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Top 8 Industries Being Disrupted by AI Technology

AI technology is helping numerous industries become more efficient by saving both resources and money.

AI technology is helping numerous industries become more efficient by saving both resources and money.

Whether you like it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) technology is here to stay. If you have been paying attention, you have likely seen the almost daily news on the latest AI technology breakthroughs. The increasing powering and influence of this technology is experiencing an unstoppable period of exponential growth.

However, did you know that AI technology has been improving for decades? In fact, many industries have been disrupted because of this technology already. If you haven’t realized it yet, here are ten industries that AI technology has helped to revolutionize.

Healthcare

The healthcare industry is one of the biggest benefactors of advanced AI technology.

The healthcare industry is one of the biggest benefactors of advanced AI technology.

Artificial intelligence has already revolutionized the healthcare industry as whole by improving diagnosis and treatment, reducing errors and costs, increasing access to care and helping doctors monitor and manage patients.

If there is one thing that computers are good at, its crunching numbers and performing data analytics. When it comes to diagnosis and treatment, artificial intelligence algorithms can be used to analyze medical images, such as X-rays and MRIs, and identify patterns that may indicate a particular condition. This can help improve diagnosis and treatment by providing doctors with additional information to work with.

AI has been used with great success to analyze patient data, such as medical history and vital signs, to predict the likelihood of a particular outcome or to identify trends that may indicate a need for intervention. In one example, a deep learning AI algorithm was trained on how to identify patients with high heart attack risk. The A.I. algorithm got so good that it could predict heart attacks with greater than 90% accuracy (Stephens, 2019).

Along the same lines, AI technology has helped with is clinical decision support. In this case, AI can be used to provide doctors with real-time recommendations and alerts based on the latest research and evidence, helping to improve the quality of care. IBM’s Watson supercomputer was essentially designed for this purpose. According to IBM’s own website, Watson is designed to augment human expertise and improve clinical and operational workflows, allowing our healthcare providers to focus on what they do best.

In addition to decision support, another thing that artificial intelligence can help with is patient monitoring. AI can be used to monitor patients remotely, through the use of sensors and other technologies, allowing for more timely and efficient care. Furthermore, this has helped in the proliferation of virtual care options and has helped make at-home care possible for millions of people around the world.

Finally, AI technology has also helped with the development of new drugs and medical treatments. Computer systems with can be used to analyze large amounts of data related to drug development, helping to identify new treatments and therapies. AI was instrumental in quickly developing a vaccine for COVID 19 (Keshavarzi, 2020).

However, even before this example, computers have been helping the hunt for cures and treatments for decades. When Sony released its iconic PlayStation 3 (PS3) in 2006, users could help medical researcher by running software called Folding @ Home while their game console was resting. Sadly, the program was discontinued in 2012 (Folding@Home, 2023).

Education

AI is revolutionizing how humans learn.

AI is revolutionizing how humans learn.

Artificial intelligence has revolutionized education in several ways including helping to personalize learning, adapting to students’ needs and by making education more effective and efficient overall.

When it comes to developing personalized learning experiences, AI technology is a great tool at teachers’ disposal. By taking fundamental concepts and allowing an algorithm to manipulate the pace, depth, and detail of the learning objectives, the curriculum can essentially be adapted and tailored to individual student needs and preferences. This helps to increase student engagement and improves learning outcomes.

AI technology has also become really good at language translation. In this regard, AI can translate educational materials into different languages, making them more accessible to a global audience. Furthermore, artificial intelligence is good at is analyzing large amounts of data efficiently. By reviewing massive datasets, algorithms can identify trends related to student performance. Teachers can use these results to help inform what areas students’ need extra help with (Jimenez, 2021).

Transportation

The transportation industry has been significantly improved via the deployment of artificial intelligence.

The transportation industry has been significantly improved via the deployment of artificial intelligence.

Most people are likely to agree that in most major cities traffic is a major problem. In addition to that, far too many people die each year in auto crashes. In fact, according to the IIHS, there were 35,766 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2020 in which 38,824 deaths occurred (IIHS, 2022).

For these reasons, among others, artificial intelligence technology is being deployed in many areas of the transportation industry to improve safety, efficiency, and accessibility. The primary means by which this is, and has, occurred is through the development of autonomous vehicles and intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

You are most likely familiar with the advent of autonomous vehicles. AI is being used to develop self-driving cars and trucks, which have the potential to improve transportation safety and efficiency. In an article posted on Forbes, it was reported that Waymo’s self-driving technology showed a “superhuman” safety record (Templeton, 2020).

