skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration

Ovum view

Summary

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to help firms stay relevant to their customers. It also contains potentially catastrophic risks. Elon Musk donated $10m to the Future of Life Institute to sponsor research into safe AI and prevention of it reaching a stage where it runs amok and destroys humankind.

Pega's T-Switch provides control over AI

Yet AI in the guise of machine learning provides the key to dynamically orchestrating customer experience and the realization of true omnichannel customer engagement. Dr. Rob Walker, vice president of decision management at Pegasystems, explained the risks associated with AI at PegaWorld 2017. AI is safe when it is transparent, he said. By that he means that AI decisions can be unraveled and explained.

The potential dark side of AI is when the logic of its output cannot be explained and it is attached to unfettered automation. This is opaque AI. Deep learning is opaque AI. It has the potential to generate aberrant outputs if not controlled. Walker cited the Microsoft Twitter experiment with the tweetbot TayTweets. Within a short span of time, TayTweets evolved into a genocide supporter. Microsoft immediately shut it down.

Deep learning uses neural networks and replicates the way neuroscientists believe the human brain works. Each neuron in the network ingests data and performs a calculation. The outputs become inputs to adjacent or successive layers of neurons in the network. The final output feeds back into the neural network, creating the self-learning capability. There could be thousands of neurons arranged and connected across hundreds of layers in the more complex neural networks. This makes deep learning fundamentally opaque.

The outputs can be extraordinarily beneficial, such as the search for personalized cancer treatments. However, the lack of transparency means there is risk attached to automated actions arising from the outputs. In the case of driverless automobiles, aberrant behavior may go unnoticed until it is too late – after a fatal crash.

Pega takes the moral high ground with T-Switch

In business, use of AI, however aberrant, is unlikely to lead to death, but if a TayTweets-like scenario were to emerge from an automated marketing campaign system, the reputational damage could destroy the business. Pegasystems has developed a transparency control, the T-Switch in Pega 7's Customer Decision Hub. This allows marketers and others to turn off opaque AI, or to graduate it on a sliding scale, and review a next best action recommendation before allowing it to be automated. This is a first in customer engagement systems.

Appendix

Further reading

Pega through the Omnichannel Lens, IT0020-000258 (April 2017)

Author

Jeremy Cox, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement Practice

jeremy.cox@ovum.com

Recommended Articles

  • Service Provider Markets, Consumer & Entertainment Services,...

    MWC 2018 Highlights

    By Ronan De Renesse 27 Feb 2018

    Over 20 of our senior Ovum analysts and consultants attended this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. In between meetings, briefings and presentations, our analyst team were blogging and tweeting about key developments, trends and rumors. Have a look through our daily MWC 2018 Highlights to find out what happened.

    Topics 5G AI IoT Cloud Payments SDN/NFV Smart home

  • Enterprise Decision Maker, Enterprise IT Strategy and Select...

    2017 Trends to Watch: Big Data

    By Tony Baer 21 Nov 2016

    The breakout use case for big data will be fast data. The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing the urgency for enterprises to embrace real-time streaming analytics, as use cases from mobile devices and sensors become compelling to a wide range of industry sectors.

    Topics Big data and analytics IoT

  • Consumer & Entertainment Services

    US pay TV: Is it facing an existential threat?

    By Adam Thomas 28 Mar 2018

    With US pay TV having endured the worst year in its history, thoughts have inevitably turned to the future. The likelihood remains that the immediate future will remain highly uncomfortable for everyone except the scaled multinational digital platforms.

;

Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700


Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

+44 (0) 207 551 9047 - Operational from 09.00 - 17.00 UK time

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 788 597 5160 or email us at pr@ovum.com

Contact marketing - 
marketingdepartment@ovum.com

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now