Apart from the fact that the world’s technological future revolves around them, another remarkable thing is that these 4th industrial revolution catalysts have successfully experienced a swift shift from a point of hypothetical and theoretical propositions into actual life changers. The basic understandings of these ‘new’ technologies have become more decentralized over the last few years, rapidly moving from one sect of professionals to various sectors of human endeavours. We have successfully gone past the first stage of actualization– theory & hypothesis –and are now seeing active incorporation of these technologies in business, healthcare, finance, government, military… It’s an endless list. So, we should say a global congratulation.
Quick recap – What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence, our focus in this article, is rapidly finding its way into several sectors. Wait a minute… Is Artificial Intelligence new to you? If no, skip this paragraph. If yes, this is for you. Hackernoon provides a very simple definition of AI. According to them,
“Artificial Intelligence uses intelligent machines built in a way that they react like humans. The primary process involved in making these smart machines is to carry out decision making, which analyses and uses data available in an enterprise. It is similar to the human mind absorbing and synthesizing information and providing the required decision.”
Got it? You’re welcome!
In the year 2020, the expected spending on AI is would hit $46 billion. This is a recent IDC report. Massive, right? AI is not stopping. It is on a fast ride into global and economic reformation. According to the Forbes Technology Council, AI is having a great impact on business and in the world generally. In their own words,
“Adding AI to your business may be the next step as you look for ways to advance your operations and increase your performance.”
Let’s go on to see 20 ways in which Artificial Intelligence has been used to optimize business efficiency, including human and institutional productivity.
20 ways Artificial Intelligence has helped humans
- AI PROMOTES HUMAN EFFICIENCY
With AI-empowered systems in use, we get more time to complete more “humanly” tasks; things requiring a high level of decision making, impulsive actions and on-feet response. Robots and AI excel well in handling more defined tasks. Gmail, for instance, is programmed to predict and provide possible suggestions to users’ emails, reducing the time spent in composing and replying emails. Hence, enabling us to actually engage in more demanding tasks. Although not so much now, it’s baby steps for a very wide range of possibilities.
- AI IN HEALTHCARE
It is no longer a new thing that robots can be as meticulous as a real doctor; even for a surgical operation. We have read of the successful possibility of a remotely conducted surgical operation. Artificial Intelligence is the new magic wand. In a recent study conducted by surgeons at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, CNN had it that an autonomous robot successfully performed a soft-tissue surgery. The robot was able to stitch a pig’s bowel together during the open surgery. The team reported it to have even done better than a human surgeon. It is possible for a doctor to monitor and run a diagnosis on patients without being there in person with the help of AI technology and the internet. This shoots the possibility of remote healthcare service to the rooftop.
- AI OPTIMIZES MOBILE AND HOME DEVICES
Ever heard of ‘Siri’? Siri is an AI virtual mobile assistant available on Apple Inc.’s iOS, iPad OS, watchOS, macOS, tvOS and audio OS operating systems. Basically, Siri uses voice queries and a natural-language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Internet services. It can help you set a reminder, take notes or even set alarms. It can conduct a search for you upon request, play a song, perform calculations, make a reservation, change dates, change phone settings and even launch an app. This can totally change how we get to use our mobile phones in the years to come. Other available alternatives of Siri include the Google Assistant, Google Now, Amazon Alexa, SILVIA, S Voice, and so on.
Have you ever seen in movies where a person simply makes a gesture, claps or makes a statement and the lights come on, or go off? Yeah, it’s not a ruse. AI has brought the possibility of a ‘smart home’ from the dream world to reality.
- AI IN AUTOMOBILE
Change is beautiful only when it’s progressive. From horses to carts, down to the steam engine and the legendary Mercedes Benz that defined the early elite class. Now, we have cars that are getting closer to the speed of sound and those that do not even require drivers at all.
On December 5, 2018, Waymo LLC, an independent subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., officially launched a commercial self-driving car service called “Waymo One”. How can I explain this? Eureka! It’s just like Uber. You order for a vehicle via an app on your phone, only that this time, you would have to impute your location in the vehicles GPS system and it will drive you itself to your location. More companies are already buying into the autonomous vehicle technology. Some of the most successful ones include, but are not restricted to, Elon Musk’s Tesla, Cruise Automation and Calico.
- AI IN ART
Artificial Intelligence is now in art, architecture and designing. There are quite a number of creative applications which can produce beautiful visual art. Although these machines start by learning the human artworks through the neural network, as time goes on, the machine is soon able to come up with its own art. The inception of non-human creative. We have begun to see exhibitions of computer-made art in galleries all around the world and it can only get better.
- AI IN MUSIC & MOVIES
Some applications can provide you with suggestions and predictions of movies or music based on your search history or other parameters it is programmed to observe. Also, it’s a great marketing strategy as some Ads are shown to you based on your online activity and a study of what type of person the AI perceives you to be.
- AI IN SECURITY AND SURVEILLANCE
With the installation of surveillance cameras, the need for around the clock supervision becomes a requisite. However, with AI systems programmed with an algorithm to analyze situations and detect threat levels, more time can be invested in more productive tasks. Also, the AI doesn’t fall asleep during a watch, as such, making it near impossible for it to miss out anything.
