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Artificial Intelligence – Rise of the Machine

February 24, 2017
Posted by Mark Henderson

Last week Adjuno attended the breakfast briefing event organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. This event focused on how artificial intelligence (AI) has developed over the last 50 years and also looked at how machine learning can be applied today in both the consumer and commercial marketplaces.

The main message we heard during the event was – Artificial Intelligence cannot substitute human intelligence and can only be effective with human intervention. The speaker Leonie Valentine, Managing Director of Sales & Operations, Google Hong Kong focused her talk on 3 key areas – Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Deep Learning.

Leonie talked about how Google has an “AI-first” policy. Google has long used AI and machine learning in its core products. Investment and research in these areas has allowed it to serve its customers with the best possible search results depending on the individual context. Significant focus is being put into finding ways to become a smart assistant on everyone’s smartphone. Google is evolving Search to be an intelligent assistant on mobile. Leonie also referred to the fact that in the United States today, 25% of web searches are already performed using voice and that this figure is only likely to increase.

Furthermore, Leonie discussed how working for Google presents the opportunity to apply research to truly global and complex problems, as they have the scale to be able to achieve this. Through applying deep learning and in partnership with Deep Mind, Google have been able to reduce the electricity consumption at their many data centers across the world by 40%.

Google has teamed up with other leading tech giants including Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and IBM, to work together on a “Partnership on AI”, the aims of which are to:

  • Establish best practices
  • Advance public understanding
  • Open discussion of AI and its influences on people and society


In summary, AI has the potential to be an agent of change and to deliver positive outcomes to complex global issues. In order to do so it requires the continued co-operation between corporate giants and support for the many tech start-ups who are keen early adopters of this technology and in many ways are the biggest driving force behind advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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Mark Henderson, Senior Platform Manager, Adjuno
Mark is the technical lead for the Adjuno Hong Kong team. He helps to deliver a range of cloud based B2B software solutions to retail customers in the Asia-Pacific region.