Artificial Intelligence is the latest big thing to happened to our global economy. It’s as important as the invention of electricity or computing. Our CEO, Louis Têtu, participated in a panel discussion around AI and its business applications organized by theMontreal Canadian Club. Along with Louis, Yoshua Bengio, Scientific Director at Mila and Siegfried Usal, cortAIx Managing Director & VP Strategy, Marketing and Technology contributed to the discussion moderated by Michèle Boisvert, EVP Business Outreach at CDPQ.

It made sense to start an AI discussion by defining what artificial intelligence is. It was fascinating to hear Yoshua, a global leader in AI research share his definition: artificial intelligence gives computers a cognitive knowledge through data. With AI progression, computers are now capable of more intuitive tasks and understand text, sound, and image.

Siegfried provided a concrete example of Yoshua’s definition by explaining how AI has helped the aviation industry. Plane crashes are mostly due to data misinterpretation by pilots, he shared. In 2016, there were325 known casualties even though it was a 2nd safest year in history. AI is helping the aviation industry reduce the number of casualties by interpreting data faster and with more accuracy than humans. Given the reality that air traffic is expected to double by 2036, we can’t afford to misinterpret data or waste time analyzing it, each fraction of a second counts.

Beyond what was shared during the panel discussion, the impact AI has made across industries is impressive. Early adopters have already undergone complete digital transformations and are benefiting from significant business results.

Adobe upskills Photoshop users. Considering anyone with a smartphone can be a photographer, in addition to professional photographers, Adobe has a lot of users with different levels of expertise. They also add and update features on a frequent basis, which means they have a lot of content and people searching for it. Since implementing AI-powered in-product search, photoshop now has the ability to provide educational content based on the user’s expertise. It also lets the users search across many assets such as UI elements, documents, help and learning content, inspiring Adobe Stock assets from a unified search interface.

BRP, the brand behind Ski-Doo and Sea-Doo, has brought relevance to its dealers across the world with the help of AI, enabling them to sell more. Coveo serves as the artificial brain to their enterprise, providing the right information to the right persona at the right time. With Coveo usage analytics, BRP can proactively predict what types of problems or maintenance a specific product will require based on the search queries done by their 4200 dealers, improving the overall brand experience with both its partners and customers. Usage analytics are also used to track customer behavior and intent which informs dealers of cross-sell and upsell recommendations.

Montreal is positioned as leading global AI hub, attracting investment from significant organizations including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Samsung and Thales, to name a few. The fact that Montreal is on the AI map is largely thanks to researchers like Yoshua, who pioneered the AI revolution, our universities who decided to bet on AI advancement and make it a core focus, and the local businesses, like Coveo, who are paving the path for better business through data. In fact, Coveo has invested over $175 million so far to accelerate innovation in machine learning. Louis made a great point, we’ve done a great job at building a home for AI to thrive in Canada, now we need to monetize it because our advancement in AI has the potential to exponentially accelerate the economy.

With a growing economy will come additional jobs, which sounds great but companies embracing digital transformation are already experiencing difficulty in attracting talent. By 2020, there will be a shortage of 200,000 qualified employees to fill new roles in Canada alone. What’s more, only the big players like Amazon, Google and a handful of others could afford to hire an army of PhDs with the required skills. Fortunately, Yoshua and his team are committed to solving this workforce shortage problem and are investing in democratizing access to advanced education in AI to the 1st and 2nd cycle of universities, equipping students with the knowledge they need to be employable straight out of school, coming at a reasonable base salary that organizations can accommodate.

It’s a great initiative, no doubt, but what about the demand for right now? An AI developer is one job among many others that will help your organization scale but it doesn’t mean you can’t scale without them. AI is a technology ecosystem that is revolutionizing the world and evolving in real time. There is plenty of room for existing technology players, equipped with their own data scientists, that can help your organization achieve business-critical results. Coveo is one of them.

We saw an auspicious opportunity to leverage AI and machine learning capabilities to increase operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and overall relevance of leading organizations. The Coveo Relevance Maturity Model™ helps you to assess your current level of relevance and its implications on your business and provides actionable steps that will increase your organization’s level of maturity and positively impact your bottom line.

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From Relevance Laggard to Leader: Becoming More Relevant to Your Customers, Communities and Staff

Coveo offers an AI-powered relevance engine for your enterprise needs such as site search, in-product search, self-service, partner portal and intranet solutions, all out-of-the-box. You won’t require an army of data scientists like Amazon or Google because Coveo manages the machines learning models. Coveo is also tightly integrated with Salesforce and Microsoft as a CRM, as well as Sitecore as a CMS. If those are tools you use, you can be up and running and seeing results in just a matter of days.

AI may sound like a buzzword but the reality is, the sooner you embrace it, the sooner you can benefit from results that are impossible to achieve with manpower alone, regardless which industry you’re in. Contact us to see how you could personalize your employee, partner and customer experience at scale. You can also tweet us @Coveo with your thoughts on the business applications of AI.