Artificial intelligence is one of those technologies that manage to fascinate only with its name alone. The concept of artificially intelligent objects or entities implies all sorts of innovative applications and use cases that seem to be snatched directly from the realm of science fiction. Equally interesting is the convoluted history of this technology, which seems to alternate between periods of stagnation, called “AI winters”, characterized by reduced interest and funding, and cycles of unparalleled growth and development known as “AI springs”.
Analyzing the past five years, we come up with a nuanced picture that seems to indicate that AI is set on an ascending trend, ready to enter its so-called spring period dotted with numerous breakthroughs as well as an increase in its rate of adoption. The 2022 McKinsey Global Survey on AI shows that the adoption of AI has more than doubled since 2017, pointing out that since then, several companies seem to have set themselves apart by mastering the recipe necessary to implement AI and reap its benefits, becoming industry leaders.
Humans.ai embraces artificial intelligence as an integral part of our future and operates as one of the actors who aim to change the rules of artificial intelligence. Its approach is straightforward, to combine artificial intelligence with blockchain in order to create a decentralized Web3 framework in which people, not companies or enterprises, are in control of the technology.
With an initial focus on synthetic media, Humans.ai enables anyone to own a piece of AI by empowering people to create their unique digital DNA minted as an AI NFT on the blockchain. With this powerful asset at their disposal, people can push over the realm of possibility and unlock their potential by creating digital avatars of themselves — one-to-one digital renditions of their physical selves capable of speaking any language.
The fifth edition of the global research focused on AI conducted by McKinsey underlines that AI adoption has more than doubled since 2017, with respondents claiming to have integrated AI at least in one business area. The peak in adoption rates was set in 2019 at 58%. Survey responses also indicate that robotic process automation and computer vision have maintained their position as the most commonly deployed use cases over the last past five years, but numbers indicate that natural language generation and text understanding has spiked in popularity, effectively doubling in implementation from 1.9 in 2018, to 3.8 in 2022. The crown use case for AI, in the eyes of companies, remains the optimization of service operations.
Humans.ai has also flexed its AI muscles in the natural language generation area with Talkens, a project in which the team created 10 000 unique voices, starting from a small sample of only 50 voices. The idea behind Talkens is to demonstrate the potential of artificial intelligence in the field of natural language processing as well as a first step towards implementing two seemingly incompatible technologies: AI and blockchain. Talkens transforms digital assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from a generic image that resides inside a blockchain into an intelligent asset class infused with artificial intelligence. From an innovation standpoint, by combining synthetic voices, artificial intelligence and non-fungible tokens, Talkens paves the way for dynamic NFTs that can speak in any language starting from text input.
That is only one application of the technology developed by Humans AI. The company also combines the field of natural language processing, computer vision and blockchain technology to create digital avatars — carbon copies of real people that can speak any language, requiring only text input. The cool part is that anyone can do it. All they have to do is record a few lines, and the technology does the rest. A recent demonstration of the technology created by Humans AI was done for a Dutch documentary focused on exposing the mental and physical abuse of women through deepfake technology.
Alongside its rising adoption, companies seem to be more inclined in investing in AI. In 2018, 40% of respondents from organizations and companies that implemented AI declared that more than 5% of their digital budget went to AI. Fast forward to 2022, more than half of respondents, 52%, report that level of investment. Moreover, 63% of respondents stated that they predict an increase in their organization’s investment in AI over the next three years.
Humans.ai makes investing in AI easier with Scale, a dedicated AI Launchpad that creates an economy around each AI using blockchain technology. This way, companies, startups and AI researchers can expose their projects to a wider public and unlock a steady stream of revenue through tokenization to further the development of their AI. Overall, the goal of Humans Scale is to help companies and researchers bring their AI products and projects from Web2 to Web3.
Since the first edition of the McKinsey Global Survey on AI, companies have changed their perception of AI, especially in the specific areas in which they believe that this technology can add value. For example, in 2018, manufacturing and risk were seen predominantly as areas in which AI could unlock the most value. In contrast, in 2022, companies unanimously agree that the highest cost benefits from AI are found in supply chain management.
Other key revenue streams unlocked by AI are found in product and service development, marketing and sales, as well as strategy and corporate finance. Approximately a quarter of respondents reported that in 2022, at least 5% of their company’s Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) was generated by AI in 2021.
The report highlights that although interest in AI has spiked in the past years and adoption is on an ascending trend, digital trust and AI-related risk are still a constant presence. This is because although companies are eager to reap the benefits of AI, most of them haven’t mobilized their efforts to reinforce digital trust or implemented strategies and mechanisms to help mitigate AI-related risks.
Humans AI’s response to the lack of trust and questionable use of AI revolves around blockchain, a technology that has a proven track record of its ability to ensure unmatched levels of security and innate ability to guarantee trust through decentralization and complex cryptography. The company’s vision is to utilize NFTs as a container for AI, to create AI NFTs that live on top of the blockchain to ensure, traceability, transparency and ownership, while also giving AI owners the ability to monetize their data and AI products. With the help of its Proof of Human (PoH) mechanism, a complex blockchain-based governance, consensus and verification system, the ecosystem created by Humans AI ensures that every AI NFT is backed by a human decision. The goal of Humans AI is to democratize artificial intelligence by involving people directly in the governance and management of any AI, essentially making sure that AI is used ethically.
An interesting fact uncovered by the McKinsey survey is the fact that a select group of organizations, referred to as AI high performers, have gained a significant competitive advantage, effectively taking the lead in the AI race. What’s reassuring for companies that are outside this group is that there seems to be a pattern of best practices that can help boost AI adoption as well as the value generated by the technology.
The survey defines AI high performers as organizations that respondents say are seeing the biggest bottom-line impact from AI adoption — around 20% or more of EBIT from AI use alone. Interestingly enough, results show that number of AI leaders has largely remained unchanged for the past four years.
Responses indicate that AI high performers share a common set of practices and approaches to artificial intelligence:
The last aspect covered by the McKinsey report focuses on tech talent shortage, as well as how increased levels of diversity in AI teams directly correlate to higher performance. Data scientists, AI managers, machine learning, software and data engineers are some of the roles that AI-focused companies try to fill. Apart from AI high performers who signal that they have a slightly easier time accessing tech talent, the majority of the respondents report having difficulties in hiring AI-related roles.
A strategy employed by both AI high performers and other organizations to address the talent shortage is to reskill and upskill technical and nontechnical employees on AI. Nonetheless, high performers seem to take a more thorough approach to developing employees’ AI skills, being three times more likely than other respondents to state their organizations have implemented internal AI learning programs. This does not mean that traditional hiring methods are overlooked. Scouting talent from top-tier technical universities still ranks as one of the most viable methods of recruiting tech talent. Unsurprisingly, students show a predisposition to work for AI high performing organizations.
2022 has certainly been a great year for AI development and overall adoption. The formation of a group of AI high performers bodes well for the technology as they lay the groundwork that will allow other companies to follow in their footsteps.
Humans.ai is also working hard to make AI available not only to AI high performers or companies in general but to humanity as a whole. 2023 will certainly be a great year for artificial intelligence as it will witness the launch of the Humans Blockchain mainnet, the first interoperable blockchain network from the Cosmos ecosystem capable of storing and executing AI.