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Everything You Need to Know About the Power of Applied Artificial Intelligence

Friday, August 5, 2022

Sure, Silicon Valley’s success is based on a pioneering mindset and history. But today, it’s mostly flourishing thanks to an amazing ecosystem where major universities, companies, research labs, venture capitalists and investors work in synergy to create tomorrow’s technologies and businesses. At the heart of this strategy lies innovative labs, and everybody is keeping a close eye on one of their developing technologies—artificial intelligence (AI).

What’s applied Artificial Intelligence, exactly?

First, it’s necessary to understand what’s behind AI to appreciate what applied AI can deliver. Gregory Renard, world leader in the field, mentioned how tricky it is to define AI properly on his blog. He highlighted four key characteristics:

  • Systems that think like humans, where cognitive science or a cognitive approach is applied to AI by extrapolating human thought patterns.
  • Systems that act like humans, supported by natural language processing to communicate with the system; knowledge representation to store the info used to answer users; automated reasoning to use stored info and answer questions while making new logical inferences; machine learning to adapt to new situations, detect new patterns and extrapolate; but also computer vision to perceive objects and robotics to move them.
  • Systems that think rationally, still a controversial approach because of AI’s lack of certain human capabilities, such as perception, which are difficult to translate into logic or algorithms.
  • Systems that act rationally to achieve the best results, or in an uncertain environment, the best possible result.

For companies, the value of AI lies in applied AI, which brings the world of research closer to the world of business. More specifically, applied AI focuses on turning lab research work into applied and actionable AI that can be leveraged to solve real-world business issues. Applied AI can help organizations:

  • focus on end-to-end process automation
  • use advanced machine learning techniques
  • have clear performance goals and models
  • have a clearly defined and measurable goal that can create value
  • continuously learn and adapt through regular feedback to improve processes

Why is Applied AI the next big thing?

People once opposed electricity because this new technology sounded scary—fast forward a century and we can’t live without it. Same goes with AI. But companies, entrepreneurs or investors shouldn’t waste years developing their own AI projects. The right move is reaching out to a lab that’s already working on solving issues relevant to their industry. 

Benefits of applied AI include:

●      bringing together companies, investors, and academic research

●      accelerating success for startups or companies through unique insights

●      staying on top of new trends and best practices

●      contributing to the creation of new business models

●      generating new productivity and avoiding wasting time on repetitive or time-consuming tasks

Unleashing applied AI in organizations

Applied AI can automate customer relations, analyze customer reviews, predict and anticipate sales or inventory management, and drive a car without touching the wheel in autopilot mode… among many other things. Applied AI projects can be designed for all activities generating data, and solutions are getting more and more affordable for organizations.

So, who is using AI? Here are a few examples:

  • Andrej Karpathy, a Stanford alumnus, was hired in 2017 by Tesla two years after his PhD to lead the company’s AI department.
  • Alygne is a project led by Gregory Renard that leverages AI to help consumers and investors make the right decisions based on their values. Alygne mines a large amount of information daily to provide a clear picture of a company’s values.
  • AI for Good is a grassroots, non-profit that uses AI to measure and advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on accessibility, inequality, environment, health, agriculture, disability, etc.

RealChange’s Silicon Valley Learning Expeditions have been focusing on applied AI for a long time because it can trigger transformative organizational changes from within. Many participants have been fascinated by Gregory Renard’s presentations, so we’ve decided to launch a new service line to support clients who want to integrate the immediate benefits of applied AI into their strategy for success.


Contact us to learn more!