AI IN EDUCATION: 5 Reasons Why Artificial Intelligence is the Way to Go in Education

Think of the days you were in school – a phase of learning, playing and growing that remains etched in our minds for the rest of our lives. While one often completes his/her formal education during one’s youth, can we so rigidly restrict learning and education based on one’s chronological age?
Pause your reading for a moment and look around you. Chances are you learnt something new even within this one moment of reflection! Learning is always a continuous process and education certainly extends beyond the four walls of one’s school and university. And as the world progresses and develops, it is also extremely crucial for each of us to update ourselves in accordance with the ongoing changes. This is where Artificial Intelligence steps in. As the world is increasingly transitioning into a global village, why not let AI contribute in its big little way to globalizing education and introducing innovative learning tools?
We’re back with a blog; and today, it’s time to take a look at the integral role of AI in the education sector:

1. ‘CAUSE TEACHERS ALSO NEED ASSISTANCE IN ASSESSMENTS…

A substantial amount of time is invested by teachers every semester on correcting exam papers and assigning grades. This monotonous and hectic task increases their workload. It also leaves very less time for other primary activities such as lesson planning and thinking of innovative teaching strategies. Enter AI! Yes, there may be certain limitations to the domains AI can cover to assist grading. However, grading tools including Gradoscope are now being adapted in order to help tutors and instructors with grading exams and even homework on the AI platform. Moreover, it also ensures that students receive their results faster and with increased accuracy. Gradecam is another platform that can be used by students to simply write down answers to multiple-choice questions. Following this, the technology compares the student’s answer to the correct one provided in the answer key and assigns grades accordingly.

2. ADMIT IT: THE ADMISSION PROCEDURE IS AS TIME-CONSUMING AS IT’S CRUCIAL!

Every academic year, the admission procedures are nothing short of an elaborate ceremony for schools and universities across the globe. Whether it is enrolling new students on board or promoting existing students to higher grades, the process is definitely time-consuming and often repetitive. With AI, bots can easily carry out tabulation of admission data such as student details and grades. This frees the non-teaching staff of schools and universities from engaging in monotonous processes.

3. SMART LESSONS ON SMARTPHONES – FOR SMART LEARNING!

Smart is the new cool today, whether it’s phones or learning techniques. While hard-work and determination are still extremely relevant and important virtues, working smart is also a significant attribute. And that’s where AI contributes to ensure a smart learning environment for all learners!
Traditional classrooms often tend to uphold the notion that all pupils belonging to a certain grade or level possess more or less the same grasping and comprehension levels. However, every individual is a different entity, independent of his/her educational level. And education, as a powerful medium of imparting knowledge and learning, must realize this fact.
With AI-powered educational apps, it is possible for tutors to look beyond the mid-point of the ‘normal distribution curve’ and instead offer customized recommendation to each student. Tutors can also consider learning preferences of individual students. Based on this, they can adapt to varying techniques such as flashcards, audios etc. Such AI apps can also provide quick study and revision material and last minute exam prep notes to students at the click of a button!

4. NOW LEVERAGE ON TECHNOLOGY TO IDENTIFY YOUR PUPIL’S GRASPING SPEED AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE…

More often than not, classrooms with large pupil strengths are unable to keep adequate track of individual students’ performances and grasping speeds. Some students in the classroom are quick learners who don’t require micro-management. Yet others may lag behind due to their slower processing speed and may require personalized attention. As a continuation to our previous point on smart lessons, AI can also contribute to assessing individual students’ learning speed and academic performance. Such micro-level understanding of each student’s academic status can help the tutor cater to individual pupils’ needs with ease and efficiency.

5. e-LEARNING: YOUR ‘WINDOW’ TO THE WORLD!

Yeah, we already gave you a lengthy heads-up on how the ‘world is becoming a global village’ and so on. And in such a scenario, can the education sector stay untouched by the modernization? Certainly not! With e-learning platforms offering innovative and engaging learning techniques for learners across the globe, the world is not only a global village, but a global classroom encompassing towns, cities and villages and connecting students and teachers. We all know the buzz that platforms like Udemy and Coursera have rightly generated. There are also a number of other platforms under the hood of Learning Management System, which focus on interactive and innovative learning between learners and tutors, as well as between individual learners.

This was our list of top 5 benefits AI can bring about in the education sector. But education is not always about academics – the infrastructure in educational campuses also plays a very important role in effective learning. AI can also help with planning of expenditures during extra-curricular events. Deep learning technologies can be applied to make data-driven predictions pertaining to seating arrangements, food orders etc. This can help to reduce costs significantly. So, is AI the genie all set to take over the education industry? More importantly, will it replace humans? The answer is a resounding ‘no’. Rather, AI only provides a platform that efficiently facilitates more human interactions. So, as long as education exists as a medium of learning and development, human interactions can never go out of fashion.

SOURCES
1. TeachThought
2. Forbes
3. elearning Industry

AI IN CYBER-SECURITY: Is Artificial Intelligence the ‘Key’ to a Safe Digital World?

