QUINCY -- Artificial intelligence will continue to affect all aspects of business productivity in the future.
That was the overriding message at an AI seminar Wednesday at John Wood Community College's Workforce Development Center, an event that spotlighted representatives from IBM Watson Analytics.
"Everyone is collecting data, and if you're not, you should probably start," Jayger McGough Tomasino, an analytics technical specialist for IBM, told a group of local businessmen and JWCC students.
The idea behind artificial intelligence in the corporate world is to use computer technology to retrieve information from the internet and social media, then help analyze it to assist businesses improve such areas as marketing and sales.
"The world is changing quickly -- very, very quickly," said Gordon Forbes, the coordinator of business, industry and vocational education art at the Workforce Development Center.
The use of available data through AI -- knowing how to access and analyze the numbers and other information -- will be even more vital in the coming years.
Information presented by Forbes pointed out that there are now 10 billion internet user accounts and more than 5.9 billion Google searches done each day, and technology information doubles every two years.
The term "artificial intelligence" often carries a negative connotation in science fiction movies, but it is a different story in the real world, Tomasino said.
"The idea is not to replace human beings, but to augment their abilities to gain insight," he said.
Laura Trouvais, an academic program administrator for IBM, underlined those thoughts.
"It's still important to keep humanity involved," she said.
Tomasino provided several demonstrations illustrating how the proper collection and analysis of available data can lead to better pinpointing of sales and promotions to build a stronger business model.
"You can get insights faster and save time, and time is money," Tomasino said.