneering AI solutions to enable better decision making. It believes AI is one of the most exciting and significant technological developments of our time. Signal AI’s pioneering platform enables organisations to track defined challenges in real-time. From competitive landscape and changes in regulation to monitoring reputation or supply chain, the Signal AI platform gathers the relevant data and applies its proprietary machine learning analysis, in turn empowering smarter and faster decisions. For more information on the Signal AI platform, visit the Signal AI.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.