Roll-out Virtual Agent Frameworks – They support the creation of chatbots, which can also be used in a variety of ways across different functions such as HR, customer service and sales.IT Leadership Can Lead the Charge to Transform with Artificial IntelligenceYour company’s IT strategy has a direct impact on its business outcomes. By focusing on the above areas, you can prepare for the inevitable onslaught of AI projects and set your business up to succeed.For additional resources and tips for IT leaders, Forrester Consulting’s checklist 8 Steps CIOs Must Take to Transform with Artificial Intelligence provides specific recommendations for CIOs to modernize their compute and take their companies to the next level.[i] Source: Forrester Data Global Technographics Data & Analytics Survey, 2017[ii] Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Dell EMC, January 2018.[iii] Source: Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Checklist Commissioned by Dell EMC, May 2018 Artificial Intelligence is no longer a distant dream of the future. It’s here, and it’s changing the way companies do business.Organizations across all industries have embraced AI to help with everyday operations such as customer service, HR, marketing, sales, R&D and more.A recent survey by Forrester reported that over half of companies worldwide have already implemented AI, and another 20 percent plan to do so within the next year.[i] With good reason. The potential impacts are tremendous – improved processes, increased efficiency, automated workloads, greater ROI and countless other benefits.The question is no longer, “Should we embrace AI?” but rather, “How do we best use it to reach our targeted business outcomes?”AI Initiatives are a Top Priority for IT…For IT departments, the concerns are even more pressing. “How do we prepare for the tsunami of AI projects about to hit us from all areas of the business?”IT leaders know that AI is critical to their firm’s long-term success, and most list it as a top business priority for the upcoming year. CIO.com points out that in Gartner’s 2018 CIO Agenda Report, 47 percent of CIOs who have implemented AI report it as “the most pressing pain point”. Still, despite their knowledge and desire to embrace the technology, IT leaders face many challenges. There is no clear playbook or defined path for implementing AI across an enterprise, which means that many are making it up as they go (and, unsurprisingly, stumbling along the way).…But IT Departments are Often the Last to KnowOne of the most common AI issues is the lack of communication between lines of business and IT departments. When it comes to implementing AI projects, IT is often the last to know. In another recent study, Forrester Consulting found that lines of business “completely bypass IT departments 15 percent to 20 percent of the time on their AI initiatives.”[ii] Not only is this lack of communication frustrating, but it’s inefficient and costly.The good news is that IT leaders are well-suited to lead the AI charge across their organizations. Doing so helps to reduce silos and open lines of communication, increase efficiency, and reduce risk – improvements that directly affect the company’s bottom line. In fact, over half of the companies surveyed expect an ROI up to five times their investment.Although there is no magic, one-size-fits-all playbook, there are some clear steps that IT leaders can take to lead the charge toward transforming with AI.As an IT leader, you should focus on the following to prepare for upcoming AI projects: Modernize Data Management Technology – AI initiatives are based on enormous amounts of data, so it makes sense that that IT will require new tools to effectively manage all that data. If your database, data integration, storage capability and networking aren’t up to the task, now is the time to do something about it.Upgrade Infrastructure Hardware – New AI initiatives require faster response, increased storage, higher bandwidth and low-latency networking. Forrester Consulting showed that 61% of firms are challenged by a lack of servers with purpose-built processors, and 81% pointed to the need for new servers for high-performance computing.[iii] You’ll need highly scalable servers with accelerators to reduce model training times.Evaluate Staffing – AI requires a different set of skills to manage than traditional workloads do, and you may need to hire new staff or invest in training current employees. You’ll need skilled workers that can analyze and interpret the massive amounts of data involved.Deploy Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning Platforms – These platforms enable staff to collaborate and streamline projects across different lines of business. Engineers and data scientists will be able to train, deploy, and manage their models and data pipelines more effectively if they are centrally managed by IT.Implement Text Analytics, Natural Language Processing and Speech Analytics Platforms – These applications can be used in multiple ways across sales, marketing, customer service and R&D.
