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Getting Started With Artificial Intelligence

It's clear that Artificial Intelligence (A.I) is here to stay, but what does that mean for you and your company? In this blog post we unravel the importance of A.I, Machine Learning and Data Analytics and offer a straightforward way that you can apply AI within your own business almost immediately.
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Getting Started With Artificial Intelligence

It's clear that Artificial Intelligence (A.I) is here to stay, but what does that mean for you and your company? In this blog post we unravel the importance of A.I, Machine Learning and Data Analytics and offer a straightforward way that you can apply AI within your own business almost immediately.
Man interacting with screen visualising data through graphical imagery.

In 1997, before most organisations had a website, IBM released a television commercial that depicted two American executives sitting in a well-appointed boardroom. One executive is reading a newspaper, the other is typing on a laptop. 

“It says here that the internet is the Future of Business” says the guy with the newspaper. Then after a moment’s thought, he declares “We need to be on the internet.” 

“Why?” asks his colleague. 

Newspaper Guy turns back to the article, reads it again for a few seconds and then replies, “It doesn’t say.” 

Fear of Missing Out on Artificial Intelligence

Right now, all across the country, there are similar conversations taking place about Artificial Intelligence, or AI.  

While it is impossible now to imagine a commercial organisation not having a web presence, many believe that in years to come AI will be similarly entrenched, if not indispensable, in business operations of all sizes. 

The term AI is everywhere, with millions of words in newspapers and trade journals being expended on how AI will revolutionise business practices and change the commercial landscape for ever. 

Many business owners will be looking at this tsunami of opinion, feeling worried they could be missing out on the AI opportunity and wishing they could get involved, but like our friends in the pre-millennium IBM C-Suite, they have no idea of how to do it or even why they should. 

A.I for Data Analytics

One of the most straightforward and potentially lucrative ways to get started with the rudiments of AI is to apply it to business data analysis. 

Sorting and analysing data to make informed assessments on performance is something that all businesses need to do. Machine Learning – a subset of AI – can help. 

Machine Learning makes use of data to train computers in sifting and rationalising business information – from overdue invoices to factory output – and even adapts their behaviour independently, without being explicitly told what to do.  

This allows your IT infrastructure to be more adaptable, scalable and able to respond to new scenarios and new inputs with minimal human interaction. It also means that they can unearth patterns in data that humans may never have anticipated.  

Why Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a type of Artificial Intelligence that allows computers to learn independently from examples and experience. This ability to learn is very different from human programming, the usual form of computer instruction. 

Traditionally, computers must first be given instructions to carry out a given task or operation and whilst this is accurate and reliable, it isn’t very flexible. If the required task changes, then the instructions need to be updated, and the required programming can be costly and time-consuming. 

But with the help of Machine Learning, a much broader and more versatile digital ally becomes available.  

Machine Learning is an exceptionally powerful tool, and in addition to its well-known data analysis purposes, it is also used for numerous other aspects of modern life like spam filters, video transcription, character recognition and personalised adverts.  

The great news is any business can now buy off-the-peg Machine Learning products and start using the technology straight away at minimal expense. (Google “Machine Learning tools for Data Science” to get a flavour of what’s available.) 

Develop your A.I knowledge with BCU

Want more information before taking the step? Birmingham City University is offering an introductory Short Course in “AI for Data Analytics” which starts on October 10th.  

Featuring an introduction to a variety of data analysis modes and practical examples of how Machine Learning (and its even more sophisticated cousin Deep Learning) can uncover valuable commercial insights from information you have already collected, the skills you will learn represent an important forward step in your AI journey. 

To register an interest in the course and to be notified first when the online enrolment portal is available, simply complete and submit an Expression of Interest form by clicking the button below. 

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