The next time you step out of your safe havens of work or home, take a look at the uniformed personnel standing at the gates, perhaps greeting you with a wave or salute as you enter or exit the place. How important is security in our day-to-day life? Would you be reveling in your comfortable space if not for the guards outside protecting it day in and day out?
Now, the next time you switch on your laptop or computer, make a note of the number of times you had to enter passwords and/or apply biometrics while you worked – right from unlocking your device to opening your email account and signing into Facebook and LinkedIn. Would you be able to rest assured if not for these passwords and other biometric techniques to ensure online safety? That’s why security isn’t just an offline thing – we also need vigilant guards to protect the online world and prevent cyber crime. The recent cyber-attacks on Wipro is further testimony to the fact that cyber-security is the need of the hour.
While human intelligence functions at different levels – from security personnel to the police force and CBI – to ensure offline safety and security, our very own Artificial Intelligence can serve as an extremely reliable means to safeguard the world on the other side of the screen. We’re back with a blog; and today, it’s time to ponder over the integral role of AI in cyber-security:

1. DATA DATA EVERYWHERE, BUT HOW MUCH OF IT IS SECURE?
Wherever there’s gathering of information and research involved, there’s always a threat of data accumulation. And wading through such massive amounts of data can be painfully time-consuming. Added to this is the extra effort exerted while storing and retrieving the already gathered data. All of these aspects associated with data handling make it a herculean task. In such a scenario, if employees are also expected to manually ensure that there is no security breach or malicious data in the database, it becomes doubly tedious and error-prone. And so, AI systems can be employed to scan through the data and successfully detect any security issues in the same.

2. ‘CAUSE FINGERPRINTS DON’T LIE!
Passwords can be cracked and systems hacked, but can one’s fingerprints and retina be manipulated? Certainly not. And that’s why we find the biometrical systems cool! The world today is subjected to unprecedented use of technology and unparalleled technical advancement. Consequently, safety and security is the need of the hour at every level. While strong passwords can be good gatekeepers, hackers often manage to find foolproof techniques to break into password-protected systems. With AI and biometrics, technology has been customized to include fingerprint and palm-print detectors and retina scanners. With the help of these technologies, the rightful user’s fingerprints, thumb-prints, retina etc. may be scanned and stored in the system’s database. Then, each time a person seeks access to the software, a fingerprint, palm-print or eye scan is carried out and the current user’s biometrics is compared with those of the rightful user. It is only when the two elements match that the user is granted access to the system. Quite an idea, isn’t it?

3. “UNUSUAL LOG IN ACTIVITY! WAS THAT YOU?”
When was the last time you logged into your email ID from a different device and were consequently faced with this alert mail? In all probability, this may have occurred not very long ago with each of us. And as long as it is the rightful user who has logged in from a different device, these alert mails may be safely ignored or deleted. However, the nightmarish situation actually arises when you discover that it is indeed a different user from an alien device who has logged in to your ID! And that’s where AI comes to your immediate rescue. With the AI technology installed in our mail systems, it is possible to receive immediate alerts regarding any unusual log in activities, and subsequently work on instant recovery.

 4. IS YOUR PRIMARY INBOX DEVOID OF SPAM? YOU NEED TO THANK AI FOR IT…
Spam emails containing viruses and other malicious content are the primary means for hackers to hijack email accounts and devices. More often than not, it becomes extremely difficult for users to distinguish spam emails from regular ones, as these mails are often enveloped inside sophisticated subject-lines and seemingly genuine addresses. However, AI technology has been devised and trained to detect and segregate these spam emails with ease, ensuring that the really genuine ones are not classified into the purview of suspicion.

5. A MUCH-NEEDED BREATHER FOR CYBER-SECURITY PROFESSIONALS!
There’s definitely a big bad world out there even on the other side of the screen, and the demand for the services of cyber-security professionals is higher than ever before. Plotting effective strategies to prevent cyber-attacks and providing recovery solutions to counter those that have already taken place is definitely not a piece of cake, and not only requires a sound understanding of coding and backend software processes, but also extreme vigilance and presence of mind. However, monotonous tasks like verifying that all data in a given database is devoid of malicious elements; and manually segregating malicious data from the secure ones can bog the cyber professionals down and induce stagnation. Artificial Intelligence can step in and provide them with a much-needed breather, which allows them to carry out more productive activities instead of limiting themselves to repetitive ones.

Artificial Intelligence is certainly not the be-all end-all of cyber-security. Despite ensuring high security to the best extent possible, software systems are still not beyond the reach of cyber crime. And that’s why it’s integral for AI in cyber-security to work in tandem with its human counterparts, i.e. the cyber-security professionals, in order to ensure a safer and more secure online world.

SOURCES:

  1. First Post
  2. Paladion
  3. Forbes

RPA IN TRAVEL AND TOURISM: How Automation can Enhance the Tourism Industry’s Journey

“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet,” said Rachel Wolchin.

As the world spreads its vast expanse before us, the sky is really the limit when it comes to travelling. From unimaginable heights tens of thousands of feet above sea level, to depths where even the sun-rays cannot penetrate, our earth has it all. With such diversity and uniqueness surrounding us, it seems quite an idea to leave our mundane existence behind and retreat on travel sprees every once in a while – relaxing and ‘detoxing’ from the stress and strain levied on us by our otherwise fast-paced lives.

While this idea certainly sounds exciting, there are certain industries that exert tremendous efforts to ensure that our travel plans are a resounding success. Last time, we spoke about one of these industries – namely, hospitality. We shared with you some of the ways in which RPA and AI can help this industry ascend in its journey by doing away with repetitive and rule-based tasks. We’re back with a blog; and this time around, it’s time for us to look at some ways in which RPA can help the broader domain of travel and tourism:

1. DIFFICULTIES IN REGULATING THE REGULATORY COMPLIANCE? ALLOW RPA TO STEP IN!
As more and more previously untouched places are now being unearthed, explored and frequented, it is also of supreme importance for any nation to ensure the safety and security of its citizens, and make sure that its tourists comply with the requirements pertaining to the same. However, organizing and maintaining a systematic record of thousands of tourists can become cumbersome and time-consuming. While it is natural for humans to commit errors, it is not advisable to risk security by not keeping track of the validity statuses of passports, visas and other legal documents. That’s where RPA steps in. With automation, it is now possible for software bots to organize all security-related documents and information. Moreover, this stored data is also easily accessible and updatable in case of any changes in regulations. Why worry, when your software bots can act as your guards and ensure security?

