Deep Thoughts #1
Applications and implications of deep learning in business
March 06, 2017
Why is it important news that a computer won a poker tournament against the best (human) players in the world? It doesn’t seem as extraordinary anymore, does it, after knowing that computers have already beaten humans in chess and, more recently, in Go.
Well, it’s very important, as it marks a huge leap in artificial intelligence in the last couple of years, and is a demonstration that systems can now independently learn optimal strategies without being explicitly programmed by people to do so. In the game of Go, AlphaGo lost the first game, but learned from its mistakes and won the next four games in the row. Winning a poker tournament is even more impressive, because in poker some cards are hidden and humans are being – humans – they bluff. But even that is no longer a big problem for computers.
Simply put, computers have become better than humans in areas where, until recently, they could not measure up. This is all thanks to the synergies of large amounts of data, increasing processing power, as well as the progress in the machine learning algorithms, primarily the deep learning.
These examples might all be fun and games, but this technological advancement has huge implications in business, but also life in general. It generates many questions, such as which jobs will be lost, which will be created, how can we exploit this potential and, at the same time, protect ourselves from its negative influences?
We tried to give some answers at the innovation center HUB385 in Zagreb, at the first in a series of Deep thoughts events, dedicated to the use of deep learning for business purposes. We also invited decision-makers from various industries, so that we can take a look at the topic from a number of angles.
Davor Runje, CEO of DRAP, gave the introductory lecture about the most significant results and possibilities of deep learning, which was followed by three panels:
- New interfaces, particularly speech recognition and generation
- Intelligence augmentation, techniques that enhance the cognitive capacity of humans
- Artificial intelligence, replacing the humans
Each panel featured current best examples of practical application of deep learning, with panelists discussing how they see the impact on their respective industries.
Ivan Kovačević, Digital marketing director, Agrokor, gave his view on how voice technology will impact the retail industry. Marijana Knežević Tudić, Project manager, Kraš, is convinced that voice communication is much better than smartphones and tablets when it comes to preschool children. Božidar Pavlović, Managing director, Erste Group Card Processor, provided insight into what technologies are being developed and used in the financial sector, reminding us with the example of PhotoPay that small business from this area can also be globally relevant.
Luka Baranović, Director of Customer Experience Management, Hrvatski Telekom, let us know how service design, alongside technology, is being used to improve services. Hajdi Ćenan, Executive director, DRAP, showed examples of how cognitive technology is already being used in restaurants, while Luka Duboković, Managing director, BBDO Zagreb, commented what impact could the automatic generation of creative concepts have onto the marketing communication industry.
Tihomir Šašić, Program manager, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, IN2, let us know what are the applications of autonomous aircrafts (a.k.a. drones), and Sacha Vrazic, Head of Autonomous Driving R&D, Rimac Automobili, explained what are the current major challenges, but also possible solutions, in creating a self-driving car.
The discussion was lively, supported by the students of machine and deep learning courses that are being held on our WeCliqued platform. We believe that this great combination of people with deep technical insight and practical skills, and people with broad insight into the operations of their companies, resulted in a clearer view of the exciting future that lies ahead.