Gigaom brings you our unique analysis and commentary on the present and future of AI.
Much of the time when artificial intelligence makes the news, when there's a watershed event, it's often related to games. We all know the story in 1997, of how Garry Kasparov the reigning chess champion was defeated by the Deep Blue, Ken Jennings being defeated by Watson, and Lee Sedol recently being defeated by AlphaGo. We do even see artificial intelligences beat people at poker, which we would think would be a uniquely human game.
The reason that games are so easy for AIs to master is because they are confined universes with very defined goals and with a set of rules. That's why when people ask me, "How do I spot areas to apply artificial intelligence in my business?" I suggest you look at the elements of your business as if they were a game. What aspects of your day-to-day business are a constrained playing field with rules and outcomes that are easy to measure?
You could think, for instance, of HR. You have a pool of employees that get good performance marks, a pool that get poor ones, and a range of applicants. That looks like a game to an artificial intelligence, and it’s those sorts of things that it’s easy to apply the technology to. So that's kind of the takeaway - look for things like games and you'll notice them all around you.