As artificial intelligence (AI) rises, so does the number of tech providers. Startups and veterans both have their roles in the advancement of technology, but market winners will be those whose core businesses align with the end game.
We spoke with Creative Strategies analyst, Carolina Milanesi, author of Is not being Google a Competitive Advantage?, about her take on the much-hyped AI market, or, as she calls it—the "latest tech battleground".
"There's a lot of talk about AI, but we are still at the very beginning. A thirst for new platforms, must be balanced with known companies such as HERE, whose core business, pedigree and latest backings make it a trusted source," she says.
She describes a new business model for the AI market where providers of services evolve into delivering a platform for all. In HERE's case, maps as a service help navigate from point A to point B, but the new open location platform, enables an ecosystem of partners, helping create the necessary infrastructure for autonomous vehicles - self-healing maps for instance.
Still, Carolina notes, map building is key to the future of AI. "Take drone delivery; the devices will need to know where my house is versus my neighbor's house," she says, "just as cars will need to know where stop signs and one-way streets are. For driverless fleets to be realized, ever-changing maps will need to be ever updated. HERE is laying a lot of the groundwork for AI, gathering data that will help computers learn, and, eventually, learn how to learn on their own."
Along with technology solutions, AI requires consumer education, according to Carolina, and if autonomous vehicles are to be realized, people will need to trust in them.
"Consumers think about connected cars as AI, but they don’t realize how much artificial intelligence is already in the car versus how much more will be in a highly-autonomous vehicle," she says. "Some in-car enhancements today, appear to be magic. That’s fine; consumers don't need to understand how their map knows there's traffic ahead. But, in order to create a higher level of trust, companies will need to educate as safety features evolve."
In the new tech war, when looking for an AI partner, Carolina suggests asking: What is the provider’s core business? Does it align with your goals or will it eventually limit what you are trying to achieve? She points out that core "business" and core "competence" are not always the same thing.
"For example, Google is good at many things, but its core business is advertising and essentially everything the company does is to help grow that business," she says. "This mission may not align with an enterprise’s need for security."
So achieving success in AI may not just depend upon prospective vendors mastering the technology, but also in aligning their business goals with those of their customers in order to attain the required level of trust.