Artificial intelligence is playing a larger role in the workplace today. Companies across all different types of industries are figuring out how AI can best improve business practices, whether it’s through automation, optimization, or consolidation of complex data processes. The goal is to eliminate redundancies and give employees the power to do more.
The future looks bright for knowledge workers. At AI Summit New York, AlphaSense Founder and CEO Jack Kokko outlined some of the biggest challenges knowledge workers face today, and the role AI can play in improving productivity.
“AI is really good at narrowly-defined tasks and can do them really well,” Kokko said. “There are many untapped opportunities to leverage AI for knowledge workers.”
Knowledge workers “think for a living” and are constantly inundated with new information from a variety of fragmented sources, particularly those working in financial services, consulting, or a wide swath of roles in corporations. The sheer volume of information available is difficult to read, assess, and analyze in a meaningful way. Key pieces of market-moving information fall through the cracks, or aren’t discovered quickly enough to have an impact on decision making.
When researching trends across multiple verticals, industries, and regions that often use different language or terminology to describe the same thing, it doesn’t matter how how smart, well-trained, or prepared you are. You’re set up to fail when the volume of information you’re expected to process surpasses human cognition.
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“There are thousands of ways to talk about one single business topic,” Kokko said. “Language variability means you have to think about the many different ways to talk about a concept to capture every relevant instance.”
With traditional research in legacy platforms, this means manually conducting individual queries, and hoping you took all relevant keywords you needed into account. With the potential for thousands of variables, this puts you at risk for missing out on key information that has a real impact on ROI.
Artificial intelligence can help ease the burden by augmenting traditional search in a way that better serves knowledge workers.
“What AI enables here is the ability to map human language,” Kokko said. “You can correlate different terms in ways that are related to each other, and build language understanding into machine algorithms.”
Augmented search technology has the ability to identify, aggregate, and curate all relevant terms tied to a particular search. This means more thorough results without having to worry about missing something due to human error.
Once you start to add various layers of intelligence, mapping out human language, and applying it to different entities (like industries and companies, trends, topics) you can start to filter a full scope of information down to key data points to help solve business problems.
“That’s when you start to see something that’s really impactful for knowledge professionals,” Kokko said. “You are able to make decisions with clarity and confidence, and that leads to some real business insight if these highly-paid knowledge workers lead the company down the right path.”
“They’re saving time from grunt work machines can now help them do,” Kokko added. “Instead, they’re thinking and generating ideas; catching risks early, reacting to them; and knowing their customers better. What this leads to is better business outcomes.”