Above: IBM Watson serversTreating AI like it’s a person has its benefits. When IBM named its AI “Watson,” the company hoped people would see it as warm and approachable, a “humble genius” even. According to Ann Rubin, vice president of branded content and global creative at IBM, in a conversation with Adweek, it worked.
2017 was full of technological advances and introductions of cool new gadgets. A common theme among some of the most notable advances and new devices was the integration of artificial intelligence in smart and innovative ways. Despite a handful of flubs, AI-powered technologies still helped make the world a little smarter, kinder, and more innovative this year.
As marketers look into 2018, they see the conversational AI landscape is primed for increased consumer adoption. In fact, in a recent survey, nine out of ten people said they prefer messaging directly with a brand. This year, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon all lean-in to messaging and conversation. In 2018, the big four will make conversational AI the main gateway to communicate with the customer.
Above: A view of downtown Toronto from the CN TowerWhile you were looking the other way, Toronto humbly produced some of the globe’s top artificial intelligence and deep learning experts, companies, and innovations. Now is the time for the city to stand up tall and loudly proclaim what local folks already know: Toronto is at the center of AI innovation and its real-world applications.
Artificial intelligence is an emerging solution for some of the most important problems facing health care today, including medical imaging, clinical decision support, pharmaceuticals, and more. There is clearly significant value in applying AI to medicine, but there are many challenges as well. Who will reap the benefits? How can health care startups make sure their proprietary AI technology is protected? And how do they maintain their AI edge?
Data science is a team sport. This sentiment rings true not only with our experiences within IBM, but with our enterprise customers, who often ask us for advice on how to structure data science teams within their own organizations.
There’s no doubt about it — artificial intelligence is here, and it’s poised to make a tremendous impact on virtually every industry. While many companies already recognize AI as a competitive advantage, this perception will only increase as the technology matures and organizations gain an even deeper understanding of its capabilities and full potential.
Above: Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a town hall question-and-answer session on May 14, 2015.
We’ve spent so long wringing our hands and worrying about artificial and virtual intelligence that we forgot to roll out the welcome mat when they finally arrived.
Above: Cloud computing conceptFrom machine learning-powered fraud defense on Shopify to Salesforce’s Einstein, over the past couple of years, SaaS industry leaders have invested heavily in artificial intelligence R&D and have rapidly acquired AI companies to give themselves a lead over the competition.

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