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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been impacting the world at a rapid pace. It marks the beginning of a technological revolution that can significantly alter the course of human history. The growth of AI is rooted in the three core pillars encompassing Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML) and Robotics.

Warnings about AI are persistent and strong. They foretell the probable implosion of the human civilization. Nevertheless, we feel attracted to the beneficial changes that AI brings to our daily lives and to society at large.

What is AI?

Techopedia defines AI as "an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and reacts like humans." Therefore, the act of simulating human intelligence is the fundamental essence of AI. The AI technologies are super-progressive because they are capable of learning, improving and making decisions in the same way as us human beings.

The Need for AI

At present, we produce a mind-boggling amount of data. In fact, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created daily. The growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is accelerating the generation of this data. According to the MIT Sloan Management Review, the convergence of big data and AI is "the single most important development that is shaping the future of how firms drive business value from their data and analytics capabilities." These firms understand how to combine data savvy and powerful AI capabilities into strongly differentiated solutions to deliver outstanding market value.

Considering the multi-faceted nature of modern businesses, the commercial systems that are being developed must be learning and progressing. AI's distinction lies in its ability to adapt to the needs of businesses. The AI technologies learn from data. They analyse critically to provide subjective and user-specific services. Hence, businesses have been looking for smart AI solutions. Over the years, AI has been gradually integrated into business processes.

AI is the new user interface. In 2011, Apple first released Siri that was soon followed by Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana and Google's Assistant. Tesla is using AI to develop the self-driving technology. These few examples are pieces of evidence of market and customer insights, virtual assistance and enhanced customer experience offered by AI-adapted implementations.

The Growth of AI

Technology seemed to have reached the pinnacle of success until the untapped power of AI was unleashed. The world of technology is now bursting with information, new ideas and exceptional innovations. As technology has progressed from cloud computing to blockchain, we have been able to understand and utilize the applications of AI. Nowadays, we explore and experiment with powerful tools like analytics and behavioural research without having to rely on a few decision makers.

AI is constantly evolving. It has transformed every type of organization, whether it is a multi-national company or a football club. Experian, a credit reference agency, uses AI to process vast amounts of data. Thus, it can make faster and more plausible decisions based on credit scores and similar metrics. American Express follows in line by detecting frauds and scamming with the power of AI. Volvo, an automobile company, uses AI to create benefits for both customers and society in terms of energy efficiency, safety and productivity. The Wingate & Finchley football club has been developing an AI-based coach that communicates with the team using Amazon's Alexa.

A Notable Pioneer of AI

We have to thank the brilliant minds who have contributed to the growth of AI and automation. Krishna C. Mukherjee is an industry leader and a senior professional from Microsoft. As a Chief Software Architect and Engineer for Microsoft, he played a pivotal role in the architecture, design and development of the famous products: Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and Visual Studio. During his illustrious professional career spanning for more than three decades, Mukherjee has made stellar contributions to the advancements of business and technology.

In the 1990s, Mukherjee revolutionized personal computing and improved programmer productivity.  He introduced AI at Microsoft. He built features such as AutoCorrect, AutoFormat and Office Assistant in Microsoft Office. He also designed the IntelliSense features in Visual Studio. Subsequently, he invented the ground-breaking AI technology called the "Intelligent Filing Manager" (INTELLIFM) to automate enterprise workflows and greatly improve the efficiency of organizations. He created AI-based architectures to dynamically generate graphical user interfaces from high-level, natural language like specifications and intelligently control the user interactions. He introduced agile software development with cross-functional teams. He oversaw the creation of the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) technologies. WPF and XAML are used to develop high-performant and easily maintainable applications with a rich user experience.

In the 2000s, Mukherjee used AI to popularize cloud computing. He established the "Software as a Service" (SaaS) model to automate the execution of business transactions on the Internet or the cloud. He disrupted financial technology (FinTech) by creating the SaaS product called "Bloomberg Valuation Service" (BVAL) that was launched in 2008. BVAL uses quantitative algorithms and AI to provide defensive, rigorous and transparent valuations for millions of financial instruments across multiple asset classes.

In 2012, Mukherjee created the AutoPay platform that allows payments to be scheduled and made automatically by using electronic checks, debit cards and credit cards. AutoPay helps customers and also increases on-time payments for businesses. Since 2016, Mukherjee has incorporated AI-based recommendation engines into omni-channel retailing applications to offer personalized ensembles of products to shoppers. Moreover, he has been designing interactive voice response (IVR) and chatbot systems that enable businesses to provide excellent customer service and reduce operating costs.

AI is a potent crescendo in the timeline of humanity. The future of AI has the potential to change the world. With applications such as smart cars, face detection and speech recognition already in place, the best of AI is yet to come. Krishna C. Mukherjee and pioneers like him have ushered the Fourth Industrial Revolution in which AI is redefining our way of life.

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