Versions of machine learning
Versions of machine learning (deep learning, in particular, which attempts to mimic the activity in the human brain in order to recognize patterns) can perform feats such as recognizing images and speech. Machine learning can also make available new data for better analytics. While the activity of data curation has historically been quite labor-intensive, now machine learning can identify probabilistic matches—data that is likely to be associated with the same person or company but that appears in slightly different formats—across databases.
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GE has used this technology to integrate supplier data and has saved $80 million in its first year by eliminating redundancies and negotiating contracts that were previously managed at the business unit level. Similarly, a large bank used this technology to extract data on terms from supplier contracts and match it with invoice numbers, identifying tens of millions of dollars in products and services not supplied. Deloitte’s audit practice is using cognitive insight to extract terms from contracts, which enables an audit to address a much higher proportion of documents, often 100%, without human auditors’ having to painstakingly read through them.
Cognitive insight applications are typically used to improve performance on jobs only machines can do—tasks such as programmatic ad buying that involve such high-speed data crunching and automation that they’ve long been beyond human ability—so they’re not generally a threat to human jobs.
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