2. DO WE HAVE AN EFFICIENT PROCESS TO PROCESS THOSE PAYMENTS?
With the expansion of any industry comes the massive responsibility of processing payments and orders at a large scale. While this process is extremely integral in any domain, it can become extremely tedious for employees to carry out the processing. Allow RPA to run its magic wand over this business process, and all your payments and orders can be efficiently processed while eliminating errors.

3. MEET YOUR AWESOME CHATBOT BUDDIES, AGAIN!
Chatbots or virtual assistants are emerging as the embodiments of an intelligent and efficient digital world. As in several other domains, they play an extremely vital role in the travel industry, too. Today, with several travel websites and online booking portals, not only the ease of travel by itself, but also the paraphernalia of planning and organizing of the trips has become truly efficient and unbelievably quick. Now, with virtual assistants entering the picture, you can now receive suggestions pertaining to the best plans and modes of travel right at your fingertips. Plus, these virtual assistants also come with exciting features such as the sentiment analyzer, which identifies the customer’s emotional states based on their calls or messages, and intimates the customer care department accordingly.

Wait…that’s not it! Virtual assistants are also capable of much more. Take Hello Hipmunk for example – the official smartie virtual assistant of Hipmunk, the reputed travel website. Try adding Hello Hipmunk on CC in your emails concerning travel, and sit back as this virtual assistant derives all the key details about your excursion and provides you with relevant suggestions!

4. UPDATING PNR STATUS HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER!
Passenger Name Record, or PNR, is one of the most crucial documentations in the domain of travel and transport. Stored in a repository called Computer Reservation System (CRS), this record consists of important passenger details including his/her name, contact information and ticket details. With thousands of passengers booking their tickets to different locations on a daily basis, it becomes an extremely meticulous and time-consuming task for the staff at the back-end to document such comprehensive information. And so, RPA enters the picture to help out. Software bots can efficiently enter and store the PNR information of more number of passengers in a day than humans manually can. Moreover, any change in the PNR information can be instantly updated by the bot without any hassle. Moreover, automation also makes this process quicker and error-free!

5. CANCELLATIONS CANNOT BE AVOIDED, BUT MONOTONY CAN!
Plans change, unexpected events occur, change is the only constant. Okay…the bottom line is that ticket cancellations are bound to happen. And on a daily basis, they happen in large numbers, especially in airways and railways. Manually documenting these cancellations can be repetitive and unproductive for the staff to whom this task has been assigned. You guessed it…RPA is our solution! Process bots can easily update any ticket cancellations on the system, and automatically declare the vacancy of the specific seats in the transport. Moreover, refund transactions can also be carried out without hassle via automation software.

It has been scientifically proven that travel leads to a number of health benefits, including lowered stress levels and reduced risk of heart disease. However, without the adequate amenities and facilities, the travel experience can turn out to be disastrous. So, we owe it to the heroes of our travel adventures, i.e. the travel industry personnel, to help them get rid of monotony and stagnation and help them ascend in their professional journeys. Let’s welcome the automation revolution today!

Sources:

  1. UiPath
  2. NIIT Technologies
  3. WNS

DATA SCIENCE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE: There’s a data scientist behind those movie recommendations!

THERE’S A DATA SCIENTIST BEHIND THOSE MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS!
Do you remember the last time you watched a Netflix crime thriller movie like “The Departed”, and in turn, received recommendations for other amazing movies such as “The Godfather” or “Gone Baby Gone”? Welcome to the world of data science and Machine Learning!

In the 21st Century postmodern world, every nook and cranny of the world is in the process of becoming connected through virtual reality. CDs, DVD players and even cable television are now being considered “worn out” and “old technology” in order to pave way for more upcoming and happening ones such as Netflix, Prime and YouTube. However, what’s even more upcoming is that this technology seems to understand our unique preferences, and moreover, also suggest other relevant TV shows and web series based on one’s viewing habits. The same applies to online shopping as well – it may have happened scores of times that Amazon suggested other cool Apple products based on your previous iPhone 6 purchase.
The question that now arises is how these websites can be so omniscient as to recognize multiple unique viewing and purchasing habits so efficiently and accurately, an also crawl the database for other similar items and present it to the respective Internet users.

We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s venture into the upcoming and exciting world of data science, which has been popularly termed by Turing Award winner Jim Gray as “the sexiest job of the 21st Century”. Let’s have a sneak peek into the world where data scientists are busy with their numerous algorithms that allow machines to independently carry out these prediction tasks with ease:

1. So what’s so scientific in data science?
While science and technology have ensured that machines and technical equipment make our lives unbelievably efficient and quicker every single day, there is still a severe direct dependence of technological equipment on humans if the traditional sources of science and technology be relied upon alone. It is also important to ensure that technology work by itself for a major part of its functioning, instead of depending on constant human intervention. Moreover, with the inception of modern-day software and myriad online platforms to ensure that the world is well-connected, there is a massive explosion of data produced every single day. Just as it is essential to ensure less clutter and more clarity in our external worlds, the online world also needs to be maintained and de-cluttered on a regular basis. And in order to ensure that the technology of Machine Learning and organization of data may be incorporated to software systems, it is important to move one step beyond traditional science and technology, and embrace the world of ‘data science’.
Data scientists perform a world of algorithms – incorporating scientific techniques and systems in order to organize and store massive amounts of online information. If the internet world is a cobweb of information, data scientists are the spiders – venturing through the silk-threads efficiently.

