TECHNOLOGY

3 Industries Artificial Intelligence Will Disrupt

It’s time to start getting excited about artificial Intelligence. Here are three industries that are on the cusp of a big change.

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BY Jeff Pruitt - 01 Mar 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Artificial intelligence is making its way into nearly every aspect of our lives from driverless cars to autonomous machines and various internet services. AI's ability to learn by analyzing immense amounts of data has enabled machines to work alongside, and in some cases replace, human beings.

And if the current boon in investment into AI is any indication, it will soon infiltrate many more areas of our lives. Many see this is a good thing.

Three areas in particular are especially in need of a shakeup that AI just might be able provide. From making processes more efficient to analyzing mounds of data and making real recommendations in a fraction of the time, artificial intelligence is poised to be the solution customers, students and patients have been looking for in these industries:

 

Fintech

Companies developing artificial intelligence solutions in the fintech space are hot right now, as more financial institutions are turning to AI to learn customer habits and offer data-driven opinions. And in some cases, those opinions drive high-level decisions like hiring and firing staff - a robot is an impartial judge after all.

While traditional banks and other financial services have been automating their processes for decades, the introduction of sentient machine learning is still in its very early stages. Nonetheless, its application has given businesses an extra layer of insight and efficiency. Instead of just providing a customer a spending report, an AI program, for example, will take that data and give its human counterparts evidence-based advice.

As AI systems are designed to become more intelligent over time, fintech trends are moving toward the use of machine learning from security to management functions in an effort to remove certain burdens from humans and create smarter services for customers. Artificial programs can also learn to have very real conversations, which holds tremendous potential for the future of financial customer service. Full-scale adoption of AI in the financial sector isn't necessarily right around the corner, but a volatile industry like finance is ripe for a disruption that lessens its emotional elements.

 

Edtech

Most high schoolers simply long to be understood. With growing class sizes and an emphasis on test-taking uniformity at many public schools across the country, the opportunities for teachers to have meaningful, one-on-one connections with each of their students are shrinking. Artificial intelligence can be applied to education to get students out of their assigned boxes and tailor a learning program that fits them.

Students all learn at different paces. Some labor for weeks on a particular concept and then make rapid gains once they grasp it.

Others are quicker learners whose pace may appear more gradual. The arbitrary nature of test scheduling doesn't always reveal a student's true potential, but exam grades continue to be the marker of success.

Artificial intelligence in the edtech space doesn't concern itself with the result as much as it does with the process. Current edtech software may claim to offer a personalized experience for each student, but those experiences are still limited by what has been pre-programmed. Machine learning that is trained to read emotional expressions and monitor daily progress has the potential to completely change how information is taught.

 

Healthtech

A program that has all the knowledge of a doctor without the wait times and doctor's office experience (and expense): that's where AI in the Healthtech A program that has all the knowledge of a doctor without the wait times and doctor's office experience (and expense): that's where AI in the healthtech industry is headed. Through predictive analytics and data-driven algorithms, machines will be able to respond to patient questions and even make diagnoses that will make us shake our heads that we ever turned to WebMD in the past.

AI is already being applied to create next-level treatment plans. IBM developed the Watson for Oncology program that is able to make recommendations based on its understanding of patient records, clinical notes, research and relevant expertise. This type of technology goes beyond fetching data points and acts like a "cognitive assistant" that can analyze mounds of data quicker than a human and only present the most relevant information to doctors.

Machines are also making healthcare services available 24/7, even when a patient is between doctor visits. Artificial nurses and caretakers have been developed that help monitor a patient's at-home condition, right down to whether or not individuals are actually taking their medication.

We've already seen the proliferation of open AI in giving real-time feedback on health and lifestyle choices - think about how wearable tech has changed the game at gyms in the past few years, for example. The ways that different technologies are able to communicate with each other provide consumers with access to data they can track themselves and use to self-analyze their own health decisions. This ecosystem of smart, adaptable tech also helps healthcare professionals better understand each individual patient to develop hyper-personalized health plans.

Artificial intelligence promises to be the biggest technological shift in our lifetimes. Every industry will have to fundamentally reassess how it operates in order to incorporate AI and co-exist with machines that will become invaluable partners in solving real problems. How are you thinking about AI and how it might impact your business or your industry?