It’s obvious that AI has been breaking into new industries, but the extent to which it's already used in 2020 may be surprising to some.
The less surprising industries that artificial intelligence is actively used in are based in science, healthcare and medicine, and robotics. But even industries that are completely dissociated from computer science and AI are benefiting from its innovations.
7 industries using AI
Healthcare and medicine
Retail and e-commerce
Public relations (PR)
Recruitment and human resources (HR)
Although the above list doesn’t encompass every industry currently using AI, it provides a solid overview of how artificial intelligence is being used across a wide range of business sectors. For a more comprehensive breakdown of how the above industries are using AI, keep reading for examples and use cases for each in 2020.
A breakdown of 7 industries using AI
Each of the following industries uses AI in revolutionary ways. Within each example below are two use cases of AI and how it can benefit business processes and people alike.
1. Healthcare and medicine
It seems logical that AI in healthcare would top the list. Medical professionals at all levels have encountered artificial intelligence to some extent. From front desk receptionists at clinics to CNAs, nurses, doctors, surgeons, and those in specialized areas, AI is helping automate processes across the board.
Artificial intelligence via robotics is a high-level use case where AI-powered bots assist with surgery, including heart, colorectal, and thoracic. Using robots to assist surgeons helps with higher accuracy, lower risk of infection, less blood loss and pain, shorter hospital stay, and quicker recovery times. Studies have shown that the longer a person has to stay in the hospital, the more likely they are to get sick again within six months to one year. Thus, robot-assisted surgery is an advancement concerned with patient wellness and overall recovery.
Another beneficial innovation for patients and medical professionals is automated digital medical records. Instead of the tired stacks of folders with decades of health records kept in file cabinets at your clinic, electronic health record (EHR) technicians are using AI to help document, sort, and store records in digital form. This helps cut back on the time it takes EHRs to dig through years of patient information when speed and accuracy are vital. Additionally, digitized health records make it easier for patients to access their own information on a shared online health portal, like that of MyAdvocate.
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At first glance, it’s logical how education would be ripe for tech-based advancement. Edtech, or educational technology, implements technological resources to improve student learning as well as automate tasks for instructors.
This applies specifically to the K-12 age groups rather than those in secondary education. Long gone are the days when parents had to rely on a mandatory once-per-semester meeting with their students’ teachers to see how their children are excelling and progressing in school. Parent-teacher conferences never result in more than a rushed five-minute conversation with little information shared. Now, AI-powered appointment scheduling software exists so that teachers and parents can make time to meet when it works best for both parties.
Robotic student tutors/assistants
Many classrooms have been implementing small, tactile robots for students to interact with as a form of teaching assistant or tutor. Often, these AI-fueled bots help younger students with reading, language learning, and social interactions. On top of helping young children develop vital social skills, robots assist children with disabilities.
In the following video, a girl with spinal muscular atrophy is able to remotely attend classes when she is too sick to be in the classroom. Benefits like these prevent students from missing out on learning even while ill or indisposed.
Marketing is multi-faceted and deals with a number of operations that could benefit from total or partial automation. Because of this, marketing technology, or martech, is crucial for business success. Martech is the software used to improve marketing campaigns and strategies, and it's currently being transformed by AI technology.
Responsive paid search ads
Rather than spending endless hours A/B testing and running different headline and description combinations to determine click-through rates, Google’s Responsive Search Ads can be used to compile results. Google AdWords will show different combinations en masse, helping marketers to optimize headline-description combinations and broaden reach for potential customers.
Data analytics, which is powered by machine learning, is essential for any AI-powered marketing solution. With potential customers, contacts from email lists, random site visitors, and those who register for one-off promotions such as webinars, marketers are swimming in rich, valuable customer data.
The purpose of AI is to automate tasks that eat up a lot of time if done by a person. Usually, we think of large businesses and enterprise companies as those who might benefit from artificial intelligence automation, but small businesses use AI to a great extent as well.
