Digitalization continues to be at the forefront of our lives. By now we’ve all heard of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), but whether we fully understand its impact on our lives and professional work is yet to be seen.
AI is the development of machines that carry out tasks requiring human-level intelligence. ML – a subset of AI – is an algorithm that is becoming a cornerstone of AI by observing patterns and enabling deep learning from data.
While both AI and ML have the potential to automate the mundane and repetitive tasks we may face in a day, could these technological innovations take over the tasks that require emotional depth and imagination?
AI and Artwork
As an avid lover of all art forms, I was intrigued by an article I read about the first painting created by AI. It sold for several hundred thousand dollars at a Christie’s auction in New York City.
While AI is being utilized in art, it has yet to mimic and master the creativity that comes from human beings. AI can only create art from the information it was fed or has gathered from the algorithms given to it. Creativity, spontaneity and emotions are some of the most vital forces behind what makes a piece of art stand out, and algorithms do not contain these characteristics on their own.
Art, however, is being changed by the incorporation of AI in other ways. Museums are now able to use technology to predict the preferences of visitors that attend. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MIT, and Microsoft are using AI to figure out what pieces and styles of art a person enjoys based on their social media profiles and preferences found online. This is because AI has the capability to learn.
A recent Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) article demonstrates this by referencing AI’s ability to defeat humans in computer games as intricate as chess. The article highlights the Deep Blue machine, which was programmed to play chess, and how it outmaneuvered chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997. Almost two decades later, the AlphaGo program overpowered master player Lee Sedol in 2016 after studying 30 million moves and teaching itself to play the game “Go”. This is a fascinating example of how far AI has come with its ability to learn on its own – by making calculations, identifying patterns, and taking carefully measured steps.
After AI learns, could creativity come next?
NZZ cites that research for this next wave – creativity in AI – continues, but art, poetry and music cannot (yet) be replicated by a machine.
AI and ML – Our Work at SFS
At Siemens Financial Services (SFS), we’ve incorporated AI and ML into company processes to continue our digitalization journey. By embracing digital disruption, AI and ML will further improve our efficiency.
SFS launched an AI and ML project team to develop a proof of concept ML algorithm to improve internal processes, innovate business models, and drive customer value by changing the game in investment due diligence. This collaborative team of global experts in finance, risk and data science created an algorithm to improve the risk review process. Through AI and ML, SFS’s now trademarked algorithm will work to accelerate the initial review of project documents in the underwriting phase from days to minutes. As we move forward, we’re focused on continuous learning and improvement from frequent testing by our risk management teams while expanding the depth of the algorithm’s capabilities.
I’m extremely proud of our knowledgeable and passionate team who is helping propel our company forward. Afterall, the power of creativity, curiosity and diversity in teams are what make impact in a rapidly changing business environment.
AI and ML have only scratched the surface to the unlimited possibilities shaping the way we enjoy our personal hobbies and approach professional challenges. Yet, these technologies cannot replace human emotional depth, empathy, imagination and creativity.
Only human intelligence and the individual freedom of thought can leverage these technologies into meaningful opportunities for the future. Our thoughts enjoy unlimited freedom.
The beauty is that they cannot be measured or predicted, but remain spontaneous and, therefore, unpredictable as we move forward and understand just how creative AI can be.
By Veronika Bienert, Chief Financial Officer, Siemens Financial Services