2.Whoa! So how does a data scientist perform that herculean task?
The job of a data scientist is seeped into statistics and algorithms. Data scientists apply predictive modeling, machine learning and inferential statistics in the course of their work. Applying these different tools and techniques, a data scientist then traces certain unique patterns that are characteristic of specific internet users; and systematically stores this information in the database.
However, the task of a data scientist does not end here. A data scientist also uses the technology of Machine Learning, and allows your software to become independent enough to implement these algorithms effectively, so that the machines do not have to depend on humans every time such predictions need to be carried out.
And that, my friends, is the mystery behind all those Amazon and Netflix recommendations that you receive when you’re on an online shopping spree, or when you binge-watch your favourite web series on that lazy weekend!

The ROLE OF A SOLUTION ARCHITECT: Here’s How an RPA Solutions Architect Plays an Integral Role in the Automation Process

“A good design will actually design the company,” says Donald Norman.
Especially so, when a company desires the company of bots. All along, we have been telling you how RPA is the need of the hour, and the various processes and trivia involved in the project framework delivery. It is no surprise that the actual development and deployment process in RPA forms an extremely integral part of the entire project; and any errors in these processes can result in the creation of faulty bots. However, are processes directly handed over to the developers in order for them to bestow life on the process robots? Just as a home needs an architect to design its various chambers, automation also requires one to carefully construct a systematic framework to be implemented in the project. Let’s welcome the architects of automation, solution architects! In our earlier blog, we’ve already discussed, in a nutshell, 5 different job profiles in the RPA domain. We’re back with a blog, and today, it’s time to dedicate a few minutes and paragraphs to the persons who form the pillars of automation.

1.HAVE WE PLANNED OUT OUR PLAN ADEQUATELY?
While planning is a crucial step, one must ensure that the plan addresses all important and intricate phases and aspects of the venture, so that the implementation can be smooth and hassle-free. It is the responsibility of a Business Analyst to study the various processes of a business and then decide which of these processes may be automated. It is here that the Solution Architect steps in. The role of a Solution Architect begins when this automation idea needs to be put into practice, but requires a systematic approach for this implementation to be carried out.

2.CAPTURING THE AUTOMATION PROCESS FOR YOUR BUSINESS PROCESS
The Solution Architect devices effective process maps and comes up with relevant solutions that can boost the automation process to a great extent, and act as a framework for the RPA developers to easily step into their roles. The solution architect essentially designs two types of process maps or designs – PDD or Process Design Document; and TDD, or Technical Design Document. While the former design is aimed at addressing the ‘as-is process’ of the RPA project, the latter one attempts at capturing the ‘to-be process’.
Once the processes to be automated have been earmarked by the Business Analyst, the Solution Architect then carefully studies these processes, and determines how the automation can be carried out in order to meet the requirements of the company as evaluated by the Business Analyst. The Solution Architect has to constantly keep in mind the aims and objectives of the automation process that have already been agreed upon by the clients as well as the automation providers; while also presenting a tangible and plausible solution for automating the rule-based task in question.

3.PROCESS DESIGN DOCUMENT
The Process Design Document focuses on the overall automation process, from data gathering, process standardization and recommendations, to development, testing and deployment of the process robots. The solution architect constantly communicates with the Business Analysts and Project Managers in order to ensure that there is no disagreement between the persons involved in the process; and to bridge any discrepancies in the process.
It is after the development of the Process Design Document capturing the as-is process, that the Standard Operating Procedure or SOP may be devised in order to break down the complex processes and sequences of the plan and ensure easy programming. One also needs to design the process capture template, modeling standards and process maps, before the actual development procedures commence.

4.LET’S GET TECHNICAL!
Now, we have successfully completed the as-is process, and received a thumbs-up for the same from the clients, as well as the various other persons involved in the project. We have also successfully completed the recommendations phase, wherein the specific RPA processes to be carried out are earmarked, and the unnecessary ones are eliminated, with detailed analyses of cost benefits and feasibility. Now, our RPA developers are almost all set to take the RPA project to the next level by actually creating our bots. But…are we missing out on something?
The role of the solution architect does not simply end at producing the Process Design Document. While the PDD helps in identifying the various stages and phases of the project, this document is not sufficient in itself for the RPA developers to take over their herculean task. The Solution Architect now has to create and document another design specially dedicated to the RPA developers; namely, the Technical Design Document or TDD. The Technical Design Document focuses specifically on the guidelines to be followed by the RPA developers while developing the bot; as well as the technical specifications to be employed in the software. This document enables our able RPA developers to follow the plan through with ease, and with a systematic framework to fall back on during times of confusion or doubt. Along with the TDD, a Target Operating Model is also designed in order to chalk out the vision or aim of the RPA development project.

In this way, the Solution Architect acts as the backbone of the RPA development process; carefully setting up the foundation of the RPA project so that the construction may become easier and hassle-free. The solution architects ensure that the plan does not simply remain a shallow idea, but is made viable, plausible and accessible to all the persons involved in the project.

MEET YOUR CHATTY CHATBOTS: 5 Ways in Which Chatbots are the Best Virtual Assistants

“Chatbots are the new websites, and messaging platforms are the new browsers,” someone said.

