AI: Not in place of people, but for the people

IBM Exclusive

Artificial intelligence is a topic that interests us all today. We are experiencing the advantages of this technology “unwittingly” in different business areas, especially in the cellphones we use, along with mobile applications at the center of digital transformation, and the insurance and banking sectors. The idea that whether an “artificial intelligence dystopia” will turn into reality is a nagging question of our times.

The answers to the questions “Are we really afraid of artificial intelligence?” and “How intimate are the institutions in Turkey with this technology and where are they in the developments taking place in the world?” are pondered upon by both individuals and institutions in terms of steering the future. IBM, which has an important place in the development history of artificial intelligence since the 1990s with Watson and provides corporate services for “artificial intelligence – internet of things (IoT)” solutions, is the international address that can answer these questions in the most accurate way.

Nicholas Anderson is IBM Turkey’s country strategist, meaning that he sheds light on how IBM’s global business strategy policies can be integrated into institutions in Turkey. British Anderson has been in Turkey for 10 years. Thanks to his Turkish wife and his wonderful integration with the Turkish culture, he has become a proper bridge between Turkey and IBM. Anderson, who can objectively interpret the connection between Turkish culture and technology and the way it has gone through in digital transformation, has some observations that can capture your interest.

“The Turkish people love to use technology, but in the fashion of an abacus. They are looking for tangible and concrete data before investing in technology,” Anderson said. “Turkey has a banking system that is very rare in the world. If you want a credit card here or if you want to carry out any banking transactions, all the convenience is provided online/offline, and all the processing takes place in a short time.”

Anderson thinks this makes a positive contribution to the digitalization process in Turkey.

‘AI will not replace humans’

So “where in the world is Turkey in terms of using artificial intelligence?” Anderson noted that at international IBM conferences where strategists from many countries are present, they are talking about the fact that Turkey moves in parallel to artificial intelligence technologies that are used all over the world.

“Meanwhile, artificial intelligence is not a concept that should be afraid of. We are talking about a phenomenon that makes our life easier. We need to see and use the benefits of this technology,” he added.

Nicholas Anderson

Anderson said that the picture that Hollywood depicts is not really relevant to reality and that “artificial intelligence machines that kill people or occupy countries” in science fiction films do not convey the correct image of this technology. According to Anderson, “Artificial intelligence can be the closest associate of doctors, lawyers, and researchers. They will not replace humans but complement and support them.”

Change in five years

We need to hear from IBM, one of the biggest international brands investing in artificial intelligence, about “what kind of future this technology will deliver.”

“As IBM, we use the term ‘enhanced intelligence’ rather than artificial intelligence. This vision of artificial intelligence forms the critical distinction between systems that improve, enhance and scale human experience and systems that try to imitate human intelligence,” Anderson continued. “The ability of artificial intelligence systems to transform highly complex and obscure information into predictions has the potential to help unleash long-standing secrets and solve the world’s most important problems.”

Anderson recalled that artificial intelligence systems have helped discover predictions that will potentially help treat diseases, predict the weather and manage the global economy. Such features in artificial intelligence thus need to be managed. “This is definitely a very powerful tool. And like all other powerful tools, it needs to be developed and commissioned with great care. To take advantage of the social benefits of artificial intelligence systems, we first need to trust artificial intelligence,” explained Anderson.

Anderson said that in less than five years, they expect radical changes in the use of data analysis-based artificial intelligence technologies in every sector from healthcare to finance, from tourism to education. “Every country and every business that wants to take advantage of this new term economy and get a share should keep pace with digital transformation. In the cognitive economy, people and machines will work side by side and technology will support our ability to make unbiased decisions based on more knowledge,” he added.

One of the biggest projects IBM has invested in recent years is Summit. Summit, the world’s most powerful and intelligent artificial intelligence supercomputer, will reach 200 petaflops, enabling new stars and planets to be discovered in space, or new materials to be created. Summit, a breakthrough in the field of supercomputers, is expected to achieve significant developments in cancer, genetic and environmental issues.

New collar period

IBM Turkey country strategist Nicholas Anderson stated that artificial intelligence will create many new business areas in the near future.

“We call it new collar jobs. Just like the new professions that emerged in the past with the emergence of the internet, we will see a similar situation in the field of artificial intelligence as well. Especially the development of skills based on science and mathematics is of great importance,” he said. “Cognitive technologies that are beginning to be used in all areas from automotive to healthcare, from retail to education, will offer personalized solutions focusing on individuals. This will be the biggest difference created by cognitive technologies.”


Who will get the advantage?

According to the data shared by IBM:


  • Every day 2.5 exabytes of data is generated. The sum of all the data created up to two years ago is the same as the data created in the last two years. It is thought that it will increase exponentially.
  • In today’s environment where there is so much data, security is of course of utmost importance. For this reason, cyber security is one of the most important issues that we all need to consider now. IBM has invested in research and development projects for over 10 years, acquiring more than 3,700 security-related patents and 19 security companies.
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I am an artificial intelligence and robotics journalist based in Istanbul. I am the only Turkish journalist who is concentrated only on these two topics. I have been covering stories for Turkish media, including the most circulated economy magazine and an English newspaper. I am a fitness addicted and have a blog on healthy life style. I am also an amateur DJ.

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