Head down, man down · Freshman running back Ronald Jones II currently leads all Trojan rushers with 466 yards this season. His four touchdowns on the ground share the team lead, along with redshirt senior Tre Madden. – Tal Volk | Daily TrojanIt was another strong, physical and competitive practice for the Trojans. Interim head coach Clay Helton kept the team’s emphasis on the basics.“I think these techniques and fundamentals are really paying off,” Helton said. “It’ll be critical in this game.”Defensive line coach Chris Wilson also emphasized technique with his players. Looking to Cal, the Trojans will need to be able to shut down quarterback Jared Goff. Wilson noted that Goff is “the best” in college football.“[Goff is] accurate. He’s smooth in the pocket,” Wilson said. “He can make every throw … He’s what you look for.”With the strong performance from the defense against Utah, Wilson said he was impressed with the continually strong play from the freshmen.“They’re fun, they’re talented, they like to play,” Wilson said. “They really want to be really good football players.”Specifically, freshman inside linebacker Cameron Smith boasted three interceptions and a team-high nine tackles. Though Smith was dominant, he hasn’t let his strong performance have an effect on his practice. His main focus is on the team’s play as a whole.“I want to be there for my teammates,” Smith said. “And help my team as much as possible.”Smith is also looking to continue to improve his game.“I’m trying to learn as much as possible,” Smith said. “And to make the plays when they’re there.”Not only do the Trojans have freshmen starters, but they also have much-needed depth. This depth has been especially beneficial with the injuries over the last couple of games. Helton mentioned that red shirt wide receivers Steven Mitchell Jr. and Darreus Rogers have both started playing a bit more. Left tackle Chad Wheeler was practicing and will be good to go for Saturday.With the freshman starters, the Trojans have added versatility on the field.“I think our youth and talent is what shines so brightly here at ‘SC,” Helton said. “I think there’s a tremendous future for this University.”Freshman cornerback Iman Marshall had two pass interference calls against Utah, but Helton isn’t worried because Marshall is an aggressive player. Helton even pointed out that Marshall is turning into a “premier corner.”“He’s so big and strong, he’s an absolute weapon,” Helton said. “I don’t want to take that part of the game away from him.”On the offense, Helton will look for tailback Ronald Jones II to get more snaps on the ball because of his continued performances. Not only has Jones been successful on the field, but he also has been putting in hard work and time during practice to become a more complete player.“As you produce, your role increases,” Helton said. “That’s just the nature of football.”Against Cal, defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox wants to see the team remain consistent. Against Notre Dame, the defense missed some coverage assignments, but they made adjustments and limited those mistakes against Utah. Wilcox credits the improvements to mental intensity, focus and consistent performances.“We just need to be more consistent overall,” Wilcox said.To beat Cal, the Trojans will have to shut down Goff and Cal’s running game.“As an offense, they’re extremely explosive,” Wilcox said. “It’ll be a great challenge for us.”Helton spent time working with the offensive line during practice. As the son of an offensive line coach, Helton knows the importance of having a strong line.“I just want them to feel the intensity and passion that I have for that group,” Helton said. “For us to win the championship, it’s going to be won in the trenches.”Sophomore wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has continued to be a strong point for the Trojans’ offense.“[Smith-Schuster] reminds me so much of the great ones that have been here,” Helton said.Helton pointed out that Smith-Schuster is always competing like it’s a game. Helton talked about how he’s always playing at his top gear.“It’s his nature,” Helton said. “He only knows one speed, God bless him.”For the Trojans to beat Cal, they will need to stay focused on their fundamentals and carry their dominant momentum from the Utah game.
Ghana head coach Kwesi Appiah will embark on a trip to visit Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and his staff to share ideas about trends emerging in the game.Coach Appiah earlier spent a week with Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini and his staff and is expected to be have the same arrangement at Anfield in his bid to gain more experience.The Black Stars boss expressed his excitement at the opportunity and thanked the Ghana Football Association for their efforts to ensure the national team’s coaching staff are primed for the World Cup.“The Ghana Football Association has done a fantastic job for me and my technical team to go there and share ideas and pick one or two things from these managers,” the Ghana boss said in an interview prior to his departure.“We just came back from Manchester City which was a good exposure for me and I am hoping that we will be able to achieve the same with Liverpool.“All of this is part of our preparations ahead of the World Cup in Brazil,” he added. “We have to equip ourselves very well before the tournament starts in June, and there is no problem going there to pick something up from these managers.“I watch the EPL a lot and for even this season Liverpool are doing very well, so it will be a welcome news for us all to start our work with them at Liverpool.Appiah will not be alone on his trip to Anfield, with his assistant Maxwell Konadu set to join him.“I an not going there alone, that is a great thing for us,” he explained.“I will be with Maxwell Konadu and we have been told we will get enough time with the manager and the rest of their back room staff, we are hoping that we will learn a lot so we can help when the preparations for the upcoming World Cup.”