Composite AI: The Critical Concept You've Never Heard Of

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Gartner says composite AI will be a big deal for enterprises. There are several reasons for that.
In 2021, you'd be hard pressed to find a company that isn't using AI. AI has become more accessible and ubiquitous in recent years, and the term has cemented itself as a core component of the technological lexicon. What's not part of the vocabulary -- yet is increasingly critical to successful AI deployments -- is the concept of composite AI.

Last summer, Gartner included composite AI as one of its five new innovation profiles in the annual Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, defining the term as "the combination of different AI techniques to achieve the best results." It does this by synergizing a mix of different types of AI -- machine learning, traditional rules-based systems, optimization techniques, natural language processing and graph techniques -- in order to improve AI systems' learning efficiency, level of "common sense" and ability to solve a wide range of business problems.

While it may not sound especially earth-shattering because the concepts behind composite AI are ultimately not new, techniques from different AI domains offer unique approaches to address different aspects of an overall business problem. Using them in concert and not relying on a single one can have a powerful multiplier effect. With composite AI, organizations can create solutions that explore and exploit all aspects of the knowledge embedded in the data. That's a truth we've seen come to bear for retailers, doctors and bankers -- innovators across sectors that are taking advantage of composite AI today.

Composite AI in Action

We often hear businesses asking, "Which algorithm or AI technique should I use?" As AI tackles ever more complex problems, however, the best answer is often a combination of multiple techniques and technologies.

Consider a retail organization, for instance. Using composite AI, it could optimize its pricing and promotional efforts by gathering and cumulatively analyzing data from each store's transactions, existing pricing and promotions, inventory…
Brett Wujek
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