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AI and Machine Learning: What’s the go?

May 08, 2018

Often, when people think of artificial intelligence and machine learning they conjure up images of lifeless robots taking on everyday tasks – like cooking dinner or taking out the trash. Some lean towards a more dystopian vision, where humans are out of real jobs and these machines are taking over the world.

Neither of these images are accurate, of course. In fact, we already live in a world where AI and machine learning play a big role in day-to-day functions (note: the surprising lack of robots overrunning our cities).

We can only expect the adoption of these technologies to grow, especially considering their current levels of success. So what do machine learning and AI make possible, how many companies are taking it on board and where does Cohort Go fit into the equation?

When you think of AI what do you imagine?When you think of AI what do you imagine?

A quick refresher: How does machine learning work?

In its simplest form, machine learning is a derivative of artificial intelligence. When you utilise machine learning it enables a system to acquire knowledge through a supervised learning experience.

In theory it looks like this: One of your team members will provide data for analysis, and give error-correcting feedback where necessary that then enables the system to improve itself. The system is then capable of adjusting its actions accordingly based on the patterns it’s been exposed to and the ones it recognises.

Machine learning is a powerful tool because it allows systems to develop and adapt to new data with little need for human intervention. It’s no wonder so many Australian organisations have adopted some form of the technology.

The proof is in the pudding: Uptick of adoption in Australia

According to the report Leadership in the Age of AI, conducted by Infosys Research, 51 per cent of Aussie companies are deploying some kind of machine learning. Of this 51 per cent, 48 percent are looking at automated reasoning, 47 percent at robotics, 44 percent at knowledge representation, and 39 percent Natural Language Processing.

What’s more telling is the sentiment toward and impact of this kind of technology. Just take a look at some of the stats:

  • 70 percent of leaders believe AI will have a positive effect on their workforce.
  • 48 percent believe AI has already augmented the skills of their employees to help and make them better at their work.
  • 45 percent stated AI is freeing up employees’ time for higher value work.
  • 45 per cent of IT decision makers report improved process performance from AI.
  • 40 percent of IT leaders report productivity gains due to IT time spent on higher-value innovative work.

Clearly the adoption of AI and machine learning technologies has a positive effect on Australian organisations and because of this it will continue to be the way forward for companies across the country.

Cohort Go and machine learning: What, why and how?

We sat down with our co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Paul Jones to chat about the unique ways in which Cohort Go uses machine learning every single day.

“At Cohort Go, we see the future in machine learning, and we’re working on lots of technologies to make the machines do the heavy lifting for us,” says Paul.

“At Cohort Go, we see the future in machine learning.”

“Our innovative compliance and payment proofing automation solution includes loads of features that leverage machine-learning style techniques to make our services more effective.”

For starters, we utilise specific technologies that ensure Cohort Go understands where every payment is going. This not only allows us to have full accountability and security over our users’ money, according to Paul, but it helps us ensure that payments remain within the international education sector.

Our automation tools use algorithms to visually extract details from client invoices, which eliminates the need for the user to have a full understanding of each local payment market. Through internal tools, our team members teach the system about new invoices as they appear, and then the technology takes that and applies it to all future invoices.

Further, the system is capable of handling documents that have changed from the original template – avoiding the need for costly development or training on every single variant of a source document. The technology will recognise the necessary components of the sheet and extract the relevant information.

This enables the system to function as a check-and-balance for all of our payments, cross checking all invoices to ensure the correct routing and compliance.

Leveraging technology and automation in these ways allows for a reduction in human admin and error. The former opens up your employees to do more critical and innovative work, the latter improves the functionality of your processes.

“Just think: If a single employee was required to pore through 600 invoices a day. That will not only take up all of their time but increases the chances of an error slipping through,” explains Paul. “Using this technology ensures we are completely compliant while giving our employees the room to thrive.”

We’re not just providing international students and agents with a service, we’re creating a better way of doing things. We accomplish this by working at the forefront of technology, day in and day out and running best-of-breed tools so that we can provide the best possible solutions on the market.

Cohort Go is creating a better way of doing things.

It’s what we’re passionate about and we reckon that’s why we’re so good at it.

Keen to get involved?

Sounds exciting, right? We think so too. As a software engineering organisation, we’re solving a broad range of problems by improving productivity, reducing costs and increasing choice. And we’re always looking for talented and enthusiastic people to join our engineering and business teams.

Want to come on the journey? We’d love to get your career off to a flying start. Check out our careers page for information on our most recent openings or simply follow along with the Cohort blog to keep an eye on our latest tech developments!

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Paul Jones
Paul has over 15 years experience in software development working on products covering the finance, consumer, mobile and B2B sectors. As CTO, Paul is responsible for driving the technology of the company and ensuring that it provides highly automated and streamlined solutions for students, agents and education providers.
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Paul Jones