How artificial intelligence is changing business in every industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI), once a notion confined to Sci-Fi novels, movies and research papers, is now making a tremendous impact on society.The Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy initiative explores the growing use of artificial intelligence in the business landscape. The exploration looks specifically at how AI is affecting the development and execution of strategy in organizations.
Today, there are numerous applications of artificial intelligence in the consumer and business spaces, from Apple’s Siri to Google’s DeepMind. Siri, for example, uses natural language processing (NLP) to interpret voice commands and respond accordingly. Google’s DeepMind, on the other hand, uses deep learning. It is capable of making connections and reaching meanings without relying on predefined behavioral algorithms, instead learning from experience and using raw data as its inputs. In fact, by applying findings from DeepMind, Google was able to improve the efficiency of its own power centers, reducing the energy used for cooling by 40%.
In the business world, artificial intelligence is enabling businesses to work smarter and faster, doing more with significantly less. As technology and society continue to advance, more organisations are looking for powerful, sophisticated solutions that will improve and streamline operations.
But it’s important to appreciate that artificial intelligence is an umbrella under which a number of different technologies reside. Machine learning, deep learning, robotics, computer vision, cognitive computing, artificial general intelligence, natural language processing and knowledge reasoning are just some of the main branches of artificial intelligence.
The current state of artificial intelligence
However, many of the applications of artificial intelligence we see today are considered to be ‘weak AI’ because we have yet to release their true potential. Weak AI, also known as ‘narrow AI’, is non-sentient artificial intelligence, which focuses on one task alone. The applications of artificial
intelligence that are currently available need to be taught or directed in order to provide the insight a user needs.
Strong AI, on the other hand, refers to artificial intelligence applications that can readily formulate their own decisions without human input, apply intelligence to multiple problems, and function and behave more like a human. We are quite some way off strong AI.
Yet despite current AI solutions not being ‘true’ artificial intelligence, the benefits and capabilities they provide are extraordinary – and many industries have already incorporated some form of artificial intelligence into their day-to-day processes.
Current industries applying artificial intelligence to day-to-day operations
In some industries, AI is capable of automating business intelligence and analytics processes, providing a holistic end-to-end solution. In others, computer vision is being deployed to map and navigate terrain, contributing to the development of smart, self-driving cars that are learning to drive as humans do. Below are just a few examples of how AI is being used to improve efficiency:
• Banking and Finance – fraud detection
Many banks use the various applications of artificial intelligence to detect fraudulent activity. The AI software is given a very large sample of data that includes fraudulent and non-fraudulent purchases and is trained to determine whether a transaction is valid based on data. Over time, the software becomes incredibly adept at spotting fraudulent transactions based on what it has learned previously.
• Retail – online customer support
Many websites now offer some form of ‘chat’ functionality where you can talk to a customer support representative or sales representative. In most instances, it is some form of automated AI that begins these conversations. As these AI chat bots are capable of understanding natural language, i.e. human conversation, they can readily assist customers in finding out what they need to know, extracting information from the website, and directing them to the appropriate web page or person for further support.
• Security
As cyber-attacks increase in frequency and more sophisticated tools are used to breach cyber defenses, human operators are no longer enough. Top firms across the world are investing heavily in cyber security to ensure their data is protected. Real-time threat detection, mitigation, and ideally, prevention, are what’s needed for businesses – and AI can deliver. Using machine learning algorithms and feeding those algorithms great quantities of data, IT and security experts can teach the AI solution to monitor behavior, detect anomalies, adapt and respond to threats and issue alerts. AI has quickly become a key component in a business’ cyber security infrastructure, providing a multi-layered security strategy that is robust and sophisticated.
How AI Affects App Development
Check the Instagram explore page under the or you’ tab. Chances are, you’ll find a number of accounts to follow that are interesting and surprisingly tailored towards your interests. This is one of the simplest examples of AI – predictive reasoning.
Instagram’s AI is analyzing what accounts you follow, what accounts you visit, and what posts you like, every time you use the app. It then takes that data to create suggestions of who you should follow on the explore page. This kind of AI within apps has become commonplace today, with everything from Amazon Go to the Starbucks app integrating similar predictive reasoning based suggestive AI features.
