We’ve been talking more and more about AI over the past decade, and we have seen advances as new capabilities are finding their ways into our daily lives. From Siri and Alexa to the cars we drive and even security in airports, AI is moving from fiction to reality. While it can be hard to agree on what artificial intelligence means, there’s no doubt that computer-assisted activities are all around us.

Consider for example what Adobe is doing with Adobe Sensei, its machine learning and AI engine. Adobe Sensei is powering user-level intelligence in its Adobe Creative Cloud solutions, helping augment creative teams and streamline tasks. It anticipates what the users are trying to accomplish and makes suggestions automatically.

But there are still many digital scenarios that are in need of AI, and some are mission critical. Take the need for situation awareness, for example. With more data generated each day than we can possibly consume, it is already difficult to find the proverbial “needle in the haystack” so that organizations can pinpoint urgent problems before they become disasters. How do we know what to look at? Where do we focus our limited time and attention?

Here’s where AI comes in. While it’s impossible for any one person (or team) to sift through a million pieces of information, AI can help filter that down to the top 10 or 20 pieces that are the most relevant, based on criteria that are selected in advance. We call this “augmented curation,” where AI helps you know what information is going to be the make-or-break kind and surfaces it to the top of the stack for you. It’s not easy and it’s not magic, but it has become necessary.

At this point, we need computer-assisted discovery. What should we be looking at today? Or right now? This is especially challenging for people who have to monitor complex or chaotic situations. The sheer volume of content is staggering. Without some kind of automated assistance, there’s no way to stay on top of the information. Decision makers need to know that they are viewing the most relevant, most critical data in real time, thereby improving both the quality and the speed of critical choices about how to take action.

By Demian Entrekin, Chief Technology Officer