Artificial intelligence is forcing industries to evolve at an incredible rate. By helping companies save time and money, AI is already revolutionizing productivity and customer service around the world.
A Microsoft survey of more than 400 senior executives across eight global markets found that executives expect AI to benefit their businesses to positively impact growth, productivity, innovation, and job creation. A stunning 94% of them see AI as an important tool for solving strategic challenges.
But while the future is already here, as American fictionist William Gibson points out, it’s not evenly distributed. These five industries are paving the way forward with AI:
Nowhere has AI made a bigger splash than in the finance sector. Machine learning models distill insights from large volumes of quantitative data, making them an appealing tool for banks and day traders. Automated trading now accounts for about 75% of financial market volume, in no small part thanks to companies like Algoriz. Founded by Goldman Sachs and Millennium Partners alumni, Algoriz makes it possible for nontechnical users to construct trading algorithms.
Finance pros who work behind the scenes have embraced AI as well. Payment gateway FlexPay uses AI to predict and prevent credit card declines. By adapting several characteristics of a merchant’s transactions to better meet the risk standards of financial institutions, it lowers their risk score and significantly increases the ratio of approved payments. As AI matures, expect to see rules-based systems phased out for everything from fraud detection to equity management.
Earlier this year, Google’s Deep Mind shocked the medical world by detecting lung cancer in CT scans better than six trained radiologists. The model reduced false positives by 11% and detected cancer 5% more often.
Startups are bringing AI’s detective capabilities to bear on other cancers as well. Health tech company CureMetrix’s model improves evaluation of dense breast tissue, helping radiologists reduce recall rates and spot cancer earlier.
Autonomous surgical robots aren’t likely to conduct procedures any time soon, but do expect AI to show up in back-office work. Medical billing and coding involves matching procedure data to specific patient accounts, the sort of rote task AI excels at.
3. Entertainment and sports
While not exactly life and death, entertainment and sports nonetheless touch lives in meaningful ways. Tools like Bertie provide media sites, including Forbes, with first drafts and templates for common news events.
Not to be outdone, streaming sites like Spotify use machine learning to act as a personal DJ for millions of listeners. By looking at data points like vocals, tempo, and instrumentation, the audio services comes up with uncanny matches.
Professional sports are also being overhauled by AI. Basketball coaches are using algorithms to act as opposing team members during practice sessions. By showing players how their opponents might respond, coaches can explain how a certain move might fit into the game’s bigger picture.
4. Travel and transportation
AI is all about optimization. In major cities, that means making sure traffic flows as smoothly and with as few accidents as possible. Startups like Waycare are helping cities develop more efficient roadways by analyzing municipal traffic data. In the future, that data will be blended with information transmitted by vehicles using the roads as well.
AI is also making self-driving cars a reality. Although Tesla has yet to push self-driving software out to vehicles on the road, the technology itself is nearly done. AI will be the “brains” of autonomous vehicles, helping them differentiate between road markings and obstacles like pedestrians. The result will be fewer deaths, more efficient trips, and ultimately fewer emissions.
Already, more than half of U.S. CMOs are using AI to add personalized touches to their marketing campaigns. But AI can do so much more for marketers than swap out names and send “happy birthday” messages.
Take ad placements. GumGum helps brand marketers use computer vision technology to scan videos and images, intelligently showing them to consumers deemed likely respond to them by its algorithm. The adtech startup claims that 70% of Fortune 100 companies use its technology.
Artificial intelligence has already had a profound impact on the ways many industries do business every day. As the technology continues to advance, innovators will discover new applications. And soon enough, other industries will see their successes and want a piece of the action.