The modern world is a highly technological one. Cutting-edge inventions and discoveries crop up almost every day altering our working habits, social mores, and personal tastes. This deluge of innovations that has been spreading around the planet in a tidal wave is known as the Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0. Just like steam engines, electricity, and atomic energy have ushered previous stages of the Industrial Revolution, the hallmarks of its current stage are automation and digitalization. These two principal trends are often combined to introduce astounding changes into the very foundations of the civilization of the early second millennium.
What are the buzzwords that epitomize the IR 4.0? Big data, sensors, gadgets, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud facilities, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality – these are just a few names that outline the contours of the contemporary world and serve telltale landmarks adumbrating vistas to conquer in the nearest future. Being various manifestations of the general cybernetic drive, all of them are associated with a broader notion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that looms behind the sophisticated technologies of today.
Meet Artificial Intelligence
Being around for quite a time (since the 1950s, to be precise), AI still remains a rather vague term. Thanks to Hollywood, it is associated in popular minds with a wide range of things – from Terminator, C-3PO, Sonny, and other robots to omnipotent cybernetworks like the Matrix that are likely to conquer the world sending humans to lurk underground having insufficient acumen to overcome them.
Yet, in fact, the phrase “Artificial Intelligence” is applied to describe any human-like activity performed by a program or machine to accomplish some task. Some of them we credit with a certain independence of decision-making and action – like strategic computer games, autonomously operating cars, or military simulations. Others hardly deserve to be really called AI (like optical character recognition, for instance), so mundane these systems have become.
However, whatever guise is assumed by these silent assistants, their ability to plan, learn, make conclusions, solve problems, move, perceive, and manipulate objects in the immediate environment make them indispensable in many spheres of activity, bringing numerous boons to humans who use them.
Benefits of Artificial Intelligence Applications
Having invited AI to solve problems together or even instead of us, mankind obtained numerous perks.
1. Elimination of Human Factor
We are social beings, so we prefer to deal with humans, not machines. Ancestral memory and life experience make us crave for human touch whatever activity we are engaged in. However, being humans, your colleagues, partners, employees, or managers may fail of their promise. Very often, the work isn’t done just because someone called in sick, is a rookie at the job, has a vacation or family problems, forgot to call you, or just stepped out for a drink of water and stands chatting with his colleague at the cooler leaving the workstation unmanned for a couple of minutes.
The outburst of the global pandemic has only underscored the fragility of the modern civilization whose productive activity and even life sustenance might have been brought to a standstill if it were not for Artificial Intelligence. With people having to stay marooned in their lodgings, it is the machines that filled the breach to keep whole industries afloat and let us weather the storm behind secure walls.
But even if such human inadequacies could be minimized, one thing is hard to avoid – errare humanum est. We all make mistakes that have an adverse impact on whatever process people are involved in. And sometimes, the human brain and senses are simply inadequate for performing a task.
Machines and systems powered by Artificial Intelligence reduce or totally eliminate negative sides of human participation. Properly programmed and acting according to a prescribed set of algorithms, AI can solve problems with a precision that is undreamed of for people.
2. Round-the-Clock Availability
We can’t work without pauses and days-off, necessary to refresh us and let us recharge our batteries for a new day of labor. AI doesn’t need any rest and can work 24/7 without stopping for weekends or holidays, doing its job incessantly and tirelessly. And some processes do require this ceaseless vigilance that humans can’t provide. It is vital for life support systems and nonstop production cycles, where AI reigns supreme.
3. Repetitive Job Handling
What happens when a human has to perform the same task over and over again? At first, they go at it hammer and tongs, then they get bored, later tired, and finally become unfocused and easily distracted. As a result, accuracy suffers, rendering the quality of the work poor.
Artificial Intelligence can work productively no matter how many times it repeats the same operation, so such mundane jobs as verifying bank documents, sending thank-you emails, and so on can be relegated to AI to handle.
4. Prompt Decision-Making
Humans tend to weigh many factors before opting for a course of actions, and that takes quite a time. AI does all that in a split second, which enhances productivity immensely. Moreover, Artificial Intelligence is free from doubt, exasperation, or doldrums, in a word, emotions don’t interfere where strict algorithms are applied. That is why all decisions by AI will be not only fast in adopting, but more correct as well.
5. Functioning in Hazardous Conditions
Robots powered by AI can work in places where humans don’t venture – in outer space, under water and ground, or in conditions of biocidal radiation. Such robots are also of great help in doing assignments fraught with risks for human health or even life, like defusing a bomb or lifting heavy weights.
Realizing numerous assets Artificial Intelligence brings, companies and individual entrepreneurs invest in AI-related project substantial sums, expecting them to have yielded about $100 billion by 2025. Today, the ushering of AI into their regular workflow beckons to dozens of industries.
10 Top Real World Applications of Artificial Intelligence
What are the spheres that benefit most from the introduction of Artificial Intelligence?
There seems to be no better use of AI than taking care of our health. Our imagination readily conjures an image of a robotic surgery arm performing high-precision operations after which patients can leave the hospital within a few hours. Well, AI partakes in it too, but its scope of employment is far greater.
Many companies (Cambio Health Care, Coala, Aifloo, to mention a few) develop smart software that can track people’s physical and mental condition helping to spot the symptoms of cardiac diseases and strokes or keep a close eye on patients in nursing homes and hospices.
