Brussels Innovators Stress Importance of Accelerated AI Development

Kimberly Surico |
 12/25/18 |
3 min read

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the future – and businesses ready to harness it will capture sizeable chunks of whatever vertical they inhabit. And it looks like Europe is poised to do just that in many key, competitive areas, with sentiment analysis informing steps they take to dominate markets.

Growth Areas

Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) in Europe attended a two-day conference in Brussels recently to discuss technical problems “and develop new products and services for industry, government and others.”

A main focus centered around AI, and how right now is the time for swift action in its development spanning many areas. Why now? The “US have lost their knowledge due to massive de-industrialisation in the last decades and China is not on the European level yet.”

But wait – what are RTOs? They’re “specialised R&D institutions that solve technical problems and develop new products and services for industry, government and others” and they’ve identified five cluster areas primed for growth, including:

  • Climate, energy and mobility
  • Digital and industry
  • Food and natural resources
  • Inclusive and secure society
  • Health

The push for renewable energy, circular resources, new food production techniques, and healthcare will require international research, collaboration and forging partnerships between sectors and companies. And advanced AI.

The race is two-part though, as protecting privacy all around is a key component as well. AI is a hot topic, and privacy is equally so.

Privacy Concerns, Visualized

AI’s lack of security, in general, can seem pretty scary – and until companies have a solid understanding of predictive analytics, they’ll struggle grasping all that Explainable AI (XAI) has to offer. And that understanding will be very necessary in the not-too-distant future.

Explainable AI and predictive analytics are alike in that each reveals patterns in behavior and helps businesses stay one step ahead of trends, crises, and (in the case of AI) hackers: It tells you “what the machine is seeing that is bad, suspicious, or not you.” That intel will allow companies to block attacks and alert those affected much faster than anything possible now.

And it’s timely, as the AI concept (for a significant number of consumers) comes with a lot of disquieting connotations, mixed with excitement. So it’s not only businesses that need to ease in to the AI realm – many consumers will need to be gently and convincingly coaxed to buy in. And this is, of course, critical to its advancement and success:

In the case of marketing, predictive analytics are a solid precursor to mastering this technology. Predictive analytics alert businesses to changing sentiment and can prime a business to get used to moving quickly when new information requires immediate action. And it can show consumers that businesses are on top of the technology they’re using, and that they’re prepared to be trustworthy information stewards.

What better way to generate love for new tech (and your brand) than using it to provide exceptional customer service?

Lloyds Bank, for example, leverages real-time dashboard reporting to monitor and measure developing situations. They confidently and immediately act on sentiment analysis alerts they’ve set to monitor brand health.

Sentiment Analysis or Bust!

This may all sound a bit like the Wild West, Gold Rush days – applied to technology. That’s because it is! Technological advances come with opportunities and dangers for those brave enough to become early adopters and take risks.

The conversation around early adoption gives a sense of the areas under consideration currently, with AI, cybersecurity and lots of variations thereof taking up the lion’s share:

Notably, the Brussels RTOs recognized that early adoption of any ideas required exceptional consumer understanding.

For innovations to be adopted and to realise their full potential, social needs and behaviours are often more important than just economic, political or technological aspects. We need to make sure that those affected by a technological innovation are much more involved in the innovation process. Social innovation becomes more and more important for RTOs.” [bold added]

It would not be a leap to extend this thinking to all businesses, as social innovation is relevant to every consumer interaction, as is analysis of those efforts. Ongoing, accurate sentiment analysis must inform each step a business takes.

And social innovation will be hit or miss without corresponding sentiment analysis , which can lead to some expensive mistakes. You don’t want to be known for those! Best to listen to those RTOs tasked with spotting tech trends and get your social listening in shape for Q1.

We can show you the difference accurate, transparent sentiment analysis makes for business – reach out for a demo!

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