Personal assistants and secretaries have existed for as long as there have been people at higher posts in offices and companies. Whether it’s typing out a letter or sending out invites for meetings, they have done it all. While these jobs of helping out another person at work have ensured enough employment generation through the decades, we can all agree that these jobs are far from lucrative. The rule-based, repetitive tasks often tend to reduce people to two hands performing uninteresting tasks without applying their intellect.
So how about a personal assistant who is ever-willing to help – whether it’s setting your alarms or informing you about today’s weather; or simply raising your spirits with a joke or tongue-twister when you’re under the weather. Welcome to the world of chatbots, your 24/7 personal assistants!
We’re back with a blog, and today, let’s dedicate a blog post to our dedicated, diligent, and sometimes quite eccentric, virtual assistants. These virtual assistants have been around for quite some time now, starting with the first of their clan, Apple’s Siri. According to Go-Gulf, the number of people using virtual personal assistants has been estimated to reach 1.8 billion by 2021. Today, we have a handful of virtual assistants; including Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Google Assistant for smartphones and Google home; performing a world of tasks for every day:

1.Your chatbots don’t sleep at work. And they’re at work ALL THE TIME.
Let’s face it. Human assistants must not be overworked under any circumstances; and they deserve their 7 hours of sleep and timely breaks. Ever observed Cortana or Alexa not in their seats owing to tea-break or simply because they have already finished the given hours of service? Your chatbots are never, ever exhausted. Whether you want them to carry out extensive research for your business, or entertain you with a poem on one of those insomniac nights, they are available 24/7.

2.Hundred queries, one assistant!
Life can certainly be chaotic and confusing sometimes. And don’t we all look for that go-to person to consult during times of confusion? But how many queries can even the most learned and well-informed person answer at once? Yes, let’s face it – humans do have their own limitations, and it’s alright. And that’s why we have designed virtual assistants who can perform tasks that humans generally can’t – such as processing, with unbelievable accuracy, hundreds of queries asked at the same time from a thousand different devices; and providing suitable, spontaneous, and sometimes even witty responses to every individual. That’s the beauty of Artificial Intelligence.

3.Chatbots are like chameleons – they can adapt themselves to every scenario!
As discussed before, humans cannot be everywhere; and different online platforms have been designed by us in order to facilitate easier and more efficient communication across the globe. With chatbots having entered the scene, the question arises as to whether these awesome assistants can be integrated to the vast repertoire of systems and platforms built by us over the years. The answer is a resounding YES! Your chatbots are like chameleons – they can easily change colour in order to adapt themselves to the environment they are exposed to. Thus, they set up shop at practically any domain; helping you with your queries and organizing sprees; your chaotic moments and phases of boredom.

4.No, your chatbot shall not demand salary on the 1st of the coming month!
While the job profiles of customer service executives and personal assistants have always ensured employment generation, these occupations, needless to say, function on salary basis. You cannot, and must not, hire a person with dismal or no income provided to him/her. However, chatbots do not need three square-meals a day. They are more than happy to reside in the software platform in which you place them, making it their forever home; and when you ask Siri or Google Assistant whether they have families of their own, their ultimate happiness is in serving you! Other virtual assistants and chatbots are no different. It is quite economical to maintain your chatbot; updating it from time-to-time and modifying it to meet the requirements of the given platform.

5.Human spontaneity minus human impatience = Chatty Chatbot!
Your chatbot can converse with you about almost anything under the sun – keeping the to-and-fro nature of human conversation intact, while also eliminating the negative aspects of the same; such as boredom and impatience. This gives customers a near-perfect interaction experience, where they are helped by the chatbots with great precision, regardless of the time of the day/night, and the complexity level of the question.
And last but not the least, chatbots can even be customized to entertain you in whatever rational way you deem fit – right from playing games with you, to reciting poems or jokes, and engaging in occasional situational comedy during the course of your conversations.

Artificial Intelligence can certainly make life more efficient in every way; and the ‘chatbot’ wonder is probably the best example of the same. However, chatbots go one step beyond the macro level of Artificial Intelligence, to include the benefits of AI’s subfield, Machine Learning; which enables them to carry out their tasks independently, without human intervention. In a lot of ways, having bestowed life on AI and ML, humans have created forces that are capable of performing unbelievable feats that humans are either totally incapable of, or require to invest excessive amounts of time and effort to complete. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is, after all, the human caliber and intellect that has led to such an invincible creation in the first place; and so, it is our responsibility to use our creations in as optimal and secure a manner as possible.

DELVING ‘DEEPER’ INTO AI: Key Differences between Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning

KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, MACHINE LEARNING AND DEEP LEARNING

The human race has been constantly challenging the notion of “impossible” for centuries and epochs on end. With unbelievable inventions and discoveries and out-of-the-box ideas to overcome constraints at every level, we have emerged as a supreme species and carved an almost invincible niche for ourselves in the planet. And our successor-of-sorts is Artificial Intelligence.
Efficient delegation of tasks has also been one of our strengths – and over the past few years, we have taken this quality of ours to another level by not only delegating tasks efficiently, but also manufacturing loyal entities to carry these out with minimal errors and maximum output. Artificial Intelligence is indeed an almost magical invention by our race.
While Artificial Intelligence is being used by individuals and groups across the globe, there is an acute lack of awareness amongst many users about the precise difference between a machine being overtly instructed to perform a particular task, and technology being made independent to carry out these tasks without any human assistance. We’re back with a blog; and today, we’re going to discuss Artificial Intelligence at the macro as well as micro levels – with its two major offshoots: Machine Learning and Deep Learning.

1.Meet Artificial Intelligence. Again. In All Its Glory.
While artificial intelligence is, more often than not, an integral part of the modern world at various levels, it is often taken for granted in the sense that one rarely stops to ponder about the mechanisms involved in the working of AI. And when you open the door to the processes involved in AI, you unearth a Pandora’s box.
Artificial Intelligence is a one-stop term for referring to the ability of machines to observe and understand certain rule-based tasks typically performed by humans, and then emulate these tasks in order to relieve humans of monotony, and pave the way for us to perform more intellectually stimulating tasks. Self-driving cars; video games; the names of your friends that your keyboard-prediction completes for you; your conversations with Siri and Alexa; and Amazon’s suggestions for you based on your previous online shopping spree – it’s time to thank AI for all of these supercool phenomena.
But…wait. Is a human secretly helping Siri follow my instructions every single time?
Have you ever wondered with amazement at how (at least most of the times) Siri is not only able to follow your instructions efficiently, but also converse with you spontaneously when you inquire about its personal life and well-being? And also come up with different, dynamic, even witty responses every single time?
Obviously, the development of virtual assistants like Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa would be quite futile if humans were expected to function behind the scenes every single time, instructing these assistants to provide satisfactory answers to the users.

