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Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity. He is a best-selling author of 20 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has over 2 million social media followers, 1 million newsletter subscribers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.

Bernard’s latest book is ‘Business Trends in Practice: The 25+ Trends That Are Redefining Organisations’

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What are the Various Areas Where AI (Artificial Intelligence) Can Be Used?

2 July 2021

How is artificial intelligence (AI) used today? It makes a difference in just about every company out there whether it’s behind the scenes or customer-facing. When developing an AI strategy, it’s always good to assess potential use cases in three areas: intelligent products, intelligent services and improved internal processes. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) can make a difference for every business from the smallest family-owned shop to an international conglomerate. It’s time to embrace the AI revolution! Companies are using AI to drive success in three primary ways that include:

  • More intelligent products
  • More intelligent services
  • Improve internal processes

As you develop an AI strategy for your firm, it’s beneficial to keep these three buckets in mind to understand what AI can do to drive your success. Let’s review some of the ways AI is helping to create more intelligent products and services and improve internal processes to help you understand what’s possible with AI.

Intelligent Products

There are now everyday devices such as watches, TVs, phones and thermostats that are smarter thanks to the internet of things. Anything that can be connected to the internet as well as to other objects can become intelligent.

AI is used in tools to help people with disabilities live more effectively with those different abilities. Huawei created apps such as StorySign that helps deaf children learn to read by translating the text into sign language as well as Track.Ai, an affordable device that identifies visual disorders in children before they cause blindness.

In education, several companies including Content Technologies and Carnegie Learning developed digital platforms that support teachers in the classroom to provide differentiated learning to students. Through translating tools, children from around the world can tune in to lessons no matter what language they are in or where the classroom is located. This is possible due to AI. 

There are smart products used in agricultural operations to help farmers monitor crops, respond quickly to pest control and ultimately make global agriculture more effective which can help combat world hunger.

In healthcare, smart products are ubiquitous and essential for improving patient experience and outcomes in healthcare systems that are overburdened. Siemens Healthineers created the AI-Rad Companion.4—a radiologist assistant—that can read and measure medical imaging.

Many consumer products also benefit from the use of artificial intelligence including Hello Barbie, a toy that listens and responds to a child. And soon, smart cars will be abundant on our roadways. The goal is that these vehicles will automatically navigate through our cities, but also learn about regular occupants and be able to adjust the seat position, temperature and entertainment selections for those occupants.

Intelligent Services

As in a business, AI can drive efficiencies for educators and automate mundane admin tasks so the teachers can provide one-on-one interactions with students. There are also many AI applications for education such as tutoring services and personal development for educators through virtual global conferences.

Whether we use intelligent services to craft communication that is free from spelling and grammar errors or to find out what next to binge on Netflix, artificial intelligence is providing these services. Ongoing subscriptions such as Netflix or StitchFix, a personalized styling service, rely on AI and machine learning to really understand what individuals want. And the search engines we use to find answers to our questions are powered by AI as well.

Many of the customer service perks we enjoy from financial institutions whether it’s the ability to deposit a check through our phones, receive a low-balance notification and the security alerts are possible due to AI.

Conveniences you realize when shopping whether in the store or online are often thanks to AI. Retailers are better able to deliver a personalized experience to their shoppers. Efficiencies such as the Scan and Go feature and Pick-up Towers available at Walmart, the world’s second-largest retailer, represent AI capabilities.

When visitors experience a Disney amusement park, AI helps make their trip memorable. Each guest gets their own MagicBand that can be used as a door key to their hotel room, wallet to pay for their in-park restaurant experiences and even help the park solve traffic jams when lines are long at certain attractions.

Automating Processes

AI can be and is utilized in just about every aspect of business from the supply chain to HR to marketing and sales to quality control and more.

As machines take over repetitive, dangerous and mundane tasks, it frees up the human workforce to do higher-level functions.

Artificial intelligence keeps tabs on credit reports and automatically sends alerts when something looks suspicious. AI machines are typically running the customer service chatbots that can solve customer issues quickly or escalate those issues if necessary. There’s a lot of AI muscle behind applications for employment, mortgages and more where the AI vets candidates to see if they should move on to the next stage or get approved for the loans.

Ultimately, AI helps businesses maximize efficiency, save money and improve business performance.

To determine where AI can benefit your organization, first decide how it could help you achieve one of your company’s key strategic goals. You might even find that there are valuable use cases in each of the key areas: products, services and business processes. Even if you are a product-based company, don’t be tempted to skip over looking at how AI could potentially provide a valuable intelligent service. The most successful companies deploy AI in all areas as long as it aligns with strategic objectives.

Consider Apple. Although it built its reputation by creating iconic products such as the iPad and iPhone, today, Apple services such as Apple Music and Apple TV generate more revenue than products like the iPad. Plus, the company leverages AI to enhance its internal processes.

My recommendation when determining your AI strategy is to stay open to all three areas. You never know when you might realize a surprising way to improve your business model and lead to further success.

Where to go from here

If you would like to know more about measuring HR effectiveness, check out my articles on:

Or browse the Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning to find the metrics that matter most to you.


Data Strategy Book | Bernard Marr

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