Businesses are often data-rich but information-poor. Machine learning is changing that. The use of artificial intelligence to let computers learn independently through algorithms without being explicitly programmed can help companies process vast quantities of complex data to improve analytics, predictive accuracy and decision-making.

Machine learning is already being used in everything from fraud detection to self-driving cars, and in sectors from marketing to government. CIO UK looks at how eight leading CIOs are using machine learning in their businesses:

"We are currently working on machine learning to pick up early signals of ill health. For instance, feedback loops on the early signs of sepsis, which flag before any detectable signs to the clinician. My current role is to ensure that this is implemented in line with national recording guidance which does not cover machine learning. This is currently in pilot phase in the A&E in Salford."
Rachel Dunscombe, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust CIO


"We could use machine learning where we currently have manual intervention in aspects of our workflows, and we could even get to the stage where we use a lot of machine learning in our underwriting algorithms," says Rob Harding, Capital One Europe CIO. The company has already implemented some aspects of machine learning into its data science team, but Harding believes there is much more to be explored in the area."
Rob Harding, Capital One Europe CIO


"JLL has partnered with Leverton, a Berlin-based 'proptech' start-up company, as we are seeking to increase automation in our lease management operations to ensure improved efficiency and swifter delivery of outputs for our clients. Leverton uses machine learning and deep learning technology to identify, extract and manage key terms and data from corporate documents in multiple languages. Machine learning and deep learning technology searches for key terms such as rental values, dates and figures to radically optimise the way that lease documents are reviewed and analysed

"Our work with Leverton on machine learning technology implementation across our lease administration business is transforming the way we do things. Lease contracts can comprise between three and 15 documents, hence, digitising the process significantly reduces the time spent reading and reviewing each document. It also allows the lease administrator to spend time applying subject matter expertise in recognising patterns, anomalies and opportunities."
Chris Zissis, JLL EMEA CIO


"A number of initiatives in machine learning show great potential to allow our scientists to focus on the science and reduce time to produce predictive models from weeks to hours."
David Smoley, AstraZeneca UK CIO


"Today, every plant around the world brings forecasting, inventory, and production information together in their ERP to help managers meet a demand cycle. With machine learning and AI, we will be connecting the machines in the plant to that ERP, and our ability to determine how, when and where to produce parts to meet a demand forecast will improve dramatically."
Jim Fowler, GE CIO


"We've deployed some AI/ML capability within our sentiment dashboard application, which uses machine learning services in the cloud combined with in-house data to build a picture for the licensee. The BI/analytics initiative we've started centres on SQL Server 2016, which brings high-end analytics and machine learning capability through Cortana and PowerBI."
Mike McMinn, Marston's IT director


"We're running a pilot with Microsoft's backing, plugging building management systems into their machine learning product, to see if we can predict maintenance cycles and energy use. I see that as a really interesting area of development, and it also ties into our IoT work."
Chris Weston, Bellrock CIO


"At Ovo we have 20% of our base on smart meters already, transmitting consumption data to us up to every 10 seconds. We have developed a smart IoT device that connects to the meter via ZigBee and gives us data in real time. We store everything in NoSQL and time series databases and analyse it using machine learning."
Mariano Albera, former Ovo Energy CTO