Points of View

Learning from the Birds and the Bees: Start Looking at Swarm AI to Harness the Power of Human Insights and Opinions for Your Enterprise

Dec 10, 2018 Reetika Fleming Maria Terekhova

For several decades, computer scientists and artificial intelligence (AI) specialists have been studying the behavior of social animals and insects to try and export the benefits of such systems beyond the natural world. Since the 1980s, AI specialists have been developing algorithms modeled on natural swarm behaviors to build AI systems to mimic natural swarm systems’ efficiency and accuracy. The application of such “swarm intelligence” to AI has become known as “swarm AI.” More recently, advances in AI and the rise of digital and online interactions have moved swarm AI algorithms out of the field of academia and into real-world scenarios, where they are already delivering tangible benefits for enterprise users across functions and industries.


In particular, swarm AI is proving itself adept at helping organizationsand individualsmake complex decisions that require tapping into the collective opinion of large groups of people, whose opinion reflects public sentiment or the amalgamated knowledge of specialists. Just one example includes amazon founder Jeff Bezos turning to his Twitter followers to ask how to best invest his money in a worthwhile cause. The overwhelming number of responses was subsequently processed by up and coming player Unanimous AI to cull the group’s collective wisdom. Swarm AI is rapidly being adopted by the healthcare, financial, and market research firms in particular. Organizations within these industries especially should start evaluating swarm AI now or risk falling behind their competitors in a cut-throat marketplace.


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