AI does not belong solely in the realm of science fiction nor is it a harbinger of doom as it is sometimes portrayed in popular culture. On Planet Earth, our most intimate interactions with AI are likely to be with virtual personal assistants the likes of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. AI is also gaining momentum in business, from providing insights to increasing operational efficiency and improving customer service and experience.
KPMG Head of IT-Enabled Transformation in Malaysia, Alvin Gan says automation and AI are already reshaping how financial institutions deliver services and improve internal operations efficiency. Gan adds that KPMG has also worked with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to use data and analytics in its game scheduling. The league – where the average team is reported to be worth US$1.65 billion – has to schedule its 30 teams to play in 1,230 games over a 6-month period.
“Using AI, we established a cloud-based optimisation system, creating more than 32 trillion possible schedules. Each schedule was evaluated by the system which dramatically improved the key performance objectives. Fan experiences saw substantial improvements as high quality matchups were scheduled at the most optimal times. We also saw overall schedule improvements as logistics issues were addressed especially for teams that shared arenas. Player health metrics also dramatically improved as the number of back-to-back games was reduced with more rest for teams in between games,” says Gan.