Omega’s observations these past months from the front lines of the promise and potential of AI-and-ML-enabled Intelligent Software have been reinforced further during the COVID crisis, as to the vital role AI is playing in addressing the globally challenged virus outbreak since inception.
An AI startup was amongst the first to flag COVID in December and made accurate predictions about its propagation. Currently AI is playing an instrumental role in mapping the spread, helping with diagnoses, searching for new molecules capable of treating Covid-19, and predicting risk. In short, AI & ML will be instrumental to any solution.)
Furthermore, as COVID continues to illuminate our needs as a society to address the ever- increasing complex global problems we face, as well the multitude of interdependent variables influencing these problems, AI-enabled solutions are ever more relevant against this macro backdrop.
Businesses that are adopting AI & ML-enabled automation and labor-augmentation software and solutions are reporting double-digit percentage improvements in operational efficiency and risk posture as well the ability to unlock meaningful incremental revenue.
No doubt, in a downturn, businesses tend to be more focused on ROI and real payoffs from their technology investments and, as such, the macro environment could actually serve to accelerate adoption likely leading to countercyclical characteristics for the Intelligent Software market.
The crisis is also accelerating the separation of the wheat from the chaff among Intelligent Software solutions. As investors we are no strangers to companies masquerading or marketing themselves as AI companies when that is not the case. As the tide goes out, these “naked” solutions are floundering, in some cases citing lack of data in justifying their inability to perform or failure to adapt to the post-pandemic world.
We are also starting to see some of the irrational exuberance associated with generalized AI solutions subside – hype that has never been true to begin with, and as we have extensively discussed in prior articles including: ‘Forgot Overhyped Autonomous Cars, Embrace Augmentation’ and ‘How Computers Learn’ in which we shed light on the capabilities as well as limitations of these systems.
AI—and by extension Intelligent Software—is part of the solution and here to stay. When we hear people complaining that AI isn’t living up to its potential, we usually find that these statements are coming from people who didn’t understand the potential to begin with, and people who were talking up a future of robot overlords and Terminators that had no basis in reality to begin with.
Those of us who have had a realistic and informed assessment of what Intelligent Software is capable of and where it truly adds value, have more conviction than ever that we are at the front end of a tsunami poised to create hundreds of billions of dollars of value over the coming years.