Deetken Horizon

Introducing Deetken Horizon, the machine intelligence team at The Deetken Group

For many of us the term “artificial” or “machine” intelligence conjures up images of kind-hearted Sonny from I, Robot or the deceptively doe-eyed Dolores from Westworld. For some, an AI/MI future is dark, even apocalyptical, with aggressive machines taking over the world and relegating us to second class citizens… or worse.  For others, AI/MI promises a future utopia where daily drudgeries are performed by robots and humans are left to explore higher pursuits.

Whether we like it or not (or we’re just not sure what to think), machine intelligence is already a big part of our lives. (Learn more about MI in everyday life by reading one of our blogs.)

“Machine intelligence” refers to processes where computers perform some of the cognitive functions that we typically associate with the human mind, like learning, reasoning, and problem solving.  

In the way that tractors, assembly lines and robots have automated the agriculture and manufacturing industries, machine intelligence holds unprecedented opportunities to bring automation to the services industries.  This can help organizations work better, faster and cheaper.

The Deetken Group is proud to introduce Deetken Horizon, our machine intelligence team.  Deetken Horizon uses machine intelligence tools and techniques to harness the potential of automation for services industries, like healthcare, insurance, finance and law.

We have used MI to help clients improve their customer service and retention; to accelerate their sales to cash cycle; to reduce financial, operational and occupational safety risks; to measure the effectiveness of partners and suppliers; to free up time to work on high value activities; and, ultimately, to make better decisions, faster. 

The Deetken Horizon team is excited to tell you about our work. Click here to watch our latest video and to learn more about who we are and what we do.  You can also visit our MI webpage on The Deetken Group's website for more information about our team and some of our recent projects.

Video: Experience a typical day at The Deetken Group

At The Deetken Group, each day brings a new challenge.

Our management consulting team has a core set of skills - economic modelling and analysis, strategy development and planning, organizational design, advanced analytics, and other areas - to help clients solve complex problems. We've learned that no two problems are ever alike and we are constantly developing and refining our approaches to helping provide clients with the best possible solutions.

Our asset management team is now fully committed to impact investing in the areas of healthcare, clean renewable energy, small business and micro lending, and social housing with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. We recently launched the Deetken Impact Fund, one of the first impact funds in Canada with an international focus.

With so much going on, we've put together a short video so you could get to know us better. Click here to join us for "A Typical Day at The Deetken Group".

The potential of machine intelligence

What is machine intelligence?

For those of you that have an interest in the world of technology, whether personal or professional, you have almost certainly encountered the term “machine intelligence” in recent years.  Machine intelligence is not a new concept. In 1959, Arthur Samuel defined machine intelligence as “the ability of a machine to generalize knowledge from data without being explicitly programmed.” (1)  In other words, machine intelligence refers to the ability of a system to recognize patterns and to make predictions based on these patterns without human intervention. The computer “learns” by continuously gathering data to improve the accuracy of its predictions.  Since the term was coined, programs have been created that have simplified the use of machine intelligence, allowing machine intelligence tools to be widely applied to anything to do with the processing of data.

Many of us don’t realize that machine intelligence is a big part of our everyday lives. When ATMs are reading the written numbers on the cheques we deposit, Facebook is automatically tagging and identifying our friends and Siri is giving us those directions we asked for, we are seeing machine intelligence in action!

The potential of machine intelligence expands beyond the everyday.  IBM has created a robot named IBM Watson that is making groundbreaking progress in artificial intelligence. In 2011, IBM Watson competed on Jeopardy against former winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. IBM Watson had access to four terabytes of storage but no internet access -- and won! (2)  In other words, IBM Watson was able to identify the question being asked, predict what the best answer by running probabilities against storage data, and provide a verbal answer faster and with a greater degree of accuracy than the experts themselves.

Today, IBM Watson is learning how to identify objects using visual recognition, a machine intelligence application. Check out this video of IBM Watson using visual recognition to identify a hand of cards. (3) 

IBM is not the only company making breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. Google Glass has teamed up with Dapper Vision to design a product called OpenShades. (4) OpenShades uses speech recognition and text-to-speech machine intelligence applications to answer questions about the physical environment. For example, when shopping at the grocery store you can take a picture of the dairy section and ask, “where is the 2% milk?”.  OpenShades will send the photo to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace, and Twitter to ask the public for help and the answer is read out loud to the user. OpenShades has tested the base models on users to demonstrate how this technology can benefit people who are visually impaired.

Imagine combining the OpenShades product with IBM Watson’s visual recognition capacities to create a product that could give visually impaired individuals real-time answers about their physical environment.

We have only started to scratch the surface when it comes to the potential of machine intelligence. It may be that the only limiting factor to find new ways of applying machine intelligence techniques is our imagination!


(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_learning

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watson_(computer)

(3) https://www.ibm.com/blogs/watson/2016/06/programming-robots-play-poker-one-summer-watson/

(4) http://www.openshades.com/