AI is Not What You Think It is

How Qlik aims to create a relationship between the user and machine intelligence

AI is Not What You Think It is

Over the past few years, numerous analysts have predicted that “Smart Data Discovery” will represent the next wave of disruption in the analytics market, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically analyze information and generate insight.

The potential for this to significantly alter the analytical landscape with capabilities such as automated data preparation, natural language processing and generation, and advanced statistical analysis of information for pattern recognition, correlation and outlier identification seems almost too good to be true.

This is where I believe caution and a slightly different approach is required. The customers I talk to are focused on driving value right now and on delivering on their individual, team and organizational goals. At the same time, while the volume of data, computing power and desire of individuals to work with data is increasing exponentially, they are constrained by the data literacy of the wider organization. This is why, at Qlik, our approach centers on the user, and we build our products to support the human analytical process – helping as many people as possible to generate insight and value across an organization to meet their goals. While there is no doubt that machine intelligence offers many new possibilities that will significantly enhance the analytical process, we don’t believe that machine intelligence will ultimately replace user driven visual analytics with a black box approach, at least not any time soon. So, to drive value now, we believe that smart data discovery capabilities should work in combination with human centric analysis and exploration, to satisfy the full range of users and use cases in an organization. And when machines and people work together, it creates a multiplier effect. That’s why we call this new category Augmented Intelligence.

We believe that there is a difference between Artificial Intelligence and true Augmented Intelligence. Our goal is to make people smarter using machine intelligence without restricting them to predefined questions or analytical frameworks dictated by the machine. Sometimes machine intelligence can point out statistically derived insights that prompt users to look at things differently, and ultimately remove bias and broaden knowledge. However, other times users will anticipate and explore ideas using intuition, knowledge, and context the machine doesn’t have. Best in class solutions will enable both to work together, to create a relationship where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Check out #Qlik's James Fisher's analysis on how to build a relationship between the user and machine intelligence

Another way to think about it? The Starship Enterprise would have not made it beyond its first mission had it not been for the combination of Spock and Kirk…


Our strategy going forward, and which we announced earlier this year, is to enhance Qlik Sense with a range of machine generated insights and suggestions, surfaced across all three phases of the analytics life-cycle (data preparation, exploration and analysis, and collaboration). This includes new smart data preparation capabilities, advanced algorithms and services for processing data and suggesting insights, and natural language search and communication for easier access by more users. It also includes the inherent ability to extend our platform and embed insights in downstream applications and workflows using our open APIs to drive new ways to interact with data, like for example conversational analytics. I’d urge you to check out our CTO Anthony Deighton talk about it at our 2017 global customer event – Qonnections where he showcased some exciting new prototype applications built on our cognitive rules engine.

Over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to demonstrate these same applications with customers all around the world, and the light bulb moments as people lean in is exciting. There is no doubt that the promise of AI is huge, but to drive value now, and to benefit from the multiplier effect, I believe this approach will be the dominant model that emerges. Remember, Qlik was here first.

 

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