Staying Ahead of AI

Harshani Perera, 10 June 2020


A few months ago, I thought the greatest threat to our jobs would be Artificial Intelligence and not a tiny virus but then I thought, this too shall pass however AI will not.

Every day AI is becoming more incorporated into our daily lives, it suggests movies on streaming services, provides auto replies to emails or messages, answers voice chatbots and so on. I’ve recently noticed that these suggestions have improved as I occasionally watch the movie suggestions or use the auto replies because it seems human enough and I am too lazy to come up with my own.

Microsoft is leading the AI development by bringing this technology to everyday businesses and making it accessible for everyone whether you are a coding expert, a power user or an end user with no coding experience. The Microsoft AI builder is one such tool that allows anyone with any skill level to incorporate AI into their technology. The AI Builder has models that you can build to carry out Form Processing, Objective Detection, make Predictions, Text Classification etc. all without code in minutes.

The Power Apps framework allows us to build apps quickly with low-code hence power users can create apps for their business needs without extensive coding knowledge and at a lowered cost. Apps can be ready in days or weeks rather than months. You can incorporate AI technology into your Power App by adding AI builder models into it.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Insights incorporates AI to help Salespeople engage more effectively with clients, improve communication with customers, make sales predictions and much more.

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning can help businesses to create machine learning models faster due to its accelerated lifecycle and tools.

So, AI development is getting better. Our jobs could be replaced by an AI and it could be sooner than we thought. But how can we beat a computer? They never get tired or complain! However, one thing we have that a computer does not is our creativity and imagination. After all, always remember that we created it (the computer!).

The IT Industry is constantly changing and will require creativity to stay ahead as simple repetitive tasks can easily be done by an AI machine. One day it could be good enough to write code and test it all by itself but can it find more creative ways of doing a task? Can it question if the task is needed? Can it find alternative ways of doing a task? For example, the AI that has learnt Beethoven’s compositions can create similar music based on the patterns recognised in his works however learning the rules and patterns in the structure of music, could it come up with a completely new genre of music?

So how can we be more creative? The answer to this question came to me whilst I was in the kitchen. One of the easiest ways to invoke your creativity is through the arts. Now when I say Art, I don’t mean only paintings but any activity that involves you creating something new that never existed before such as cooking, sewing or any other craft. Creating art doesn’t mean you have to come up with a masterpiece, it can be as simple as creating a meal, coming up with a new idea or a clever line.

Coming from a science background, the arts were not a big area of exploration except as a hobby. Science is stable, structured and with a set script which I liked. So when trying to apply this method to baking by following the recipe exactly, got me into a bit of trouble when I didn’t have enough ingredients. However, my mum was able to suggest alternative solutions to solve the problems.

From baking, I learnt the value of art. Art is not about precision; it allows freedom, expression and change which leads to creativity. It does not restrict you to a set of rules or instructions to follow. Art will teach you to solve problems in creative ways and society may not give a lot of importance to art however it holds the key to creativity. This was just baking but there are so many other arts that can be explored and applied into your daily routine.

We are a lucky bunch here at Magnetism to have the freedom to explore new ways of doing things, learn new technologies and encouraged to be creative in our work, whether it’s designing the most efficient systems for clients, finding creative and alternative solutions to solve problems quickly, site visits to get first-hand experience of client’s issues etc. Not only in project work but we write blogs, make informative videos, professional development projects to learn new technologies, develop real-world applications or just have fun company outings such as throwing axes, master chef cooking, climbing trees, which aligns with one of our core values of excellence through mastery.

At Magnetism, we have highly creative people who always look for ways to find the most efficient solutions for clients to ensure they receive the best value for their investments. I have awesome mentors and colleagues at Magnetism who support and encourage me to always find effective ways of testing and invoke my creativity.

As you know, nature is efficient as it wastes nothing and recycles everything. If you don’t use your creativity, the brain will decide that it doesn’t need to waste its resources on something that is not used and will remove it so continue to explore the arts, be creative and you will be one step ahead of AI.