We recently secured an exclusive interview with Rainbird Chairman, James Duez, to learn how they are currently deploying AI in their business, and how they plan to do so in the future.

According to their website, “Rainbird is an award winning Artificial Intelligence platform that makes your business operations smarter.” The general crux of their cloud-based AI platform is to deliver their customers with powerful tools that will aid them to operate far more efficiently than before. It’s also specifically designed so that anybody can use it. You don’t need to be an AI expert or a software developer to use Rainbird’s cognitive reasoning platform, which was one of their main goals whilst developing their AI.

In the run-up to the AI Summit London, we spoke to Rainbird’s Chairman, James Duez, to understand more about how they are using AI today, and how they plan to going forward.

Making a simple, easy to use, AI platform

We started off our conversation with Duez by asking him to outline how Rainbird is currently deploying AI. “Rainbird is a cognitive reasoning platform,” he began. “It uses a model of existing human knowledge (known as a knowledge map) and combines that with data to make automated complex judgements. It can discover new facts and learn from any starting point,” finished Duez.

The conversation then moved on to which industries Duez saw as gaining the most traction in relation to AI. Banking, Financial Services and Insurance,” he highlighted. “Unlike other AI technologies, Rainbird can automate very complex decisions (including legal and tax judgements) but critically can also explain the reasons for each judgement. This acts as an audit trail making Rainbird ideally suited to regulated markets. We also have some clinical examples,” concluded Duez.

Duez went on to detail which areas of business AI would have the biggest effect. “Globally AI will continue to have a profound impact on the provisions of financial services and medical,” he stated.

However, Rainbird is operating within an increasingly crowded area of tech, which begged the question, what sets Duez’s company apart from their competitors who are also using AI. “Rainbird is differentiated in four ways,” he explained. “It has a visual mapping interface and a powerful, yet simple to use language, making it easy for business people.

Standing out from the AI crowd

Duez then mapped out the other areas which differentiated Rainbird from its competitors in the field. “You can build single knowledge maps capable of making multiple complex decisions. You can connect your model to external data and APIs to drive real-time decisioning. What you build can also be used as a ‘decision engine’ to power other systems, for example underwriting and compliance / risk models.”

He continued, “Rainbird is probabilistic and can therefore make judgements even in the face of uncertainty, ambiguity and missing data. This makes it ideal for complex decision making, traditionally reserved for humans. Unlike machine learning technology, Rainbird can provide a rationale for all automated decisions it makes. This serves as an audit trail for every judgement, ideal for regulatory and compliance applications.”

AInfinity and Beyond

2017 has been a pivotal year for AI technologies. Before now, it was all hype, but this year the hype has proven to be real. Therefore, we asked Duez what he thought the rate of adoption of AI would be this year, and how he saw it changing things for businesses in the future. “AI has actually been with us for many years, but AI solutions are not always recognised as such (see “The AI Effect”),” he said.

“That said, AI continues to be adopted rapidly into mainstream businesses to transform operational efficiency, raise standards of service and innovate entirely new products and services. Traditionally, AI has been focused on discovering hidden insights in large amounts of data. Through tools like Rainbird, AI will also start automating complex tasks safe in the knowledge that there is a full audit trail for each reasoning process,” 

There are also huge challenges to adopting AI, and Duez was on hand to explain how Rainbird tackled them. “AI really is the 4th industrial revolution, but there remains a lot of hype and large promises,” he began. “Enterprise is very good at focusing on what is real and what is not. However, businesses that are not already engaged with cognitive technologies have already fallen behind. New start-ups (think challenger banks) are building their businesses from the bottom up to utilise this powerful range of technologies. Established businesses need to innovate fast if they are to compete.”

We ended our conversation with Duez by giving him the difficult task of predicting where Rainbird would be in five years’ time in relation to the adoption of AI. “Rainbird is becoming established as the default cognitive reasoning engine for compliant markets, that is easy to use, hyper-connected and capable of explaining its judgements in plain English (or any other language),” he concluded.