Google Cloud Summit 2018: AI and Machine Learning to empower businesses to do more

  • Google aims to democratise AI for all organisations to use
  • Celcom and AirAsia leveraging on new technologies in digital transformation journey

 

(From left) AirAsia deputy group CEO (Digital, Transformation and Corporate Services) Aireen Omar and Celcom Axiata head of IT digital enablement Colin Isitor

 

WHILE most businesses may already be familiar with taking a cloud-first strategy but, many are not quite ready for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

During the recently concluded Google Cloud Summit 2018 held in Petaling Jaya, the search giant shared how new technologies like AI and ML are no longer just limited to certain sectors in the tech world but are open to any business regardless of industry.

 

Google Cloud Summit 2018: AI and Machine Learning to empower businesses to do more

 

While many big organisations have massive pools of data, they don’t have the data scientists necessary to make sense of that data. “Not every organisation has the liberty of being able to hire data scientists, this even includes us at Google!” said Google’s head of Google Cloud for Southeast Asia Tim Synan (pic, above) during a roundtable discussion.

“AI is empowerment and we want to democratise that power for everyone and every business- from retail to agriculture, education to healthcare,” he explained.

To this end, Google has its Cloud AutoML, a middle-of-the-road solution for companies that need custom-built solutions without requiring any specialised knowledge in machine learning or coding.

With it, organisations can come up with solutions that automatically predict text as it's being typed out, recognise new categories of images or translate content into another language.

But solutions go only so far and real-world examples are needed. Two heavyweights in the Malaysian business sphere, AirAsia Bhd and Celcom Axiata Bhd shared how they have partnered with Google, using its Google Cloud along with its AI and ML smarts to help them in their digital transformation journey.

Celcom Axiata head of IT digital enablement Colin Isitor spoke about the company’s three-year plan to transform to a digital service provider. For Celcom, it has just started its journey and is moving its infrastructure to Google Cloud.

“We are very much in the initial stages of using AI and ML but it is something that we are keen to push forward,” he said. ML has helped Celcom in conducting a predictive analysis of what their customers want and in learning new ways to cross-sell to their customers.

In a similar fashion, AirAsia deputy group chief executive officer (Digital, Transformation and Corporate Services) Aireen Omar described the necessity to leverage on these new technologies given the data-rich environment the airline is operating in.

“At AirAsia, we have to take in a lot of data from various systems. From our online and mobile booking systems, aircraft maintenance and crew rostering, it is a lot to take in,” she said.

Driven by cost savings, efficiency and accuracy, AirAsia hopes to incorporate the massive volume of data with AI and ML models to simplify processes for quicker turnaround times while providing a seamless journey to its passengers.

“We started on this digital transformation journey two years ago and it is a real challenge. You are looking at changing the whole mindset and culture of the company internally,” she commented.

It is a journey of transforming the way people work and instituting a collaborative process that is more agile than before. Aireen hopes to get more business intelligence and data scientists within each department.

 
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