2.Enter, machine learning.
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist,’” says Maria Montessori. And Machine Learning can be conceptualized as technology’s teacher. Machine Learning uses the mechanisms of AI, but goes a step further; and ‘empowers’ technological equipment by making your machines not only intelligent, but also independent.
ML involves enabling our technological equipment to not only work efficiently on its own, but also to constantly adapt itself to any new information or experience over time. If your device is able to suggest those cool Versace leather-jackets for you based on your previous overcoat purchases on Amazon, you need to thank Machine Learning for it!

3.But hang on. Your machines are capable of EVEN ‘deeper’ stuff!
Try to think of the first time you, as a toddler, learnt to label a chair as ‘chair’. Now try and recollect the various other chairs you may have been accustomed to ever since. Were all these chairs identical to the one you had first labelled as a child? Most likely, not at all. But did you manage to still find a broad similarity between all these chairs, and label all of them under the umbrella-term of ‘chair’? That’s exactly what deep learning teaches machines to do.
While ML teaches technology to perform AI-based tasks independently, DL goes even beyond the ‘independence’ phase, and teaches your machines to also be smart enough to carry out abstract connections, and form prototypical conceptualizations. It consists of certain algorithms that process and store every relevant input, based on which they come up with a statistical model, which becomes the prototypical output. This process continues until a precise prototypical image of the output has been obtained. In our day-to-day lives, Deep Learning is able to predict and process extensive data online, and typically provide accurate solutions to the same. If ML enables online retail websites to suggest a certain brand of clothes based on your previous shopping records, DL takes online shopping to another level. If you have been repeatedly purchasing products whose target audience is women, DL not only provides you suggestions based on that classy pair of heels you bought the last time, but also some trending tops and accessories based on its prediction of your gender-identity. That’s the brilliance of Deep Learning in AI.
And so, while AI is the broadest category that one can think of for machines being able to mimic humans in their mundane tasks, AI is not complete in itself, without its subsets of Machine Learning and Deep Learning. And together, AI, ML and DL constantly work in tandem in order to make our lives a little more efficient and productive, every single day.

AI IN PHARMA: The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Pharmaceutical Industry

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love for humanity,” says Hippocrates.

Through centuries of dedication and extensive research, the medical industry has managed to come up with remedies to innumerable ailments and diseases, and has found cures for illnesses that used to be relegated as incurable and deadly. And the pharmaceutical sector performs an indispensable role in the world of medicine. From diagnosis and testing, to prescription and treatment, the pharmaceutical industry works around the clock in order to ensure optimal health and well-being. Having said that, the various processes involved in pharmaceutical interventions are extremely intensive and cumbersome, and a number of these can afford simplification to a great extent. Enter AI.
Artificial Intelligence is no less than modern-day Frankenstein’s monster, in that it is human’s magical creation that can perform all those tasks which humans are either incapable of carrying out, or end up investing too much time and effort in. Today, from chat-bots at our disposal to self-driving cars, the world is approaching an AI renaissance of sorts. In such a scenario, can such an integral domain as pharmaceutics stay far behind? We are back with a blog, and this time, we shall disclose to you the key areas in pharmaceuticals where AI is being put to use, as well as those sub-fields where AI has tremendous scope:

1.SAY GOODBYE TO ELABORATE TESTING LABS!
Testing and diagnosis forms a crucial part of the intervention process, in that it provides the doctor and the patient with a definite direction in the tumultuous journey of treatment and cure. The usual testing and diagnosis process consists of examining, in a laboratory, the collected samples of the patient, and detecting any abnormalities or irregular patterns in the same. However, with the advent of Artificial Intelligence, it is now possible to use a compressed version of lab testing, with the help of easy-to-use diagnostic kits. In fact, a report published by AIMEDIS suggests that in April 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved to commercialize the first AI machine to detect diabetes retinopathy, a major eye disease. AI is almost like your Superman of the pharma world – a magical savior.

2.‘CLOUD NINE’ AIN’T FAR AWAY!
Need personalized medical treatment and solutions? AI has the perfect solution for you. AI now consists of a cloud-system called IBM Watson that can store large amounts of patient data. Then, with the help of this vast repertoire of information, IBM Watson can come up with tailor-made solutions for each patient based on individual symptoms and requirements. Heard of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? How about we replace ‘apple’ with ‘AI’?

3.AND NOW, DR. ROBOT WILL PERFORM YOUR SURGERY…
Unless programmed in a faulty manner, robots cannot falter in their deeds. What if a perfectly designed robot performs surgery on a patient? There’s no escaping the fact that while doctors are no less than demigods to us, they are just as human as any of us, and they deserve their own breaks and rest.
With AI and unbelievable advancement in robotic technology, robots can now be programmed to perform assisted surgery, which not only ensures absolute precision and better control of surgical instruments, but also provides surgeons with intermittent breaks during the course of the surgery. Moreover, with the help of Verb Surgical, a Johnson and Johnson initiative in collaboration with Google, it is now possible for surgeons to manage, with remarkable efficiency, the paraphernalia of surgery, including pre-surgery planning and preparation and post-surgery analysis and care.

