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SudhiSudhi, Why did you decide to write this book about artificial intelligence? Reimagining Businesses with AI
by Khaled Al Huraimel (Author), Sudhi Sinha  (Author)

Discover what AI can do for your business with this approachable and comprehensive resource

Reimagining Businesses with AI acquaints readers with both the business challenges and opportunities presented by the rapid growth and progress of artificial intelligence. The accomplished authors and digital executives of the book provide you with a multi-industry approach to understanding the intersection of AI and business.

The book walks you through the process of recognizing and capitalizing on AI’s potential for your own business. The authors describe:

How to build a technological foundation that allows for the rapid implementation of artificial intelligence
How to manage the disruptive nature of powerful technology while simultaneously harnessing its capabilities
The ethical implications and security and privacy concerns raised by the spread of AI
Perfect for business executives and managers who seek a jargon-free and approachable manual on how to implement artificial intelligence in everyday operations, Reimagining Businesses with AI also belongs on the bookshelves of anyone curious about the interaction between artificial intelligence and business.


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Sinclair - Why did you decide to write this book about artificial intelligence?

Sudhi Sinha

There are two reasons why I like to engage in writing – 1) internalizing new learnings and 2) as a de-stressor. I have been working in the analytics space for more than 20 years now and in the artificial intelligence (AI) space for the last several years. In dealing with business leaders on the topic of AI, I found that we could use more topical education and practical examples to help the business leaders imagine the possibilities for leveraging AI in their businesses and be emboldened to transform their businesses with a digital and analytical foundation. 

Historically, we were data deficient. The growth of Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and other enabling technologies in the past decade have resulted in a data deluge. Simultaneously, the global economy and our society have been undergoing major transformations that are impacting businesses in profound ways. The competitive landscape has been changing faster than ever because technology is redefining the traditional notions of value creation and entry barriers. In this highly complex and dynamic environment, business leaders need new tools to address tomorrow’s opportunities. AI provides new capabilities to understand patterns of events, correlate otherwise disparate data, simulate scenarios and predict outcomes. While AI provides new capabilities, as a discipline it is not new. AI has been under development for nearly 70 years now. The recent COVID-19 crisis has amplified the need for us to focus on digitization and AI.

Sinclair - How do you think AI will impact the construction industry?

Sudhi Sinha

Buildings today are complex technology ecosystems and a key enabler for businesses and institutions to achieve their goals. The growth of connected endpoints has reached an inflection point of exponential growth in both homes and buildings, a trend that extends seamlessly into enterprises and cities. The last two years have been pivotal in that transition. A new phase of digitization is taking off in the buildings sector as providers adopt new generations of IoT-enabled technologies, mobile-based solutions and software powered by more advanced analytics.

The current improvements in IoT technologies are redefining how building management is perceived and executed. Different building domains, like HVAC, fire, security and lighting, that historically evolved in silos due to specialized networks, bandwidth constraints, procurement cycles and functional separations are now being evaluated for convergence to create better outcomes and experiences for building operators and occupants. Building automation and management are now being reshaped by new digital technologies and the power of data analytics. This reshaping combined with a rich and diverse set of intelligent equipment, rapid strides in standard communication protocols and a demand for future-proof infrastructure has led businesses across industries to consider and/or pursue a digital transformation of their built environment. The business value created by the use of digital technologies and AI is undeniable. Now we can supplement the physical aspects of the buildings industry with greater digital insights. Buildings are like living, breathing entities that operate in a very dynamic environment. New digital technologies and analytical capabilities, including AI, allow the management of this changing environment to make buildings more adaptive and self-learning. The objective is to reduce operating costs, improve asset value (including brand recognition) and, most importantly, enhance the productivity of people and assets. The AI-powered buildings are self-conscious and self-healing.

Sinclair - In your opinion, can I substitute AI for the engineering and deep domain knowledge of the buildings industry?

Sudhi Sinha

Many proponents of AI make the case that AI is the panacea for all problems, but I do not think that applies to the buildings industry. The way I think about it is that there are multiple layers built on top of each other. Rather I would say each of these aspects is complementary. First, you have the physical structure and design of the building, and then you have the different electrical/electronic and mechanical devices and equipment. This is your engineering part. Then you have domain knowledge about how to integrate and make all this work together. The software and AI sit on top of these layers. Without the physical component, we cannot have a standing building, we cannot have data. And, without domain knowledge, one cannot train AI algorithms. We also must understand that even if we have already built all AI and software systems, they still need tweaking and maintenance as things evolve over a period. Therefore one cannot substitute engineering and domain knowledge 

Sinclair - What factors do you think will determine the adoption of AI in the buildings industry?

Sudhi Sinha

ingent regulation and emission norms by government bodies across the world, constant focus on energy usage reduction, productivity improvements, the well-being of tenants and occupants, conformance to standards by industry body, operational efficiencies, safety and security and improvement in ROI for building owners are some of the many drivers for adoption of AI in the buildings industry. Although it may seem that these problems are very independent of each other, there is a good overlap. The traditional approach of seeing them as independent problem statements and solving them separately doesn’t work anymore. Also, advancement in data technology and IoT means that the amount of data produced by a building is huge. The traditional standalone programs and systems fail to take advantage of the same. All these factors make building an ecosystem highly complex. I believe these are some of the key reasons why the building industry will see greater adoption of AI as it can handle the complexity and unleash synergies that were not possible otherwise. 

Sinclair - Why do you think the buildings industry is now at the cusp of a major transformation?

Sudhi Sinha

It is interesting to note that we spend around 80% of our time indoors within buildings. It may be because of work, social interactions or leisure. More and more people, leaders and governments understand that built environments are a very important part of our life. The reason I believe that we are at the cusp of a major transformation is because of the fundamental changes that have happened in the industry. And as I mentioned earlier, these fundamental changes are driven by regulatory, behavioral, safety and security and economics. But the most important change that has happened over the last decade or so is the advent of big data analytics and IoT. For the first time, we have the right incentives and ingredients in place to transform the industry in a major way.


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