Companies like Amazon and Netflix use AI to provide their customers with recommendations based on what other people have purchased or what people who like “X” genre of shows watched next.
Many small businesses, especially those who are niche industry players (e.g. travel companies), provide their customers with recommendations about anything based on specific details of their trip (relating back to the travel example) or predictions about their projected plans via machine learning (ML).
Observing and analyzing data
Data analysis is a task prone to human error. Because acquiring, filtering, sorting, and analyzing data takes a lot of time for a human data analyst, ML algorithms powered by artificial intelligence can help automate the laborious task of data analysis.
Even though small businesses have fewer contacts than large companies, a small business of 150 people might only have three data analysts who have to contend with over 500 customers’ information: account history, demographics, restrictions, and more. To streamline this process, machine learning software can be used to take pressure off of data analysts.
5. Retail and e-commerce
AI in retail and e-commerce is a sector that benefits largely from automation given the volume of customer information, stock and inventory (in-store and online), and sales forecasting and predictions that have to be tracked.
Preventing cart abandonment
In the e-commerce sphere, cart abandonment occurs when a customer has items in their online shopping cart, but does not complete their site visit with a purchase. By using predictive analytics and chatbots for retail, online stores can help lessen the likelihood that potential customers navigate away from their site without making a purchase. Closing sales are important, so what better method than having a chatbot remind your customer of the items in their cart before they navigate away for good?
Another way to guarantee that potential customers don’t flee your website is to ensure that none of their questions go answered. Before, people had to rely on the FAQ section of a website. Now, instead of categorizing all customer queries into a series of unchangeable questions and answers, allowing a chatbot agent to respond to questions using natural language processing (NLP) benefits the customer far more than a link to an FAQ page.
Related: Learn how AI and embedded intelligence work together to advance technologies by integrating software with small devices to improve daily lives.
6. Public relations (PR)
The public relations industry is a hyper-specific area that uses artificial intelligence. Nevertheless, PR professionals are benefiting from AI in the workplace.
Machine learning is helping with predicting consumers’ wants and needs. ML algorithms track trends in user data and make predictions based on their findings. AI can help companies shape their approach while creating targeted products and services based on what ML algorithms detect as “trending.”
Using chatbots to reach out to consumers on social media is a trending way PR professionals can amplify their social reach. By communicating via chatbot software, brands can give automated responses to their audience. This helps brands keep an active social presence that can be monitored by a social media specialist as a means of cross-checking consumer-chatbot interactions.
7. Recruitment and human resources (HR)
For human resources (HR) professionals, automating the recruitment process through artificial intelligence and machine learning is becoming widely popularized because it cuts back on manpower while making the task of finding candidates more streamlined. Recruitment is a long and time-consuming process and can often leave job candidates in the dark about where they stand.
Blind hiring is a process of selecting candidates without seeing them. ML algorithms can sort through applicant data under specified search parameters that focus solely based on experience and credentials rather than demographic information. This can help teams become more diverse in terms of skills, education background, gender, ethnicity, and other unique characteristics that job candidates bring to the table.
Companies like ZipRecruiter already do this. By using what they call “matching technology” (i.e. AI and ML-powered filtering software tools), ZipRecruiter’s automated tools scan job candidates’ profiles and resumes to find keywords that are industry-specific so that they can help find the right candidates for the role while filtering out those that don’t fit the needs of the role. In a matter of seconds, the ML algorithm is able to scan hundreds of profiles and resumes to give recruiters a quick idea of the talent pool out there.
AI: bursting business models one industry at a time
While people have historically wondered what the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence truly are, it’s clear to see that AI is more helpful than it is harmful. Whether in a high-tech industry or something more people-focused, artificial intelligence brings assistance to consumers and workers at all levels.
Rebecca Reynoso is the Content Editor and Guest Post Program Manager at G2. Her passion for writing led her to study English, receiving a BA and MA from UIC and DePaul, respectively. In her free time, she enjoys watching Blackhawks games as well as spending time with her family and cat. (she/her/hers)