4.CANCER IS CURABLE. AND AI’S CONTRIBUTION TO CANCER TREATMENT IS DURABLE!
AI is now being widely used in the various processes of cancer treatment, including diagnosis, treatment and radiation. The faculty of medicine at the Toronto University has come up with a unique software that utilizes the data obtained through radiation therapy, in order to come up with customized treatment plans for the patients. In addition, IBM Watson is also being used in order to develop cancer treatment plans. While clinicians are still majorly involved in the entire radiation process, AI is predicted to soon reduce the segmentation process duration from 4-5 hours to around an hour.
In addition, Genetech, a member of the Roche group (which is a research-based healthcare giant), in collaboration with GNS healthcare, has come up with a machine learning technology dedicated to cancer treatment. This software processes large amounts of information on cancer patients, and converts these to computer models that can be used to come up with new cancer interventions.

The sub-fields of pharmacy and medicine listed above are just the tips of the iceberg. Artificial Intelligence is predicted to bring about substantial changes in various stages and phases of cancer diagnosis, treatment and cure. However, while AI and robotics can provide patients and doctors with personalized solutions, and bring about efficiency in the process, any journey of medical intervention requires emotions and empathy alongside intelligence. And that’s precisely why one cannot do away with humans in a profession as sensitive as medicine and pharmacy. Perhaps, if the right balance between AI sensibility and human sensitivity is attained, it is possible to achieve unparalleled heights in the domain of healthcare and medicine.

RPA PROJECT AND COST REDUCTION: With XLNC, These 2 Terms may now be Uttered in one Breath!

“If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right,” says William Shatner.

While it does seem a romantic idea to spend all the money one earns and live a lavish life, saving money can never go out of fashion as long as products and services all come with price-tags. And that’s probably why a lot of organizations are extremely apprehensive about undertaking end-to-end Robotic Process Automation independently. A number of automation software giants charge extremely high prices for these automation processes if approached directly. But wait…does this mean that your monotonous ‘data entry operator’ job would continue to thrive, with humans working away like machines? Should the high cost of a product or service deter a potential client from availing the same?
We, at XLNC, shout ‘NO!’ to both these questions. Let’s make things easier for your clients. At every stage, we support and guide you, so that your RPA development project turns out to be top-notch, and you can safely close down that monotonous ‘data entry’ post! We are back with a blog, to discuss the exciting cost reduction strategies we have in store, just for you:

1. High costs can cost you highly. May we come in?
Do you find it difficult to choose from the myriad types of automation software available in the market? Do the high prices of these automation tools deter you from using them? XLNC to the rescue! We have a team that is adept at working on all of these platforms, including UiPath, Automation Anywhere and Softomotive, with whom we are officially partnered; and Blue Prism, with whom we are in the process of networking. This opens up a whole new world of exciting choices for our clients in terms of selecting the appropriate platform. Further, this also brings about a great amount of flexibility in terms of the budget. We also provide highly customized and tailor-made solutions specific to your requirement. For instance, if the project specific to your company is not very highly scalable in nature, we can suggest to you the more economical alternatives, such as UiPath and Softomotive. Did the enterprise pack of the previous automation software platform you had approached sound too expensive to handle? XLNC to the rescue again! Our partnership with all the important automation platforms is not for nothing. It helps us to cut costs considerably, thus ensuring a more economical approach to your automation project. Further, OEMs typically do not perform implementation when you approach them directly. We, at XLNC, offer you a detailed, 360 degrees, end to end solution, which becomes another reason for you to become our clients!

2. When we are your source, don’t worry about resource!
Resources can be a big question mark while contemplating to embark on the RPA journey. What if I don’t want to go for the entire RPA process? What if I don’t get the right resources? A lot of ifs and buts often deter an organization from investing in the process. And now, XLNC to the rescue.
We understand that you might sometimes require solutions only for a particular stage, as opposed to the process as a whole. With our ‘resource augmentation’ service, we are also happy to provide you with these micro services.
Here, if you already have a software, such as Automation Anywhere or UiPath as your base tool, we start off with the planning for your project, followed by the sourcing, and ultimately the deployment and monitoring. Our job does not end with having deployed the bot to your organization. We continue to keep you in loop, and constantly monitor the bot, in order to determine if it’s functioning well, and if any changes are required in it.
In addition, for every RPA project, we also shortlist those processes which, if automated, can possibly benefit individuals and organizations. We then run these processes through simulation software tools such as iGraphics, which help us to decide those stages or aspects where our existing process is redundant, and which can do better with innovation. This can also help to reduce your costs significantly.
We hope, through all these activities, we would be able to convince you of the dedication of our RPA team and the processes shortlisted by us.
Another feature that brings about a world of difference in the automation process is change management. Change management comes in when the entire process has already been chalked out, and then, suddenly…there is a modification to be made in one of the stages as per the business. Now, do we need to revise the entire format? Fret not, as XLNC is also capable of managing these sudden changes in a very effective manner.

3. Hey, that’s not it! We also structure your infrastructure for you.
“We need to stop talking about infrastructure as an engineering prospect, and more as an economic one,” someone rightly pointed out. That’s why we believe in providing you with the right infrastructure, which is economical, while also being highly specialized all at once.

So we have certain methodologies in place, which ensure that not only your current RPA project, but also any future undertakings, are secured and cost effective. All of these methods are packaged in the Centre of Excellence, which signifies the highest standard of implementation. We strive to achieve this with every client with whom we work. Right from the planning to the delivery stage, we try and loop every relevant team member, from executives to the topmost management, and train them about the various aspects of RPA. These persons discuss the purpose of this RPA project, the logic behind a particular solution, how it should be developed, and the possible benefits that the organization as a whole, as well as specific individuals will achieve once the solution is deployed.

