5 AI-driven functions that shape today’s industries
History tells us that the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has been around since Greek antiquity. But it wasn’t until centuries later (particularly, in the 1950s when the technological revolution took off) that the world actually saw AI as a reality, beginning with British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing -- said to be one of the first individuals to come up with the idea of machines that think.
AI is loosely defined as an area of computer science which is concerned with making machines work smart, similar to the way that the human mind works. It’s an umbrella term for a number of different technologies, including machine learning, robotics, computer vision, cognitive computing, and natural language processing among many others.
The evolution of technology over time shows how businesses have leveraged AI to address business needs, and aid in their work processes. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review research shows that among the 250 business executives they have surveyed, 51% said that they are using AI to improve their existing products. Meanwhile, only 22% of the respondents said they are using automation to reduce headcount (or manpower).
In many industries around the globe, AI has influenced a variety of work processes, the common areas of which include the following:
- Customer service
AI has transformed customer service interactions. For instance, some businesses these days use “chatbots” on their websites and social media pages to address customer concerns. Through natural language processing, chatbots can almost instantly provide answers, recommendations and even instructions to customers.
- Cyber security
AI in a global perspective might still be at its infancy stage, considering that most industries still depend on conventional cyber security measures to protect their digital properties. In the United States, however, 87% of companies are using AI in their cyber security strategy -- that’s according to Webroot, an American firm that provides internet security for consumers and businesses.
Cyber security experts, for instance, depend on AI to detect harmful digital system red flags, which humans may not have the time or resources to search for; or it can categorize attacks based on threat levels.
AI, through machine learning-based systems is revolutionizing the production industry. It can help increase productivity, minimize manual errors, reduce costs, and automate repetitive tasks. In food production, for instance, AI (through robotics and machine learning) can help sort products, detect inconsistencies, or use sensors/machine vision systems to determine whether or not employees adhere to standard sanitary practices in the production area.
- Data Management, analysis
AI can help solve industries’ data management and analysis woes. For example, healthcare, through AI-powered technologies like Deepmind Health, can mine medical records to provide faster and better health services. It securely stores the medical records of patients; and uses it along with external research and clinical expertise to help select the correct, and personalized treatment for them.
- Human resource, hiring process
Merging AI into HR helps improve the overall employee experience. How? Let’s take for example the process of onboarding, or familiarizing new employees into the work processes of the business. Questions such as “how many vacation leaves do I have in a year,” or “when will I be entitled to a salary loan?” can be answered by a chatbot, giving time for HR personnel to handle more complex matters.
In the process of recruitment, “AI recruiters” can sift through resumes, and match the best ones to the appropriate open positions; schedule interviews, and even interview candidates through tools that measure applicants’ skills and personalities against those who have been successful in the same job posts by looking into qualities like facial expression and word choice.
AI is capable of providing innovative ways to streamline every aspect of a business operation. But, we’re barely scratching the surface. Take note that AI has the potential to influence other business/work processes in ways unimaginable, and through responsible, strategic efforts we can make AI work for our advantage.