- AI & FINANCE
The finance sector could arguably be said to have incorporated the use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in their day to day operations. With computers handling most number-crunching tasks, professionals have more time to execute more administrative and customer-based responsibilities. For a more delightful read, see “The Accounting Profession can be Improved by AI: How?”
- AI OPTIMIZES AUDIT
With its accuracy and speed, AI tools can analyze financial data more efficiently than most humans can, giving the institution time and saving it the stress of a heavy workload.
- AI FOR ADVERTISEMENT
Artificial Intelligent programs can be used to predict or analyze consumer behaviour, producing a more effective and personalized form of advertisement.
- AI & THE MILITARY
The application of AI and Machine Learning in the military has created more sophisticated and enhanced means for communications, sensors, tracking, tracing and integration. AI technologies play a great role in threat detection and identification, marking of territories, and target acquisition.
- AI, TOYS
Children are full of life and fun. You would be quite amazed to find out how much they can learn when education is mixed with fun. With AI, Digital Pets (also called virtual or artificial pets) were introduced in the late 1990s. Although most countries have banned the use of these pets in the classroom for reasons such as distraction and over-attachment to the device, it is still one of the most adorable and productive ways technology has been used. Some popular digital pets include Furby, Giga Pets and Tamagotchi.
- AI IN GOVERNMENT
Ever thought about an administrative AI before? Well, some AI systems are being used actively by governmental bodies for several purposes ranging from policy objectives analysis to public interaction and virtual assistants. Based on research conducted by the Ash Center for Democratic Government and Innovation, Harvard University, it was stated that governmental problems that would require the application of Artificial Intelligence include; resource allocation, processing large data sets, expert knowledge, predictions & foresight of events, figure input or output and handling varying data type.
- AI, GAMES
Virtual gamers, avatars and first-person shooter games are all offshoots of the application of AI in the gaming world. Progressively, gaming companies are getting closer to bringing human features into their games. Hence, making their games more humanistic than ever before.
- AI IN HEAVY DUTY INDUSTRIES
With China, Korea, Japan, USA and Germany leading the involvement of Robots in industries, it has been proven that robots are better effective in routine jobs than most humans. They have a lesser tendency to lose concentration and focus. What this would mean is reduced accident rate, more productivity and speed.
- AI IN HUMAN RESOURCE AND RECRUITMENT
One of the toughest jobs of every HR professional is fairly screening through a myriad of resume and ranking each applicant by their qualification. This might not look like much until thousands of people apply for a job and you’re meant to recruit just 5. But, it’s not all doomsday.
Furthermore, with AI, tedious recruitment tasks can be handled by the machine while the HR professional handles the physical interaction with shortlisted candidates. Artificial Intelligence can be applied in the screening of resume and ranking of candidates according to their qualification and/or any other yardstick required. AI can also provide predictions on candidates’ success rate in roles given via job matching platforms. Also, recruitment ChatBots are very great helpmates in communication tasks. With these machines, response and interaction can be automated. With all these in place, the HR professional has ample time to focus on much “humanly” requirements than technicalities.
- AI IN AGRICULTURE
Agriculture has far evolved from the way we know it. With the incorporation of agricultural robots, predictive analysis, and soil/crop monitoring algorithms, farming industries have been able to keep up with on-field management, and crop health. Some AI programs can predict the harvest time for each farm produce. Another specialized application of Artificial Intelligence includes the use of an automated greenhouse.
- AI IN FRAUD DETECTION
There are systems that monitor financial activities for fraud detection. These systems are basically programmed to monitor the financial activities of people and raise alarm at any suspicious move. AI-empowered programs now carry out most of the financial fraud detection activities. The AI simply studies the customers’ withdrawal pattern, withdrawal frequency and withdrawal methods, storing and analyzing these data in a case of suspicious activities.
- AI AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
The coming of ChatBots and other automated response mechanisms has made it quite easy for companies and institutions to interface. Most companies now communicate with the public via ChatBots. Communication has been made more effective and rapid, without the lag of human restraint. These ChatBots function as Automated Online Assistant; also known as Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA) or Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA).
- AI; THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION
This is yet the most controversial application of Artificial Intelligence. AI personal assistants exist to aid student’s learning via personalized tasks and lesson. These AI are designed to suit each student’s ability to learn and interests. Most students find the “classroom” system quite restrictive. Hence, the idea of an AI assistant reduces the presence of human anxiety and fear. However, the fear persists. The fear of over-dependency on computerized education on the part of the student. This might produce a less mentally challenging education. Students have the tendency of being distracted from the actual learning process. Teachers on another hand have the fear of losing their jobs to these AI.
As much as many speculations exist around the application of AI in the global educational system, it is an inevitable synergy that would seamlessly unfold sooner than later. The picture of the next century is one with an all-computer system or human-computer cooperation. Either way, Artificial Intelligence is the future of education.
Artificial Intelligence is the future of global technology. Whether we lie it or not, it would still gain entrance into more and more sectors of human endeavours. The world is moving faster than ever before and AI is the train of technological development. We can only look forward, think forward and move forward.
Temidayo V. OLALEKAN
Content Writer, DGL Africa (DigiLaw)