This November, the eight most popular AI-related articles on social media showed that AI can be used for endless applications across a variety of industries.
Whether it was being used in the fields of conservation, retail or education, AI has certainly proved its versatility. Let’s take a look.
1. Saving Wildlife With AI
Researchers at the Teamcore lab at the University of Southern California are currently working on an AI-powered application called Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security, or PAWS for short.
The application works by using machine learning algorithms to predict the behaviors and reactions of both the poachers trying to kill wild animals and the rangers trying to protect them. It’s already been tested in Uganda, where it successfully helped rangers identify an area where poachers had been and remove the traps they’d set there.
Researchers hope to release PAWS in summer 2019, when it will be integrated into a management tool used by rangers in over 600 protected areas globally.
2. AI is a Boon to Business
As reported by TechNative, a new survey from 451 Research has revealed that nearly 50 percent of enterprise leaders think that AI and machine learning give their businesses a competitive advantage.
Compare that to the 25 percent of respondents who said that AI has helped them save money, indicating that AI isn’t valued for its ability to replace employees. Instead, it’s valued for the concrete business advantages it can provide.
Respondents also pointed out that AI is useful for improving the customer experience (44 percent) and quickly responding to opportunities and threats (35 percent).
On the other hand, the biggest obstacle to AI was cited by 36 percent of respondents as a lack of skilled resources.
3. A New Online Course Teaches AI to Professionals
AI expert Andrew Ng has created a new course, “AI for Everyone,” that teaches business executives how to understand AI and select useful AI products. The course will be available in 2019 on Coursera, the online learning platform co-founded by Ng.
What’s unique about this course is that its goal isn’t to teach people how to get into AI programming. Instead, it’s aimed at non-technical business professionals who want to learn how AI can help their business, what kind of data their AI teams need and the limitations of AI.
Ng says that learners will discover how AI can and will affect their company, their career and society as a whole.
4. AI Changing the Market as We Know It
AI will only get bigger in 2019, but it still needs to be better understood and implemented more intelligently. Those were some of the underlying sentiments in Forrester’s predictions for AI in 2019, as summed up in Forbes.
Forrester predicts that AI will continue to replace human jobs (10 percent of U.S. jobs, to be exact), but will also create a number of jobs and relieve many workers of repetitive tasks.
Additionally, 40 percent of enterprises will use automation centers based on unifying frameworks. These centers will help companies address security concerns, manage change, conduct audits and more.
5. AI Is Best at Increasing Revenue, Not Saving Costs
While some may fear that AI is designed to replace humans, those who have found success in AI view it not as a tool to cut down on labor costs but as one to boost revenue and better serve customers, according to a study from MIT Sloane Management and BCG summarized in Forbes.
The study found that 72 percent of AI leaders view AI as a strategic tool with the power to deliver revenue increases, while only 28 percent see it as a way to save money. By comparison, 41 percent of AI beginners view it as a method of cutting costs.
To address workers’ fears, AI leaders need to maintain open lines of communication and engage in effective change management practices.
6. AI in Everyday Life
Much of AI is still misunderstood. Is it evil? Is it all just a gimmick? There’s plenty of people who aren’t sure of the answers, which is why an article from Standard Digital aimed to cut through the mystery.
The article explains that AI is already integrated into much of what we do every day, from taking pictures with smartphones and calling an Uber ride to asking Siri about the weather and listening to Spotify.
The reality is that AI isn’t really a foreign concept, and even those who don’t understand it likely enjoy its benefits on a daily basis.
7. The Retail Industry is Getting an AI-Powered Makeover
Thanks to the influence of retail and tech giant Amazon, AI is quickly transforming the way we shop.
An article from Inc. looked at five of the ways AI is changing the retail industry, according to a report from CB Insights.
Highlights include retailers’ use of AI to monitor shelf space, reduce theft and deliver goods to customers via driverless vehicles.
8. AI and Natural Language Processing
The lingual abilities of AI have already advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, and it won’t be stopping any time soon. Scientists have created AI that is capable of understanding natural, human speech and comprehending unstructured information.
This means that AI can now be more effectively used in natural language processing applications such as document identification, voice recognition, transcription, image captioning, translation and conversational commerce.
For everyday people, this means that virtual assistants will better understand accents or speech impediments, chatbots will be able to converse more naturally and apps will more quickly identify the information they’re being shown.