However, this technology is by no means perfect; in 2022, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported nearly 400 crashes of vehicles with partially automated driver-assist systems during an 11-month period preceding the press release (Wagner, 2022).

The good news is that advancements in algorithms, sensor technology, and decision management modules are being made every day. It is likely that within 20 years self-driving vehicles will become the norm rather than the exception.

Some lesser-known uses of AI technology in the transportation industry is something called Intelligent transportation systems or ITS. ITS is a collection of sensors such as radar, magnetic loops in the pavement, and cameras that can optimize traffic flow, reduce congestion, and improve the efficiency of public transportation systems. If you have ever noticed that the traffic signals seemed to be time perfectly in major cities, this is a result of ITS technologies and artificial intelligence being utilized to manage traffic. According to USDOT, the use of ITS has helped to significantly reduce traffic congestion resulting in making communities more livable (USDOT, 2022).

In addition to these things, artificial intelligence algorithms are being utilized by a number of companies to improve logistics. For example, shipping industry leader UPS utilizes AI technology through a system called ORION, which stands for On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation. This tool analyzes massive amounts of data on vehicles, drivers, delivery locations, and more to optimize a route that saves time and cost. Every mile eliminated from a UPS driver’s route can result in $50 million in savings for the company (Hamilton, 2021).

Agriculture

The way we farm and produce food is changing due to technological advancements.

The way we farm and produce food is changing due to technological advancements.

What better place to deploy AI technology than in the industry that literally allowed for modern society to exist? When it comes to agricultural production, artificial intelligence technology is being used to optimize crop yields, reduce water usage, and improve food safety all while making the entire process to get food from the ground to your table faster and cheaper.

One such area that has seen major growth in recent years is the use of sensors and field-deployed technology to manage farming operations in real-time. Called “precision farming,” this technology collects larges datasets on soil conditions, weather patterns, and plant health which is then used to optimize crop yield. Computers process the data and decide how much water, fertilizer, and pesticide to use and when to use it.

The same technology is also being utilized to manage livestock. Sensors are used to monitor animal health which is used to optimize feeding and breeding practices. AI technology is also helped to improve overall animal welfare and productivity.

However, precision farming technology goes far beyond just managing the basics of crop and livestock production. Algorithms and mass data analysis are improving the management of seed species, identifying disease and pest problems, and even allowing for predictive analytics (Ampatzidis, 2018).

Energy

Modern life is made possible by the implementation of AI advancements in the energy industry.

Modern life is made possible by the implementation of AI advancements in the energy industry.

The energy industry is yet another industry that has been disrupted because of the implementation of AI technology. Artificial intelligence computer systems have been employed to increase the efficiency of energy generation as well as to reduce costs, balance loads, and optimize the performance of the electrical grid.

According to the International Finance Corporation, the energy sector worldwide faces growing challenges related to rising demand, efficiency, changing supply and demand patterns, and a lack of analytics needed for optimal management (Makala, 2020). These challenges are now being met with the increased use of artificial intelligence algorithms.

AI technology has also helped with the global push towards developing and utilizing large-scale renewable and sustainable energy options. For instance, computer programs are used to help solar panels track the sun’s movement throughout the day. Algorithms are also used to help manage “smart grids” that can predict and respond to changes in energy demands.

One obvious use of AI tech is within individual homes and buildings. For instance, smart thermostats now monitor daily routines and can adjust temperatures based on when people are home or in the office. Heating and cooling a building is electrically taxing so this can be managed with AI as well. With machine learning, thermostats can be further enhanced to provide the greatest comfort for the least amount of energy consumption (Curry, 2020).

Finance

AI has changed the way we manage money.

AI has changed the way we manage money.

Did you know that the finance sector was one of the first industries to push for the implementation of AI algorithms? Wall Street profiteers began utilizing a variety of computerized algorithms in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s to maximize profits on the stock market.

These algorithms look for patterns in large amounts of data in real-time and can adapt and react to the way in which these patterns change over time. Companies that rely on these algorithms allow AI to make automated buying and selling decisions (Jones, 2017). Today, billions of dollars worth of financial decisions are made every day on the sole basis of an AI’s decision making algorithms.

However, artificial intelligence isn’t just for buying and selling stocks. In fact, one noble use of this technology is fraud detection. AI can be used to detect money laundering or credit card fraud, and alert financial institutions to potential risks. Though not always perfect, these AI systems can be pretty good at identifying illegal activity.

Another aspect of algorithmic systems in finance is the credit scoring system. AI technology is being used to analyze large amounts of data related to credit risk, allowing for more accurate credit scoring and lending decisions.

Manufacturing

The mass production of goods has been revolutionized by AI technology.

