Last year, IDC predicted AI technology spending would exceed $50 billion by 2021. Cut to the present, more companies have started investing money on AI. From slow adopters like manufacturing to the healthcare industry to small and medium businesses that were unlikely to use AI earlier, there has been an uptick in usage across the board.
AI is helping companies manage back-office work, administrative duties, and in streamlining the supply chain.
It enables companies to maximize the productivity of employees, accelerate the speed of production, and increase their ROI.
As companies enter the post-COVID era, we expect them to embrace AI at an even grander scale.
We expect AI to rule industries in the future.
Let’s look at a few industries that will gain immensely from AI in the future.
5 Sectors That Will Benefit From AI
The healthcare industry had always shown interest in using AI for finding innovative solutions to manage care better. It has even helped hospitals to save costs tied to inaccurate diagnosis. It has, for instance, helped hospitals with early detection of cancer and saved patients from unnecessary biopsies. The recent pandemic has brought AI back into the limelight. According to digital health technology funder, Rock Health, $635 million has already been invested in AI by the first quarter of this year.
That’s 4 times more than the amount invested last year during the same period. AI is helping healthcare companies with accurate diagnosis and managing supply chains too. It is also helping pharmaceutical companies with developing drugs by analyzing testing results. Even post-COVID, AI will continue to be an integral part of the healthcare sector as it will strengthen the capabilities of hospitals and streamline repetitive tasks such as analyzing tests and CT scans. The promise is to ramp up the speed and improve the quality of treatment.
COVID-19 had led manufacturing units across the world to shut production temporarily. As factories reopen slowly, manufacturing companies are looking at the idea of using AI to automate operations, ramp up production, and minimize human interactions. AI can help manufacturing companies to improve throughput, forecast demand, maintain machinery and production assets, comply with regulatory requirements, and detect and correct inconsistencies in production through real-time monitoring. The Fortune Business Insights expect the market to hit $9.89 billion by 2027 and grow by a CAGR of 24.2%.
Even before COVID-19 hit businesses, the retail industry was already facing stiff competition from e-commerce websites. As it happens, e-commerce had already started embracing AI a while ago. The only way for traditional retail to catch up with the e-commerce industry is to enhance customer experience and offer the same level of service and convenience as e-commerce websites.
Several retailers have started to adopt AI to improve customer experience and sales. Sephora, for instance, helps customers walking into their store to find the right makeup for their face based on an AI-led scan. It saves their time and cost in finding the right shades. Similarly, Macy’s AI chatbot lets the customer know if the product they are looking for is in stock and even provides directions to find that product. Besides improving customer experience, AI can help retailers predict customer demands, tweak the inventory to meet those demands, and adjust operations accordingly.
Customer needs are changing rapidly. Companies have to develop products to keep pace with those demands. Traditional software development processes might not be able to meet customer demands quickly. That’s where AI-powered software development can come to the rescue. AI can reduce the number of keystrokes by half and detect and test bugs early to avoid any errors in the later stage of development.
It can help to create workflows that can improve the productivity of developers. AI could enable companies to release products quickly, accurately, and at a low cost. As companies step out of lockdown, there is immense pressure to ramp up software development. AI could become the perfect solution to help companies accelerate these processes with constrained resources.
Customer Service and Experience:
Way back in 2011, Gartner had predicted that by 2020, 85% of customer relationships would be managed without human interaction. Cut to the present, perhaps we are on the road to meeting that prediction. AI-based chatbots like IBM Watson Assistant are helping companies offer instant responses to customers about queries related to COVID-19, even as call centers are running empty due to lockdowns.
There are plenty of benefits of using AI in customer service. For starters, it offers 24/7 support to customers even without human intervention. This can be a positive brand-building exercise for companies as customers do not like waiting for responses and prefer to be attended to immediately.
AI can also work tirelessly and learn new skills rapidly leading to improved response rates and zero errors. It can also be easily scaled, thus saving money for the company. AI can also help companies to the hyper-personalized customer experience by understanding their behavior. AI has the potential to make companies more customer-centric and help them stay ahead of the competition.
According to an Accenture study, the inability to scale AI can put 75% of businesses out of business. AI is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ technology, it has become a ‘must-have’ to strengthen companies and keep them relevant in a dynamic business landscape. If companies want to thrive in the post-COVID era, they will have to consider including AI as a part of their business strategy. It could be safe to say that AI may have become the key to sustain yourself in the new normal world.