From healthcare to manufacturing to retail, nearly every industry has been touched by artificial intelligence. Consumers may think businesses primarily use AI for targeted marketing (and some do), but there are actually many functions across industries being impacted by the technology. AI is helping companies protect employees and customers, maintain their stock, develop new products and services and more.
So how is AI working “behind the scenes” to help companies and, by extension, the clients and customers they serve? Below, 16 members of Forbes Technology Council share industry functions that are being improved or taken over by artificial intelligence.
AI plays a major role in cybersecurity. Most if not all modern log analysis and endpoint protection tools use artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect new malware and suspicious activities. While AI is indispensable in combating sophisticated attacks, the “general malaise” of raw AI exists here as well: AI can say, “You have a problem,” but it can’t explain why. Explainability is the next frontier for AI in cybersecurity and business in general. – Tsvi Lev, NEC Corporation
2. Phishing Detection
AI tools check every single email that comes into your inbox. By the time you sit down to check your email, these tools have already eliminated thousands of potential phishing attacks targeting you and have already quarantined suspicious emails that you will never see. It has alerted your IT admin of potential attacks. It has done all of that just so you don’t have to—and most people aren’t aware. – Mercedes Soria, Knightscope
3. Downtime Prevention
AI is disrupting the manufacturing sector. One minute of unplanned downtime and a fraction of unwanted scrap can yield tens of thousands of dollars in losses for any manufacturer. Implementing predictive analytics using AI and machine learning will take the guesswork out of production, replacing it with accurate predictions that allow for zero-downtime, zero-waste manufacturing. – Mo Abuali, IoTco – Internet of Things Company
4. Supply Networks
AI offers an information advantage that can help companies diversify and strengthen their supply networks. Aside from Covid-19, factors including new trade wars, climate change and shifting labor laws can always disrupt supply chains. As well as enabling supplier discovery, AI now helps benchmark a supply base, giving a 360-degree view for category management and actionable insights to raise resilience and performance. – Gregor St√ºhler, scoutbee Inc.
5. Demand Forecasting
AI, and more specifically, machine learning, is ensuring that you get the goods that you need even before you know that you need them. This is part of the reason vendors are able to make next-day deliveries and you almost always find what you need on the grocery store shelves. AI is increasing the velocity of supply chains and doing business. – Cyrus Hadavi, Adexa, Inc.
6. Consumer Profiling
By the time you tap “Buy” on your Amazon app—even before you think about buying that item—Amazon has already predicted it. Their advanced AI mechanism predicts what items you (and others in your area) are likely to buy, including your sizes and preferred colors, so these items can be stocked as close to the destination as possible. That’s how they are able to offer “one-hour delivery.” – Mayank Mishra, Contentstack
7. Therapeutics And Pharmaceuticals
AI is now prevalent in most industries. Healthcare, in particular, is applying AI-based technology to accelerate the development of new treatments and drugs—for example, the Covid vaccines and booster shots. AI is also being used in healthcare to identify risks that certain treatments and drugs can pose to patients based on preexisting conditions. – Sameer Malhotra, TrueFort, Inc.
8. Risk Management
Although it’s not well known, AI is being used to reimagine traditional compliance functions to create continuous monitoring through innovation. Companies can anticipate and prevent risk exposure and reduce corruption and fraud while gaining insights. Utilizing AI, a culture of integrity, excellence, transparency and accountability is created. – Matthew Lieberman, PwC
9. Employee Empowerment
AI adds a competitive advantage when employees can access it directly for their jobs. When AI is paired with solutions such as low-code platforms, leaders can democratize AI for their employees and empower them to do things such as build their own applications and gain key business insights. The future is AI-driven, and employees can drive the business to new heights if they have access to AI themselves. – Ed Macosky, Boomi
10. Skills Training
There is a critical skills shortage, and AI is addressing it by analyzing people’s skill sets and determining the best possible paths for upskilling them. At this time we’re only seeing large enterprises doing this, but in the coming years, this will be a career planning tool available to more and more people. – Joanna Riley, Censia Talent Intelligence
11. Smart Cities Management
In smart cities’ platforms and implementations, AI is helping in the areas of citizen service delivery, city environmental planning, energy resource management, utilization of energy resources and prevention of theft, accidents and crime. This changes the way businesses operate in such verticals as the energy industry, healthcare and utilities. – Bhagvan Kommadi, ValueMomentum
12. Chatbots And User Experience Models
Call centers are moving more into the use of AI-based chatbots. Inside large enterprises, it’s becoming more common for leaders to derive effective insights by crunching large sets of data and applying AI principles. Another area in which I’ve seen AI making an impact is the creation of different user experience models for products. Most enterprises are slowly getting on board with AI. – Shiboo Varughese, CirrusLabs.io
13. Network Capacity Management
5G has raised the bar when it comes to customers’ expectations about bandwidth, speed and quality. AI-driven monitoring systems and predictive analytics are enabling telcos to accurately forecast demand as well as predict performance outcomes so they can proactively manage network capacity, drive network automation, resolve issues faster and deliver superior service. AI is making the 5G experience great. – Suresh Chintada, Subex
14. Content Delivery
AI’s role in delivering content through news sites and social media is steadily shaping what people, social groups and even countries think and believe. This in turn has fundamental impacts on market behavior, which transforms the businesses that serve that market. – Casey Ellis, Bugcrowd
15. Activity Monitoring
So much data is being generated every day that finding outliers has been mostly delegated to AI tools. This is true for finding inappropriate content on social networks, odd transactions at your bank and even unusual activity in your login history. Humans can’t learn enough about you to recognize that you did something unusual, but AI can quickly raise the flag for another system to automatically handle. – Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket
16. Personalized Marketing
Most of us are signed up with one or more retail or subscription-based companies. Generally, people do not know that these companies score every customer based on their data, including transactions and interaction and engagement with the brand across all touchpoints. This score is updated daily and used to approach customers in a targeted manner and deliver personalized offers and experiences. – Vasudeva Akula, VOZIQ