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Artificial Intelligence Trends and How AI Can Help Your Business

Artificial intelligence is changing how modern enterprises operate. Modern trends in AI are impacting almost every industry in our economy. Here are the AI trends in 2021.

Ostap Zabolotnyy
Ostap ZabolotnyyDigital Marketing Manager
Artificial Intelligence Trends and How AI Can Help Your Business

Artificial intelligence is one of the most popular and widely accepted future technologies. It has turned into a vital part of our consumer lives. It is expected that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will spread more rapidly across different industries, including healthcare, technology, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, supply chain management, and many other sectors, in the coming years.

Because of the rise of new milestones in AI research, it is worth examining how businesses can use AI to optimize their operations with analytical tools that offer better insights and automation that reduces costs associated with certain tasks.

The artificial intelligence trend is growing fast – as John Markoff writes for The New York Times, "Researchers once scoffed at the idea of machines' ever performing jobs done well by humans." However, today, the rapid advance of artificial intelligence has brought us to the edge of a new revolution in robotics.

This article will do a deep dive into the brief history of Artificial Intelligence and detail how it can potentially help your business.

Artificial Intelligence as an Independent Field

In 1956, computer scientist John McCarthy coined the term "artificial intelligence," which refers to machines capable of simulating human cognitive abilities such as learning, problem-solving, and reasoning. Since then, many philosophers and scientists have tried to address questions such as: what is artificial intelligence? How can it be achieved? And what benefits will it bring about for society? 

However, there is still no consensus on these issues. Therefore, we will focus more on how businesses and consumers benefit from AI rather than defining its concept. Instead of concentrating only on recent in-depth theories, this article will provide a few examples of how AI applications are used in everyday life.

Processing and Learning With Machine Learning

Machine learning methods have been applied in many industries since the first half of the 20th century. However, the concept has become more significant since the 1950s with a landslide development in computer technology. It is believed that machine learning will drive future technologies such as data mining and computer vision. In particular, deep learning – an application of machine learning that provides systems with a human-like capability to learn from experience and knowledge acquired through interaction with its surroundings. It is gaining increasing attention due to its uses ranging from image recognition to speech synthesis. Furthermore, neural networks (or artificial neural networks) – a model inspired by the structure and function of neurons in the brain – are thought to be most capable of providing us with real AI.

Current Trends and Applications

The advancements in deep learning and neural networks, which are widely used in current applications such as speech recognition or machine translation, have led experts to predict that self-learning machines will soon appear not only on factory floors but also at home.

Amazon has been working on "Alexa," its AI assistant that can understand human speech and respond appropriately. Alexa already helps users order goods from online stores using voice commands; users can check weather reports or news without turning on their computer thanks to the growing number of compatible devices. 

Similarly, in 2015 Google's AlphaGo beat Sedol Lee, a Go grandmaster, in 4 out of 5 matches, which was considered a highlight of AI development. This event revealed that we are not far from seeing machines compete with humans on their terms.

As mentioned above, another advantage of using deep learning and neural networks is the fact that they can be updated through the experience without being reprogrammed, as demonstrated by AlphaGo's ability to improve its play after each game against Sedol Lee. This characteristic further proves that AI improves with time; therefore, it will eventually surpass our abilities. 

Many companies have already started to expand their business scope, which was once considered impossible for machines, by applying AI technology. For example, an American retailer has partnered with robots to deliver ordered items instead of human labor. 

The company utilizes AutoMax's "Autonomous Delivery Solution" (ADS), which consists of a robot named CartonWrap that delivers online orders and three-wheeled electric vehicles called FreeWheelers. In addition, there are companies such as Boston Dynamics that develop robot dogs to help disabled people walk again.

With the advancement in AI development, it is expected that more intelligent machines will be invented soon. Therefore we believe that you should incorporate AI into your business if you have not done so before.

The Main Effects of AI on Business and the Economy

Since AI technology can enhance a company's efficiency and competitiveness, there will be various positive effects on business. For example, you can reduce labor costs by replacing human workers with machines, dramatically increasing your profit margin. 

Even though this could lead to unemployment in industrialized nations, firms that manage to implement AI technologies early and take advantage of its effect are likely to improve their productivity and achieve long-term growth.

Another benefit of using AI applications is stable supply, as illustrated by Amazon's autonomous delivery system. With the growing demand for online shopping services worldwide but relatively limited production capacity on retailers' side (especially during peak times such as Christmas), it is forecasted that efficient supply chains will be an important factor for success. That said, businesses that utilize AI-powered supply chains will benefit from stable supplies and a reduction in stockouts. 

These days voice recognition software is available at low cost, so there is no need for companies to employ people whose job requires communication skills. As long as the tasks delegated to machines are not complicated enough that human judgment becomes necessary, they are unlikely to make mistakes.

