A notion once confined to movies and books is changing the way businesses are being conducted today. While the future of mankind with AI is currently a hot topic of debate with a variety of opinions out there, more and more businesses are opting for artificial intelligence to improve business efficiency and productivity.
So, before we explore the applications of Artificial Intelligence in various fields and how it is making businesses smarter and efficient, let us understand ‘What AI is all about?’. Artificial Intelligence is a technology that allows machines to learn from experiences. These machines rely heavily on natural language processing and deep learning. By leveraging these technologies, machines learn to accomplish different tasks by processing huge amounts of data and identifying data patterns.
With this, the era of intelligent machines that react and work like humans have begun. So much so that these machines display cognitive behavior such as reasoning, learning, complex problem solving etc. just as humans do and can accomplish the work without any human intervention. So, does that mean that machines are ready to overpower human beings? Well, only time will tell.
There have been enormous developments in the field of AI in past few years with the tech giants like IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla coming up with AI products capable of augmenting human cognizance and revolutionizing the business landscape altogether. With products like Siri, Google Assistant, and chatbots already around to assist us 24/7, we find ourselves in the age of thinking machines that are all set to adapt, advance and improve.
Let us now look at applications of AI in some of the business domains:
Healthcare: Assistance in decision making (diagnosis and treatment)
IBM has developed a product named Watson, an AI system which can understand natural language and is capable of computing volumes of data (unstructured) to answer the queries asked in human language. Watson has multiple applications across various industries. In the healthcare domain, this AI based product is assisting doctors with diagnosis and treatment of diseases especially the rare ones. So, rather than scouring through the humongous data available on the internet or subscribing to various publications, doctors and other medical practitioners can utilize this product to process through millions of records already present in the system to make accurate diagnosis, as well as chart out an appropriate treatment plan. This has significantly reduced time spent by doctors on reading and investigation, as well as the overall cost that must otherwise be borne by patients.
Banking and Finance: Enhancing Security & Detecting Fraud
In the banking and Finance sector, Artificial Intelligence systems are being used to detect fraudulent and non-fraudulent transactions, based on the past instances that too with better proficiency. Apart from this, these systems are also used to assist in Anti Money Laundering (AML) procedures which were earlier handled by rule-based systems. By recognizing suspicious customer behavior, these systems can prevent several fraudulent activities.
E-commerce: Personalization and Customer Support
Artificial Intelligence has marked its’ presence in the retail industry as well. AI based systems, can help customers with personalization of products based on their past purchases. The system shortlists products from a large pool, based on past purchase experiences of customers thereby making it easier for them to purchase products online while increasing the sales and profit of online retail stores. Apart from this, chatbots, that are integrated by most online stores pop up every time a visitor visits a site, to assist them solve their queries.
Read more: Machine Learning in Healthcare
Automobiles: Self-driven/ Driverless cars
With the introduction of auto-pilot, AI has already set the ball rolling for the automobile market. In fact, we might soon witness robots hitting the roads. According to Elon Musk, by the end of 2018, we will have cars with coast-to-coast drive feature which means you just sit in the car, tell it where to go and it will quickly ferry you there. In some cases, the car might not even need you telling it where to go. For example, if you travel to the office every day at the same time, such a car will take you to the office without you even instructing it to do so.
This is one of the first areas being affected by AI and for good. Today, there are huge plants being run by machines that too without any manual intervention. These plants are much efficient than humans could have ever imagined.
In a nutshell, we can infer that AI capabilities finds high demand in almost every industry and are all set to transform the business landscape. Businesses that are ready to adopt AI in their business processes will surely remain way ahead of their counterparts in the years to come.