AI spy with my little eye: uncovering what AI is, and what it isn’t

4 Jun 2018

by Magnulf Pilskog

The term ‘artificial intelligence’ is on everyone’s lips. But what exactly is AI, and how can it help enterprise architects to flourish?

Were it not for the hype around blockchain - amplified by the stratospheric rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies - then AI would have topped the buzzword chart last year. In 2018, however, AI is set to take its rightful place atop that particular podium. But the term ‘artificial intelligence’ is so broad that it can be difficult to know exactly what it means, and how you can hope to use it to support you in your role.

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What is AI? What is AI in EA?

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are oftentimes used synonymously, as is natural language processing (NLP). But, while ML and NLP are part of the artificial intelligence field, AI also encompasses computer vision (image recognition) and robotics/robotic process automation. Put simply, you can equate AI with anything that makes machines seem smart.

Complementary to AI is the concept of IA (information augmentation), wherein useful non-trivial and non-endemic information is automatically applied to enhance the user experience, or to generate a more contextually complete analysis insight. A good practical everyday example is the augmentation of mapping services with restaurant menus and current offers.

In the context of EA, both AI and IA show significant promise, particularly across graph-based EA platforms, wherein data is by default in structured format, and there is the ability to run automated — even self-learning — graph searches across numerous layers of different datasets, all inter-connected on the same graph.

At Ardoq, we’re at full public commercial scale deploying AI within our EA platform to:

  • Auto-generate crowdsourcing surveys from any data model within Ardoq
  • Auto-complete fields for structured data collection
  • Auto-update visual presentations and perform continuous gap discovery
  • Find duplicated/synonymous data in the data graph for higher data coherence and quality
  • Send smart notifications linking across hardware, application, business process, and business owner levels

We’ve also implemented several uses of IA, including:

  • Dynamic perspectives
  • Conditional formatting

We’re also continuing our investments in our chatbot user interface to combine NLP with powerful graph search capabilities. This will provide answers to complex business questions using natural language, without requiring any platform training. This is ideal for executive level users whose business questions rely on the understanding of complex dependencies.

When to use AI, and what to expect from it

The vast majority of people are in agreement that the various forms of AI application will have a significant transformational impact on how businesses operate going forward. Research has found that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches (Comscore), 80% of businesses want chatbots (Oracle), and Natural Language Generation and AI will be a standard feature in 90% of business intelligence platforms (Gartner).

According to an extensive Gartner study, CIOs are recommended to employ AI to solve challenges in which they lack the resources or worker base to succeed. Furthermore, they are advised to seek AI assistance to achieve objectives where the need is repetitive, but the outcomes vary (for example, when underlying data is subject to change). When comparing these recommendations to the challenges enterprise architects are facing, the conclusion is an obvious one.

The use of AI in EA platforms will help EAs:

  • Crowdsource data from many stakeholders effortlessly, whilst maintaining data quality
  • Run ongoing analysis across complex inter-dependencies, and identify gaps automatically
  • Provide bespoke presentations in minutes that update as data changes for each stakeholder
  • Respond faster to complex business questions, all with a leaner EA team
  • Save thousands of consultancy hours

Want to learn more about how Ardoq can help your business thrive in an increasingly AI-focused landscape? Get in touch today to organise a demo.

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