By Ashith Bolar, Director of Research, Amick Brown

It’s bound to happen:  Artificial Intelligence (AI) will meet Business Intelligence (BI). In fact, in several places, it has already happened. But let’s take some time to see how this convergence is progressing, if at all.

The first decade of the 21st century was all about Business Intelligence. Towards the end of the decade, big strides were made to harness the explosion of Big Data. The second decade has been mostly about fuelling Business Intelligence with the Big Data. Several companies, large and small, have been making very impressive strides in this direction. However, there is still a lot of room for improvements.

On the other side in the world of computing, Artificial Intelligence has been making slow inroads in all aspects of life. In the last 15 years, AI has been creeping up into our personal lives with applications such as Siri, the entire Google ecosystem, and a myriad of social networking applications. All of this is happening without us realizing the amount of AI happening behind the scenes. Artificial Intelligence has moved out of the academic realm towards the daily lives of consumers.

Much of the business community associates AI with machine learning algorithms. While that’s true, it leaves much of AI underappreciated for its real capacity in Business Planning and Data Analytics. There is more to AI than just recommending your next movie on Netflix and making Google give you better results on your web search.

There are several applications and platforms that transform and summarize a corporation’s big data. However, ultimately it’s the humans that consume this summary of data, to make decisions based on higher human intelligence. I argue that this will change over the next decade. If history is any indication of how accurate our predictions of coming technological revolutions are, I would imagine this transformation will happen much sooner than a decade.

Most of us know Big Data and the Internet of Things that has enabled this explosion. Big Data infrastructure does much of the heavy lifting of cleaning up, harmonizing, and summarizing this data. However, the actual process of deriving intelligence and insights is still within the human realm.

Inevitably, the future of Business Intelligence goes hand in hand with Artificial Intelligence.

The new wave of BI software should be able to perform the basics of building data analytics models without human intervention. These systems should be able to generate hundreds of models overnight. The next step is to build systems that not only generate redundant set of models, but also identify the good models – ones that model reality accurately – and weed out the bad models. The third wave of solutions will be the ones that make a majority of decision making for a company.

In the coming posts, we will explore in more details some of the initial attempts of converging Artificial Intelligence and Business Intelligence.