The mass production of goods has been revolutionized by AI technology.

Since the industrial revolution, the manufacturing industry has always been an innovator of automation and mass production. Factories that produce thousands of goods every day are engineering marvels. Moreover, AI technology has been used to further improve manufacturing efficiency and to reduce waste.

The most obvious area where AI has been utilized is robotics. Optimization algorithms have been used to improve the capabilities of industrial robots, allowing them to perform tasks more quickly and accurately. This has also resulted in fewer accidents, reduced maintenance costs, and improved safety for workers in the area.

Speaking of maintenance, AI is good at predicting when maintenance is needed for industrial machinery. Using machine learning and data analytics, computers can predict when equipment is likely to fail and adjust manufacturing processes accordingly. By scheduling maintenance when needed, the disruption to production is minimized.

Another area where AI technology shines is in the optimization of the supply chain. With pattern recognition technology, AI systems can help purchase goods in anticipation of supply shortages. For instance, Walmart uses AI to enhance daily supply chain workflows, to anticipate cycles or seasonal changes in demand, and to predict and allay the effects of peak or unexpected events in customer traffic (Torres, 2022).

When it comes to manufacturing, let us not forget the role that artificial intelligence now plays in product design. AI algorithms can be used to design and optimize new products, through the use of simulations and other techniques. AI technology has gotten so good at product development, there are numerous examples of computers inventing or creating something completely new. In June 2021, South Africa became the first country to grant a patent to an AI system that invented a “food container based on fractal geometry” (Naidoo, 2021).

Customer Service

AI has taken over many customer service roles today.

AI has taken over many customer service roles today.

I can’t round out the list of industries that have been disrupted by artificial intelligence without mentioning the customer service industry. We are likely familiar with how good (or not good, depending on your perspective) AI customer service representatives have become. Through the use of chatbots and other technologies, businesses have developed a variety of non-human methods that can respond to customer inquiries and resolve issues.

Similar to chatbots, virtual assistants are intelligent software programs that can be used to understand and respond to natural language inputs. Virtual assistants can be used to provide personalized assistance and recommendations or to do research and to help workers be more efficient. One example is the recent use of the ChatGPT artificial intelligence program. This technology is very good; some people believe that this technology will eventually replace Google (David, 2022).

However, AI technology is being used for more than just a means to replace a human at the customer service counter. In fact, AI is great at analyze large amounts of data. AI technology is being used to analyze customer feedback and identify customer sentiment. This allows companies to better understand customer needs and preferences. Furthermore, AI is being used to predict customer behavior and identify potential issues, allowing companies to proactively address customer needs and improve the customer experience before it becomes a problem.

References and Resources

Ampatzidis, Yiannis. "Applications of Artificial Intelligence for Precision Agriculture." University of Florida IFAS Extension. Publication Number AE529. December 19th, 2018.

Curry, David. "Swiss Researchers Create Machine Learning Thermostat" RT Insights. February 12, 2020.

David, Emilia. "Could ChatGPT challenge Google?" Business Insider. December 15, 2022.

IBM Watson Health. IBM Watson Health is committed to helping build smarter health ecosystems.2023.

Insurance Institude for Highway Safety (IIHS). Fatality Facts 2020.May 2022.

Jimenez, Laura. Boser, Ulrich. Future of Testing in Education: Artificial Intelligence.September 16, 2021.

Jones, David. "Wall Street’s Use of Artificial Intelligence Leads the Way for Digital Performance Management Revolution." DynaTrace. January 17, 2017.

Keshavarzi Arshadi, A., Webb, J., Salem, M., Cruz, E., Ghadirian, N., Collins, J., Kelly, B., Goodarzi, H., & Yuan, J. S. (2020). Artificial Intelligence for COVID-19 Drug Discovery and Vaccine Development. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence, 3.

Makala, Baloko. Bakovic, Tonci. Artificial Intelligence in the Power Sector. Internal Finance Corporation, Thought Leadership. April, 2020.

Stephens, Wallace. Machine Learning Can Predict Heart Attack or Death More Accurately Than Humans.American Journal of Managed Care. June, 2019.

Templeton, Brad. Waymo Data Shows Superhuman Safety Record. They Should Deploy Today. Forbes Magazine. October 30th, 2020.

Torres, Roberto. "How Walmart enhances its inventory, supply chain through AI" Industry Dive. December 13, 2022.

United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). “How ITS Technology Has Improved Our Quality of Life.” 2022.

Wagner, Orlin. Nearly 400 car crashes in 11 months involved automated tech, companies tell regulators. National Public Radio. June 15, 2022.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2023 Christopher Wanamaker