The very mention of Artificial Intelligence reminds most people of movies like the Terminator but in actuality, AI is already very present in our daily lives making things much easier for us in a multitude of fields. For example, according to a Harvard Business Review study, companies that were using AI for sales managed to bring in 50% more leads and reduce their costs by 40%-60%.
AI applications are not necessarily actual robots walking about the office. In most cases, it means the introduction of software and tools that make conducting business easier, more affordable, and faster by automating as much as possible.
Mathematician Alan Turing was the first to really ask the question ‘Can machines think?’. Artificial Intelligence is a response to that question in the affirmative. If a machine helps with problem-solving, planning, executing, etc, it is considered part of AI.
Here are 10 amazing examples of AI applications that you see or use every day but rarely stop to recognize the importance of:
#1 Speech Recognition Software
32% of executives say voice recognition is the most important and widely used AI technology in their business at the moment. Speech recognition is at the core of everything from Siri to Alexa to the Amazon Echo. The speech recognition software works by breaking down the audio into tiny parts so that the machine can analyze each part and break it down into a format that the machine can read/understand. Finally, the machine will then use the information to give you the best results it can.
The reply that a virtual assistant like Siri gives you is based on the algorithm of the machine and previous experiences with similar questions/ queries. This is very similar to the type of software that is used by language-learning websites like Duolingo and Preply.com. Even now speech recognition software is constantly bettering itself and learning more every day since it is a relatively new use of AI.
#2 Intelligent Cybersecurity
If you own a website, for instance, you probably already know that there are numerous cyber attacks that take place on a daily basis. Your web hosting company is not going to give you enough protection to deal with these attacks which is where AI software comes in. Using AI can provide security to your website by identifying malware, protecting the company from cyber threats, and maintaining a record of who has accessed the website.
You can also decide what networks should be able to access your online property. A good example of cybersecurity software is the plugin Wordfence that is used by most websites to maintain some level of security.
Software like this creates a firewall for your website that prevents unauthorized access and this is all done with the help of Artificial Intelligence. Machine learning technology identifies threats, unusual traffic, hidden attacks, etc, and records them in their database.
#3 Online Shopping
When it comes to online shopping, you will often see relevant recommendations pop up for you during your browsing experience. Online stores like Amazon even use AI as part of their email marketing technique. When you search for a certain item on Amazon, you will most likely receive an email that looks like this one:
This boosts conversions for the brand and helps them make more money online. Some eCommerce brands have even started playing around with the feature that allows you to upload a picture of a clothing item to receive recommendations of similar items.
#4 Personalized Playlists
If you have ever used a platform like Spotify, you know that technology is getting insanely good at recommending music that suits your taste. There obviously isn’t a real person sitting there guessing what you may like to hear next which is where AI comes in. Music streaming apps like Joox and Spotify use algorithms to analyze user preferences so that they can then recommend personalized playlists to their users. This completely changes your experience as a customer which is why AI-driven technology like this has become indispensable to music streaming services.
Companies like Uber and Lyft use AI for a long list of reasons be it fraud detection or finding the best route for a driver to take. Pretty much the entire journey apart from the actual driving is handled using AI. When you get a spend approximation or your customer profile is matched with a driver, that is all Uber’s AI at work. Uber even onboards new drivers using AI with most of their hiring process being automated.
Their software is also incredibly good at figuring out what a customer’s preferences are and what should be recommended to them because of these preferences. According to Forbes, the Uber director of product Jairam Ranganathan said "We don’t even think about it anymore," when referring to how much the company uses AI at an AI-focused conference.
#6 Commercial Flights (Autopilot)
Most of your commercial flight is actually handled by Artificial Intelligence nowadays and has been for a while. In essence, autopilot is a pretty easy-to-understand concept. It uses the pilot’s instructions to maintain speed, altitude, and heading. According to WIRED, Boeing is even working on planes that do not need any human intervention at all so clearly the technology is already there to be used. Essentially this would be done by using Artificial Intelligence Technology that is capable of making the same decisions the pilot would ordinarily make. Humans would still be around in case of turbulence, a medical emergency, or even a problem with the autopilot system but as time goes on, planes are becoming more and more automated.
#7 Fraud Prevention
Whenever your bank emails or alerts you on a certain transaction that they believe is probably fraudulent, that is the Artificial Intelligence system using data it has gathered over the years. Past fraud patterns, the amount used during the transaction, and the type of transaction all play a part in the system’s algorithm. Now, AI is even capable of using various factors like common behavior of the customer to make an informed decision on whether to accept or reject the transaction in the first place. This really reduces the risk factor and chances of a fraudulent transaction going through.
This means a better experience for the customer and more control for the business.
#8 Your FICO score
Your credit score is calculated using AI software that estimates the risks of a customer. So when you are rejected or accepted for a loan or are given a certain interest rate, that has a lot to do with AI and how the machine learning technology has analyzed your profile. The benefits of using AI to calculate your score include having a more precise, data-driven score at the end and not letting human bias get in the way of someone receiving a good score.
On the other hand, there are also drawbacks to this technology- credit scoring AI is not able to view each customer subjectively. This means that AI tech will quickly put a customer profile in a box depending on its history of data. As the software gets more advanced, the scores are being calculated with more precision and there is less room for error but this is one of the applications of AI that is always hotly debated whenever it is mentioned.
Instagram among many other social media apps uses AI for a wide variety of reasons including target advertising, emoji recommendation, hashtag recommendation, the search function, and to enhance the overall user experience. Most of your experience on the platform is ruled by the algorithm that recommends what you might like by studying your user behavior from the moment you create an account.
These 10 examples of AI applications barely do AI justice. If we actually covered the list of industries that depend on Artificial Intelligence to run their business, we would be here for hours. 47% of digitally mature organizations have an AI strategy and 31% of marketing, creative and IT professionals plan on investing in AI technology within the next 12 months. Dave Waters put it best when he said, “Predicting the future isn’t magic, it’s artificial intelligence.”
About the Author: Burkhard Berger is the founder of awesomex™. You can follow him on his path from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on www.awesomex.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.
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