Editor’s note: Charles Richards is business analyst and writer, at software development firm TatvaSoft UK, London. 

I have seen revolutionary progress in fields across the globe, especially in the area of social science. Technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence are the next horizon to explore. These machines have started making a crucial impact on the market research industry. But no matter how startling the effect seems to be at times, no machine can ever have the intelligence of a human being. 

It’s important to know what AI is and what it is not. Automation is widely being used throughout the insights industry to speed up a number of processes from recruitment to data collection and analysis. It is basically a simple set of rules that a machine follows to perform a task without human assistance. But the machine cannot make decisions or learn something new each time the process runs. 

According to Gartner, it is predicted that around 85 percent of customer interaction in the retail industry will be managed by artificial intelligence. Let’s look at a three ways artificial intelligence is being used today.

1.  Processing open-ended data

The process of applying statistical analysis techniques to huge volumes of written data with the aim to distill quantitative results has been dubbed big qual. To know more about it, check out the Google Cloud Natural Language API’s short demo. The program recognizes AI as the most salient entity in the paragraph. It has the capability to understand the category of text, syntactic structure and offer insights on sentiment. 

2. Machines making decisions

With relevant information, a machine can make decisions like never before. An example of this can be found in the application of natural language processing with Watson, a question-answering computer system developed in IBM’s DeepQA project. With the goal of pinpointing t...