Collecting and properly organizing medical data is another possible application where AI excels. Having a plethora of data at their disposal, doctors can act proactively, instead of reacting to symptoms when valuable time has been wasted or lost.
Artificial Intelligence is also instrumental in diagnosing illnesses – the application that has come to the fore in our COVID-ridden world of 2020. Special computer programs working via image recognition can inform people located far away from the doctor about their health problems and help the physician to choose a method of treatment. Moreover, some apps (like the one launched by Babylon Health) can act as a doctor, inquiring about a person’s symptoms and providing an instant free consultation on what should be done.
The attack of coronavirus was a powerful propellant of e-learning. And it is not about transforming textbooks into video lectures or launching online tests. Modern technologies are called to overhaul the entire approach to education where enhancing the quality of studying and intensifying the tempo of learning are the chief guidelines to steer by. Thus, developers create educational apps where AI can map a personalized and efficient path for every learner to acquire knowledge in different domains. And the latter aren’t limited to classical math or science. The capabilities of augmented and virtual reality technologies can be helpful even in physical education, to say nothing of history or languages.
While Artificial Intelligence is a great help in conventional classrooms, it is simply indispensable for teaching physically and mentally disadvantaged people. AI-fueled tactile robots do exceedingly well in such cases, helping students not only in certain subjects but with social interactions in general.
The power of AI is making itself felt not only in the educational process per se, but in providing effective rapport between teachers, students, and their parents. For instance, Acuity Scheduling, Doodle, and other appointment scheduling software enable all parties to the education to stay in touch and monitor students’ progress at will.
This field is extremely susceptible to the introduction of AI that can streamline numerous business processes. For example, Responsive Search Ads by Google help to calculate various marketing parameters including conversion and click-through rates. Other tools are used to optimize the ordering procedure, customer support, data analytics, refund practices, and other elements of sales workflow, allowing organizations to improve their marketing strategies and campaigns.
4. Banking and Finance
This sector is notorious for its huge amounts of paperwork and documentation. AI is leveraged to reduce them to a necessary minimum transferring most of them into digital format. Software tools are also applied in banking and finance for data arrangement and subsequent analysis. For instance, a chatbot by Kami sifts through chat conversations in order to figure out the personal tastes and preferences of each customer. Thus, financial companies can provide more targeted consultation services as well as plan their future steps based on such AI-obtained insights.
Here the application of AI is especially challenging since it has to take into account a lot of hard-to-predict factors related to weather conditions. However, current achievements in this domain are astounding. DOT Technology Corp produced an automated seeder that can sow a large area without human interference. Other companies feature similar innovative machines, whose AI enables them to plant, fertilize, cultivate, and harvest crops as well as monitor soil moisture level to determine the necessity of watering them.
Artificial Intelligence is leveraged to literally elevate agriculture to a new level by employing pre-programmed drones that can not only watch the fields form on high and detect possible problems, but also spray weedicide or fungicide, or even mechanically remove moisture from ripe cherries after a heavy rain to prevent them from bursting.
Today, this is a frontier of AI applications. The whole world is abuzz talking of self-driving cars and the first pioneer models have already been tested. Some companies (like Waymo) have even introduced a public ride-hailing service employing autonomous cars. AI installed in them collects all data coming from the radar, GPS, cameras, and cloud facilities, which are analyzed to give orders to the control system setting the vehicle into motion and navigating it in the traffic.
The contemporary entertainment industry is heavily reliant on AI and gaming is no exception. A modern computer or mobile game is workmanlike software that provides total immersion and creates exceedingly complex simulations. Moreover, such games stopped being considered as a kind of amusement and are widely applied for more serious purposes. For instance, Arctic Shores produces custom games that are leveraged by blue-chip organizations like Xerox and Citi to evaluate their prospective employees.
The new age forwards new challenges. Keeping all their activities in digital form, organizations become vulnerable to cyberattacks. AI is employed to protect the existing huge databases against viruses or penetration attempts by wrongdoers who want to get access to some valuable or sensitive information.
The most advanced AI security systems monitor the network on a permanent basis to identify any suspicious activity and nip possible security breaches in the bud or at least alert humans who will patch the security hole themselves.
9. Space Explorations
Scientists working in this sphere deal with vast quantities of data that can be processed and analyzed effectively only if AI comes into play. However, Artificial Intelligence finds its major application in space explorations not on Earth. While our reach remains too short to send human expeditions to other planets, AI-powered autonomous machines have to do most of the work, serving as our eyes, ears, and hands where humans don’t dare to set foot so far.
Employing AI on a large scale at work and carrying virtual assistants with us in smartphones, we have let it inside our premises as well. Smart homes, integrated living, and the Internet of Things are only starting their advance into everyday housekeeping, yet people are ready to delegate to AI numerous household chores, including shopping, cooking, washing, etc. What will make it possible in the nearest future is the sophistication and extensive application of image recognition algorithms.
The list we offered is in no way exhaustive, with AI finding ever new realms to conquer. The experts of IDAP can accompany you on this exciting journey and create top-notch custom software that will streamline your business activities and boost revenues.
The world of the early 21st century undergoes rapid changes, quickly transforming into a highly digitalized one. Artificial Intelligence is increasingly penetrating into an ever-growing number of industries, making them more human-friendly and turning our planet into a comfortable place to live in.