Here are three ways that we’re getting value now from artificial intelligence and machine learning.

1. Delivering targeted and personalised information to improve marketing and sales

The one area where machine learning is touching almost everyone is through its use in targeting and personalisation.

From recommendations in retail based on your past purchases enriched with crunching millions of other customer purchases to targeted online adverts based on browsing history, this implementation of machine learning is pervasive across the internet. Our online – and offline – interactions are treasure troves of data that we’re finding evermore ways to utilise for marketing and sales purposes.

2. Making better decisions based on data

We’ve been talking about digital transformation for some time now. Becoming a digitally-led business is about making decisions based on fact – i.e. data – and as a result of the “big data” revolution, businesses have more data than ever, but there has been a disconnect between having the data and knowing how to make decisions based on it.

Machine learning is the enabler to make those decisions, and give businesses the much-promised edge versus their competitors.

3. Automation to improve accuracy or reduce manual work

Thanks to advances in convolutional neural networks, there have been huge strides made in image recognition and natural language processing. Progress has accelerated since 2012 when GPUs were first used to improve the accuracy of the models and drastically cut the costs of running the models.

These advances have multiple use-cases from the use of image recognition in video surveillance or medical diagnosis to using natural language processing to automate interactions with customers.


In most cases, artificial intelligence tech is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It’s about doing things a little bit better, and reducing costs or manual efforts. It’s the power of marginal gains – although each little improvement only has a small benefit, when you aggregate them together the effects are going to transform our lives.