Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming businesses and is dominating the entire technology landscape; especially the consumer-focused companies. With the growing proliferation of AI, we are seeing an impact across industries. As per a 2017 study by PWC, AI adoption will result in the global economy growing 14 percent by 2030. It will add a massive $15.7 trillion to the global economy. As per a Microsoft commissioned Economist Intelligence Unit report titled “Intelligent economies: AI’s transformation of industries and societies,” 90 percent of global businesses expect AI to have a positive impact on growth. 86 percent expect AI to boost productivity. The writing on the wall is clear: AI is here to stay!
Given the myriad capabilities of artificial intelligence, it has several wide-ranging applications that are relevant across industries. While the impact of AI is expected to be felt across all industries some sectors such as Healthcare, Banking, Retail, Consumer & Package goods, and Technology are the most likely domains to be disrupted. Here’s a summary on the impact across these sectors:
Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize every aspect of the healthcare industry, right from hospital care to clinical research to drug development to insurance. While there is some amount of paranoia about AI replacing doctors completely, the idea is still quite far-fetched. However, with its ability to process and analyze massive amounts of data, AI can help doctors make more sound decisions about the course of treatment.
AI can also help provide 24/7 monitoring support and act as a virtual private assistant for patients. In turn, this will help cut costs while improving patient outcomes. In addition, virtual bots can answer patients’ most commonly asked questions. Virtual Recommendation systems can recommend the right doctors based on patient history. In other words, AI will take on all the simpler actions at scale and allow the doctors and nurses to really focus on the patient’s diagnosis and treatment.
The banking sector is likely to see the impact of artificial intelligence right from core banking all the way through to customer experience. AI can help streamline business processes, through robotic process automation or natural language processing, eliminating the need for tedious manual interventions especially in areas such as document reviewing. At the same time, virtual assistants such as chatbots can help elevate customer experience with highly personalized interactions and tailored offerings, delivered at scale. This allows employees to focus on higher-value tasks instead of being tied down by mundane activities such as routine customer calls.
Credit risk management systems and fraud detection frameworks can help anticipate the probability of default, calculate exposure at default and loss due to default models. This allows faster approval times and more accurate predictions of risk.
Retail and E-Commerce
Artificial intelligence can help drive more efficient and optimized supply chains through better forecasting facilitated by machine learning. Predictive analytics can enable better inventory management by helping retailers get more accurate forecasts on expected sales. AI can also help streamline marketing efforts through better targeting. On the customer experience side too, smart shopping carts can help minimize abandoned carts and boost the shopping experience with customized recommendations. It can also help detect instances of online fraud.
In addition, AI can play a role in store layout optimization, assortment planning, pricing analytics, recommendation engines. It can also enable superior customer analytics to determine customer lifetime value, customer churn, etc. In turn, it allows for better customer segmentation for personalized targeting through email, messages, and social media.
Along with other sectors, Manufacturing has also been impacted by AI, especially with the evolution of industrial automation. Machines driven by AI offer numerous benefits and some of them are enhanced production efficiency, mapping machine interactions to human interactions and most importantly newer opportunities.
With AI becoming the core element of Industry 4.0, predictive maintenance enables manufacturing companies to reduce machine downtimes. In addition, with technological advancement, we are witnessing an increase in Human-Robot collaborations at manufacturing facilities, and this is making robots more cognitive to take decisions based on real-time situations.
The technology sector stands to gain considerably from AI’s ability to automate processes, thereby bringing massive cost savings through optimized infrastructure. Also, given the heightened fear of cyber threats, AI has a big role to play in maintaining cybersecurity. In addition, testing and quality assurance can be made far more effective as well as efficient using AI.
Recommendation systems and predicting avoidable returns are some of the other use cases for AI in technology. It can also enable automated routing of tickets to proper channel/team based on customer description and cross-sell and upsell recommendations for sales teams.
As we enter the age of AI, no industry will be exempt from its impact. But looking at proactive ways to gain from the benefits of this technology is key. “Disrupt before you are disrupted” is the mantra for the future. When it comes to AI disruption, fortune favours the prepared!
By Anand Narayanan, Chief Product Officer, Simplilearn