This is just a small example of how AI has drastically impacted app development – no longer do app developers need to create complex codes to create generic explore pages. Now, an AI can constantly update and create new user experiences specifically tailored to each user of the app – this makes AI quite possibly the most powerful marketing tool that apps can use in today’s business environment. But it’s not just app development that is affected by AI.
How AI Affects the Travel Industry
You know how every time you book a flight, the nearest hotels and restaurants are recommended to you, ordered by price and location? That’s an AI trying to help out. Much in the same way apps use AI, the travel and tourism industry thrives on AI and localization to make travel experiences better.
From camping to five star hotels, travel websites and supply stores will often use AI to help you plan your trip. In fact, there are downloadable travel AI concierges, called chatbots, that will directly help you plan your trip, whether it’s in buying the best tent for a given price range, or in arranging the best suite to stay in at the Cosmopolitan.
AI has revolutionized the travel industry, scouring the internet to consistently give you the best and most educated decisions to make your travel experiences as painless as possible. In fact, AI can also impact services such as debt collection.
How AI Affects Debt Collection
People almost always cite debt collection as a consistent stressor in their lives. AI automates the debt collection process, sending emails, texts, and pre-recorded calls to customers. Although this sounds like the norm, it results in customers feeling much less harassed by debt collection agencies. No longer do they receive five phone calls throughout their work day, instead they simply receive one call and one email, tailored to match their schedule by AI.
AI in the debt collection agency is a fantastic example of how AI can actually make life easier for the people affected by it. The success of AI in this industry alone, and the improvements it has made for customers in this industry, should remove some of the stigma surrounding AI.
How AI Affects Retail
Have you ever shopped on a site and bought a pair of camo pants, only to see a blurb pop up recommending other military clothing products via a message like customers who bought these pants also loved these shirts!’ If you have, that’s AI at work once again. That’s what Aussie Disposals implemented on their store, and they love what their AI developers did.
Although Amazon is the easiest example of this phenomenon, most online retail stores now feature an AI that tracks and evaluates your shopping habits to recommend new items to you. This is just another example of how AI can improve customer service.
How AI Affects IT Service Management and Software Development
From customer support to software development, AI has its uses. To begin, AI is an effective way of troubleshooting basic problems, making it a useful customer support tool in IT service management.
Serving in a more complicated niche, AI can also help software engineers develop new products. From running tests faster than an engineer ever could, to predictive reasoning-based problem solving, AI is rapidly becoming a primary tool in software development. AI is also extremely useful in analyzing data stored in cloud storage tools and using that data to create advantages for everyone from software engineers to business owners.
And speaking of AI in software…
AI in AR and VR
AR and VR have made leaps and bounds, and AI can only help. AI has the potential to take AR and VR apps to the next level by tailoring these experiences to specific users according to their habits. This ability only further cements AI as a staple of the app development industry in the modern world.

Preparing for the integration of AI-based solutions across departments
Organisations that respond rapidly to opportunities in artificial intelligence application will have the advantage in the landscape of the future. But, because AI is evolving rapidly, the challenge is to ensure that the business has the necessary strategies and plans to support AI capabilities as they become available, and the right technical infrastructure to support AI implementation. For many businesses, it’s not a question of if but rather when to adopt AI. On that basis, monitoring the development of AI technology and planning far in advance is necessary to adopt AI successfully.
The optimum strategy is to observe, learn and experiment with current AI. Investing too much into AI which turns out to be ineffective will be damaging for the business’ adoption and utilization of future AI-based solutions. Instead, try to determine how your business can benefit from AI – and how it can be built into core processes to drive efficiency. Start with the outcomes you want to achieve to modernize your IT environment. Remember, AI won’t necessarily replace human operators any time soon, but it will empower organisations to do much, much more.
In Conclusion…
It is not a stretch to say that AI has found a use in every industry. Whether it be for simple tasks such as suggesting products or providing customers with basic customer service, or for complicated measures such as running software tests and completing extensive problem-solving procedures for industries such as debt collection, AI has found its place in our world, and it’s safe to say that it’s here to stay.

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