5 Industries Benefitting from Artificial Intelligence

Get ready for the next technological disruptor. Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way industries operate, and it will continue to do so as computers and machines become not just smarter but also more capable of autonomous thinking. To be clear, AI denotes intelligent behaviours that once required cognitive (human) function. Some AI applications will require human input, but as machines become better at learning, they will be able to work independently. Applications of AI in industry are only beginning to be understood. But it’s clear that AI can help, and in some cases, is already helping – with everything from supply chain logistics to automated labour to R&D to customer service. A few other tasks that AI can perform include:

  • data gathering
  • predictive analysis
  • automating call distribution
  • financial trading
  • improving media buying
  • reducing production management
  • detecting and deterring security intrusions

 

The advantages to enterprise are clear. By outsourcing these processes, organizations can save money, time and resources through reducing human error, completing a larger workload in less time, and streamlining services. 

AI has been around in some form or another for centuries, although the field of modern AI research can be traced back to the 1950s. But experts in some industries, like oil and gas, are predicting that 2019 will be the year that AI fulfills its promise.

With advances in computers and machine-learning, AI is moving from theory to practice, from merely collecting data to solving problems. As the tech moves forward, AI will become capable of increasingly more complicated functions. Here, we’ll look at how AI will impact industry in the coming years.

 

Hospitality

Customer service is a vital part of the travel industry. So, it’s no surprise that, as it becomes more efficient and reliable, AI is playing an increasingly large and valuable role in hospitality.

In the hospitality industry, this translates to AI providing basic customer services at any time of the day, as well as performing personalization tasks. By collecting and analyzing data, whether from web browsing activity, user profiles, previous interactions and other sources, AI can distribute personalized content like tailored recommendations. It can also do more advanced problem-solving and even sales processes and direct messaging through chatbots that can respond to simple questions or requests, instantaneously.

Much of this can be done behind the scenes. But Hilton Hotels and IBM have taken AI a step further: they’ve introduced a robot concierge, “Connie,” that can provide recommendations to guests.

 

Professional services

For financial advisors, the challenge will be to digitize their business to take advantage of opportunities created by AI. These include smart wealth managers—that is, automated wealth bots capable of using complex algorithms to calculate the best investment opportunities, interest rates, and loan providers.

Mortgage lenders can stay competitive in a flooded market by expediting the lending process using AI tools. Machine learning and AI can be used to provide customized lending solutions and transactional services for mortgage and real estate agencies.

AI’s ability to quickly gather data from documents, reports, transactions, and other sources means that we will soon see the day when the entire mortgage process will be performed on a tablet or even mobile in a fraction of the time it takes today. 

 

Oil & Gas

One of AI’s most practical applications is predictive analysis. In industries like oil and gas, this can prove invaluable.

By drawing on historical data (where available), AI can develop algorithms that predict how a well’s yield will change over time. AI can also digitally analyze oil through data collection via sensors, machines and satellites.

Virtual assistants such as online chat platforms can help customers navigate databases and process general inquiries.

AI can also aid the industry to increase the recovery of fossil resources, improve production processes, reduce costs and improve safety.

AI can also be used for finding new energy sources. In 2016 ExxonMobile announced that the company was working with MIT on developing robots for ocean exploration.

 

Agriculture

When it comes to agriculture, robots can harvest crops at a higher volume and faster pace than human labour. But the benefits of AI don’t end there.

Using computer vision and deep-learning algorithms, AI can process data captured by drones and/or software-based tech to monitor crops and soil. And predictive analytics through machine-learning models can track and predict environmental impacts, such as weather change, on crop yield.

 

Retail

In retail, AI can be used to help businesses become more successful at making important and difficult decisions.

It can be especially useful in the supply chain, where a forecasting engine with machine learning can help with supply chain planning. AI can also be used to find and fix shipping inefficiencies, find and select a reliable supplier, and manage warehouses. Autonomous intelligent agents like One Network’s Neo and IBM’s Watson can keep the moving parts in a supply chain on track, day and night.

As in hospitality, AI can be employed to improve customer service in retail with personalized service and direct marketing. Individualized attention through predictive analytics, an easier, more convenient sales process using automation, and chatbots for customer interaction are among the AI-fuelled innovations that can help retailers, especially those with large sets of data to draw from.

With these and more applications, AI’s potential to aid and improve industry is practically limitless. And it’s pretty good at chess, too.

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