In addition, many firms have started to replace employees that perform low-skilled tasks or repetitive jobs with AI technology. For example, Foxconn has partnered with an American firm to recruit a new army of robots for manufacturing in China. In the future, more products will be manufactured by machines than humans since they can build them at lower cost and better quality compared to human workers.  

As long as AI-powered services become available on a mass scale, it is likely that companies will change their business strategies (or even disappear) due to the advancing technology. This poses challenges not only on how you take advantage of such changes but also on adapting your business plan when confronted by these disruptive forces.  

Industry-Specific Use Cases

To get a better idea of how AI can impact several business sectors, let us consider the following:

Finance

The financial industry has been using AI for quite some time - since the late 1970s, to be precise. Current investments into AI is in the millions of dollars, and there are several strong reasons why:

Automation of FinTech Processes

Automating manual processes associated with finance allows for timely decision-making and increased accuracy. Many bank branches have already started incorporating self-service technology where customers can conduct daily transactions without any human interaction, which signifies a massive breakthrough in business efficiency. Similarly, micro-investments options (like Robinhood) disallow commissions on transactions, thereby allowing users to invest more easily. This only means that adopting new technologies like machine learning will improve profitability by reducing the time taken for each transaction.

Reduced Risk of Fraud

As AI systems are expected to interpret data more accurately than humans, it will greatly reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft in banking transactions, which are very likely today. Apart from that, automation can also reduce costs significantly by eliminating manual processes involving a huge workforce and a set of individuals who could compromise the data security policy of your organization. For example, what if one employee at any point in time makes an error while processing daily transactions? Will you then need to shut down the entire system so that you conduct an audit? With AI systems working 24/7 monitoring and analyzing all activities on your network, it will also improve overall security. 

Enhanced Customer Experience

AI in the finance industry allows for a more personalized experience and improved customer service. The banking sector has always been concerned with addressing customer needs and effectively communicating product offerings that suit their requirements. Financial organizations are also looking to increase customer satisfaction by offering support via multiple channels such as telephone, social media, etc. Robot process automation (RPA) is another technology that allows humans to control computers and instruct them to do tasks more efficiently than before through various interfaces which users can access through any operating system.

Healthcare

AI in healthcare is a great way to reduce costs and improve medical service delivery. One case study shows the use of 2 AI programs that could analyze vast quantities of data and then predict future disease outcomes for patients. This process was used to re-analyze existing human decisions based on past experiences, making it easier for decision-makers to select the most effective treatment regime for patients by factoring in age, gender, previous illnesses, etc.

Moreover, AI can also be beneficial for applications in the pharmaceutical industry; for example, pharmaceutical companies are using AI to create new drug molecules. AI-powered drug discovery allows for faster breakthroughs in disease treatment and a greater number of highly efficient drugs in the market.

Automation and Enhanced Business Processes

AI is also expected to streamline business processes with its comprehensive nature - it can adapt to new tasks, recognize objects or trends, learn from previous projects and apply this knowledge to new problems. It is not surprising that AI-powered robots are already being used by companies like Amazon.com, Taco Bell, GEICO, etc.

Real Estate

AI can be applied across several tasks and decision points throughout the real estate process, such as screening potential buyers or tenants or generating complete property reports. The use of this technology has seen an increase in sales conversions by up to 30%. Another interesting application of AI is generating more accurate home inspections by comparing images captured through drones with historical data extracted from public records etc. 

This helps create a virtual tour using computer vision (CV) to allow potential buyers to visit the property virtually. As such, AI will become more integrated within industries and real-life applications, as depicted by these two examples.

Manufacturing/ Logistics

There are various ways in which companies can benefit from adopting AI solutions, especially for traditionally manual or laborious processes, one of which is by automating workforce management functions to improve efficiency and accuracy of personnel allocation. 

For example, suppose you're running an online food delivery service with several drivers across the country. In that case, your company would likely need a way to monitor their daily schedules, locations, etc.

Other Use Cases

Natural language processing also provides a lot of enterprise use-cases for AI. An AI chatbot can collect data about potential clients from their social media accounts which significantly reduces the time taken by realtors to research each buyer/tenant. 

Key Takeaways

To conclude, AI can play a crucial role in helping businesses achieve their targets and objectives. However, because of the magnitude of this technology, companies need to have a fundamental knowledge of AI before incorporating them into their business or adopting modern trends related to AI. 

What is even more exciting is what tomorrow holds for AI and what it can do for businesses. After all, this technology is accelerating exponentially and is predicted to deliver even more exciting results soon. Paired with other emerging technologies such as blockchain and quantum computing will not only lead to the enterprise use-cases of AI becoming robust; these will spearhead the world into a new industrial revolution — the likes of which we have never seen before. 

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