Following the detailed planning and the chalking out of an end-to-end process, we begin the actual development stage. Here, different team-members can buddy up with us, and understand the technicalities and whys and hows of things. With this knowledge sharing taking place, we are able to educate them about the limitless possibilities of RPA, not just for the organization, but also for themselves. This not only provides the employees of an organization with general information about RPA, but also makes them independent enough to carry out their own project without the help of a third party should they wish to go in for another RPA project sometime in the future. This helps one to reduce the instances of RPA failure, as well as ensures that an internal solution group is created within the organization itself.
With regard to knowledge management, we keep a systematic record of any obstacle that may come our way during the end-to-end RPA development process. This becomes a repository of sorts, which an organization can refer to, should it be met with any impediments during future operations.
With us, not only your present, but also your future is secured.

4. Technology meets cost reduction. Utopia? No. Reality!
We believe in providing you with the best services, with extremely specialized experts on board, and using the best technological equipment, and keeping cost-reduction always in mind. Yes, this is for real. Right at the start, we try and understand your ‘as-is process’, where we meet your SMEs and take into account your exact requirement, so we can deliver accordingly, and avoid all jargon.

Once we have chalked out a plan and detailed process structure for your project, our technical experts design a Target Operating Model, which is a blend of the traditional ways of working, and the modern technological operations. We then present this Target Operating Model along with a guestimate of ROI. Out of all the processes shortlisted by us, we recommend the process that you should ideally start off with, so that your ROI can be seen as a chain reaction. Additionally, we may also do a Proof of Concept, if need be, for a particular process. In the ‘recommendations’ stage, the specific processes to be used in the RPA development project are earmarked, and the possible elimination of unnecessary procedures are carried out, which reduces your costs further.

And so, my friends, XLNC always stays true to its word of excelling at our excellent services. Are you still worried about cost reduction? Come, get in touch with us; and leave the rest to us!

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE VS. HUMAN INTELLIGENCE: THE BASIC DIFFERENCES

“The entire effort of artificial intelligence is essentially a fight against computers’ rigidity,” says Douglas Hofstadter.

“Hi, Alexa!” you say on a busy morning. And in the next few minutes, you are thanking the voice behind that device, which has performed some significant tasks for you.
You have an arm injury, but want to travel in the comfort of your vehicle. Your fully-automated car drops you to your workplace with zero efforts on your part.

Welcome to the magical world of AI! In this hastily transforming world of constant hustle-bustle, imperfection and time-lapse is frowned upon, and constant movement encouraged. While perfection is a utopian concept for humans, and cannot be expected of mere mortals, this and more is certainly being achieved by our very own Frankenstein’s monsters – Artificial Intelligence. Over the past few years, AI has taken unbelievable precedence over various walks of our lives; from education and industries to household and hospitality. While OK Google, Siri and Alexa compete to provide you best-quality services (and some ROFL moments too!), hotel industries are now making use of robots to take orders and deliver food.
But does the advent of AI threaten human intellect and agility in any way? Is the world becoming dangerously dependent on an external force? And have we worked so hard to build these artificial devices just so that we stop working?
We are back with a blog, to discuss the basic points of difference between our AI Frankenstein monsters and us:

1. “To err is human…” – in the truest sense
And that’s because AI cannot err. Of course, unless the human creating it may have committed an error. Artificial Intelligence is capable of performing even the most complex of tasks and algorithms with perfect ease and efficiency. Your AI does not recognize Monday Blues or Sunday offs. Or snoozing off at the traffic signal while driving.

2. “To be or not to be…” Ask AI!
Not only that, AI is also being used to predict future instances using the information available in the present. This feature of AI is being widely used in different domains; including data analytics, lead ranking and face recognition. These predictions often allow humans to take important decisions that can ensure a better future for the industry. Such predictions, if left to humans, may require them to invest a high amount of time and effort. But sometimes, it is also important to take those “emotional decisions” and make abstract considerations, which is clearly not AI’s forte.

3. Sorry. The creative juices don’t flow here.
OK Google might probably recite you a poignant poetry or two every once in a while, but that’s about it. It’s “inhuman” to expect human emotions and feelings out of AI. And that’s the reason one cannot instruct AI to come up with creative marketing strategies or out-of-the-box ideas.

4. All outcomes are created equal.
AI provides exactly the same treatment to every outcome of an activity, regardless of the number of times it has been instructed to carry it out. With humans, consistency (or the lack of it) can prove to be a major challenge, since not only two humans performing the same task, but even the same human carrying it out at different times, can produce remarkably different results.

5. Slow down, dear human….
The human-mind is an ocean, consisting of a huge reservoir of thoughts, emotions, feelings, sentiments…and all sorts of quirkiness, too. We are forever on our toes, trying to take leaps from one point to the other; and in the process, getting done a hoard of tasks all at once. But that’s not how AI works. Your AI tool cannot handle all your multitasking. The con – you have to be patient with it. The pro – the quality of work is never compromised for quantity.

6. Old is gold for AI
While you may be adventurous, outgoing and open to new experiences, AI is not easily adaptable to new changes, and takes quite some time to get accustomed to them.

7. Man is a social animal, but AI is not.
Humans have been surviving and thriving in a highly interactive, collaborative and communicative civilization. Unfortunately, AI is very new to this world, as still finds it a struggle to adapt to new and challenging social scenarios. For AI, the programmed information serves as the ultimate truth, and thinking beyond these boundaries of human programming is not its cup of tea.

At the end of the day, more than comparing human-intelligence with AI, it is important to realize that while AI consists simply of high IQ, human intelligence is a smart blend of IQ as well as EQ. So your AI can do wonders when it comes to rule-based tasks that do not require abstract thinking, but cannot handle tears and heartbeats. Hey, that’s probably why AI is also being used to do some risky tasks that humans cannot perform due to emotional and mental vulnerability. Food for thought!

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