Articles > AI for Business - Your 5 reads of the week #7

20 days ago

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Welcome back to your weekly dose of AI for Business news. Every Thursday, we share our weekly selection of interesting AI for Business reads. If you missed some of our earlier must-read lists, head over to our Articles section to catch up!

This week you will read about:

  • The increase spending on Robotic Process Automation
  • Disney’s new AI model will help screenwriters with generating storyboards
  • Scientific breakthrough gives hope to voiceless people
  • Coursera raising $103 million to educate learners about the 4th industrial revolution
  • What the evolution of chess learn us about AI & Human interaction
  • How Sales teams can get the most from their data


According to Gartner the global spending on robotic process automation (RPA) software in 2018 was $680 million, an increase of 57% in comparison with 2017. They forecast it will be $2.4 billion in 2022. RPA is an application of technology, governed by business logic and structured inputs, aimed at automating business processes. The biggest players that see the added value from RPA are banks, insurance companies, utilities and telecommunications companies.


Since its creation, Disney has innovated to be at the forefront of the animation industry. Scientists at Disney Research and Rutgers University have built an end-to-end model that can create a storyboard and video depicting text from movie screenplays. This is particularly valuable for screenwriters to enable fast prototyping or proof of concepts for content creators. This model is built to help the writers and artists and not to replace them. The scientists used Natural Language Processing (NLP) to simplify complex sentences using a set of linguistic rules. The model is not perfect yet (its list of actions and objects are limited) but it is still a big step in becoming a tool every screenwriter will use in the near future.

Last week a very popular and notable breakthrough occurred, this time helping the voiceless community in the world. In an effort to provide a voice for people who can’t speak, neuroscientists have designed a device that can transform brain signals into speech. This opens the door to using technology to help people who can’t talk to communicate. Previous studies have shown that single words could be translated thanks to AI but this study makes the leap to translating sentences, which is very impressive! The scientists behind this study used a deep learning algorithm on previous data that determined how movements of the tongue, lips and jaw created sound, and combined it with their decoder to translate sentences. Thus, this study shows that their decoder can mimic the movement of the mouth and lips into synthetic speech, a very promising advancement in this field!


After we give talks at events, we frequently get the question “how do I learn the basics of AI or which platforms would you recommend taking for online courses?”. We know that everybody can learn the basics around AI and Machine Learning, even without having a mathematical background. These platforms get a lot of success because you can follow them whenever you want. More and more companies are giving such packages to employees instead of paying university fees. This article shows that one of these platforms, Coursera, is very popular and has raised over 100 million dollars for a second time in 2 years. This time, Coursera raised money to prepare their audience on the fourth industrial revolution, a revolution that will be focused around AI, Robotics, Quantum Computing etc.

The evolution of the game of chess due to the arrival of computer and AI is the example the author uses to explain how human and machine started working together to become the best player at chess. AlphaZero is the creation of DeepMind Technologies Ltd. (an AI company owned by Alphabet Inc.) that receives as input the rules of chess in under 4 hours, it managed to beat the best chess computers. This recordset light on the power of AI. According to the author this example suggests 3 possible types of human-machine interaction:

  • Augmentation: using AI to enhance existing processes
  • True human-machine collaboration: where AI is fully ‘in charge’ of some decisions or actions, and collaborates with people;
  • Hyperlearning: using AI within a virtual model to mimic real life business applications and learn from this digital factory before implementing AI in real life

This article reflects how finding the optimal collaboration between people and technology is always an important element in digital transformation.

The power of Artificial Intelligence for boosting sales and impact of the sales departments is not to be demonstrated anymore. The main question for the sales team is: how can they use AI to get more and better value from their data. The article proposes 5 tips, from a marketer's point of view :

  • Set clear goals
  • Reach across departments
  • Gather different types of data
  • Company Buy-in
  • Be realistic

If this gives you appetite to learn more about AI for sales and marketing, contact us to learn some very practical use cases of implementing AI for sales and marketing departments.

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See you next week!