The AI Imperative

aiStudio: incubator for development of state-of-the-art solutions

One thing is sure, Artificial Intelligence makes for great headlines. Once a favorite of futurists warning of dystopian outcomes, over time it has entered the mainstream, with fewer sensationalist reports and more focus on impact AI is having today. Impacts are felt far and wide – economic, sociological, environmental, medical, automotive – just to name a few. AI is the here and now, delivering results through tried-and-tested use cases, as well as providing a platform for expansion into novel applications, such as finding new antibiotics or rapidly prototyping vaccines. While “general artificial intelligence” is for now still a dream, the field of application for so-called “narrow AI” is limited only by our imaginations.

While progress continues to be made in research and academia – capsule networks, generative adversarial networks, semi-supervised learning, or even a reboot of unsupervised learning – it is the creative application of AI that defines the current age. The term artificial intelligence was coined in the 1950s, originally dwelling on deterministic approaches and expert systems. Past approaches have suffered setbacks, unable to fulfill inflated expectations, descending into two AI winters. That could certainly happen again – there is no shortage of media attention and hype. Yet several key differences this time around point to an altogether different trajectory than “winter”: AI has broken free from academia, fueled invention or reinvention of countless products & services, and enabled some firms to substantially differentiate themselves from laggard competitors.

Adoption rate is high in non-regulated sectors awash with data and armed with massive computing power made accessible and affordable through Cloud providers. Regulated industries, conscious of compliance requirements, are slower, but also progressing toward an AI-powered future. Constraints to acceptance, such as the relative opacity of neural networks, are being addressed by clever approaches aiming to shed light on their inner workings.

In fact, adoption is quickly rising to the point where merely use of AI is fast becoming a critical tool for competitive survival – rather than a means to secure a competitive advantage. The pace of change is accelerating, the growth in data volume staggering, the competition relentless. Pundits theorize that AI will impact economies and societies similarly to how the industrial revolution transformed the world at the dawn of the 19th century. Others have likened its impact to the advent of electricity. What the future will bring, nobody really knows. What we can see, is that AI is having a strong impact today, the wind in the sales of data-rich companies, starting with e-commerce and following into more traditional business lines.

Regulated sectors will also want to benefit just as their non-regulated contemporaries have. They face additional challenges, foremost the obligation to provide the utmost transparency to their decision-making processes. This is not a trivial problem: regulations have grown from deterministic, rule-based mindsets. AI is decidedly not rules-based, but derives its capabilities directly from data.

The mindset shift may be slower to take root among cautious regulators, but an AI-powered future is too realistic an eventuality to ignore. AI is becoming so engrained and ubiquitous, that we may someday soon simply regard it as “computation.” Regulated industries will require supplemental measures – such as ensuring fairness, transparency, and “explainability” – but the mindset shift is underway.

To stay ahead, businesses must harvest of one of their most prized assets: information. The problem begins when information becomes so voluminous and complex, that it blinds instead of helping us to see. Which data is useful? Redundant? Reliable? AI technologies are purpose-built for big data. They provide us sophisticated tools to harness, rather than be overwhelmed, by the flood of information.

The aiStudio

Deloitte’s aiStudio is an incubator for development of state-of-the-art solutions in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Founded in 2018, the aiStudio unites top talent from around the globe on a mission to solve today's business challenges through clever application of AI technologies. Its output ranges from research into cutting edge AI techniques through to their application in the form of proofs of concept and, selectively, finished products.

The aiStudio has been carefully designed to capitalize on Deloitte’s strengths – and to combine them with the bold vision and scrappy tenacity of a start-up. Innovation thrives in its international, collaborative and agile environment. The team is driven by a shared sense of purpose, a passion for AI, and intense project focus – materializing in a rapidly growing portfolio of eye-opening solution platforms for Deloitte’s clients.

Deloitte’s clients benefit from the aiStudio in several ways, namely: speed, quality, and cost.

Speed: the aiStudio’s collection of tools, technologies, and techniques enhance capabilities of Deloitte teams on client projects. The aiStudio enhances the institutional knowledge that Deloitte teams so effectively combine with their intelligence, domain expertise, and winning can-do attitude.

Quality: the diversity of resources ensures an inventive edge, the intense focus on developing AI assets, undistracted by internal or external requests, unburdened by admin activities, and unconstrained in a modern, unregimented environment conducive to creativity.

Cost: the critical mass of many Deloitte firms aligned toward common project objectives brings an economy of scale, which translates to more output per hour when these tools, technologies and techniques are put to work solving challenges of Deloitte’s clients.

Talk to Us

We at the aiStudio are always looking for the next challenge, with minds open to novel approaches, welcoming clients from around the globe to tell us about their challenges and how we can use the ever-expanding palette of technological possibilities to make an impact that matters for Deloitte clients. We encourage you to reach out to us, to help us shape our agenda, our project pipeline.

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David Thogmartin

David Thogmartin

aiStudio | AI & Data Analytics

David Thogmartin leads the aiStudio internationally and the “AI & Data Analytics” practice for Risk Advisory in Germany. He has 20 years of professional experience in Analytics and Digitization, large... Mehr