Organizations all over the world are looking for growth. They are facing a dearth of breakthroughs in every link of their value chain. And the key to real growth isn’t efficiency anymore — it is transformation, the kind pioneered by the Digital Wave in the last decade.
Most companies were not ready for the wave, and had to adopt a reactive approach to embrace it. Having learned from this — AI technology is the next big wave, and companies are already bracing for impact. Though we are clearly far from the stage when artificially intelligent life will overthrow human civilization (hopefully), recent trends have just started to give evidence to the potential use of AI by the modern organization.
Artificial intelligence (AI) had been researched for over half a century so far with little signs of progress — mainly due to the limits of technology in the past. But given recent developments, we are currently on the verge of what could possibly be the inflection point of the commercial adoption of AI in industries across the globe.
The technology is already used by some of the leading tech companies in the world. Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are already using AI technology for several applications — whether it’s the voice recognition feature on your phone or the items displayed in your news feed and shopping recommendations. Tesla and Google are using the same technology for autonomous cars.
The TechRadar Report quoted here, gives us an idea of what are the key areas of development in AI that will form the focus for the next decade of development.
As mentioned in the article linked above, some of the key AI technologies that are looked at by enterprises today are
- Natural language generation
- Speech recognition
- Virtual agents
- Machine learning platforms
- AI-optimized hardware
- Decision management
- Deep-learning platforms
- Robotic process automation
- Text analytics and NLP
The AI Market
Although there is no clear market for artificial intelligence in business yet, the traction shown for the kind of advantage it could bring to every industry is undeniable:
- A Narrative Science survey found last year that 38% of enterprises are already using artificial intelligence, growing to 62% by 2018.
- Forrester Research has predicted a greater than 300% increase in investment in artificial intelligence in 2017 compared with 2016.
- IDC has estimated that the AI market will grow from $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020.
In a bid to make a headway into this emerging market, major companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Intel have already begun the race of acquiring AI technology startups:
Recent acquisitions of AI startups by major tech companies
Possible uses of AI in Healthcare
With so many possibilities, the real question is — where and how will the uses of artificial intelligence impact the current economic landscape? Many artificial intelligence companies are already experimenting with these technologies to test their possibility and expand upon them, especially in healthcare.
IBM Watson’s capabilities are extensively being leveraged for healthcare in areas including oncology, genomics, and possibly in clinical decision support systems. The solution excels in situations where you need to draw connects between massive amounts of dynamic and complex text information (like medical literature with patient records or genomic data) to generate and evaluate hypotheses. Many prestigious academic medical centers, such as The Cleveland Clinic, The Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering are working with IBM to develop systems that will help healthcare providers better understand patients’ diseases and recommend personalized course of treatment. Most recently, IBM Watson Explorer AI is being used by Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance to deliver analysis for compensation payouts. It speeds up compensation payout analysis via analyzing claims and medical records, increases productivity by 30%, and saves up to ¥140 million.
Several major companies are also playing the game to be the first to master AI. For instance, Google's DeepMind platform is currently being used by the UK National Health Service to detect certain health risks through data collected via a mobile app, while the Intel Capital startup, Lumiata, is using AI to identify at-risk patients and develop care options. Thanks to the open-sourced AI libraries and APIs by Google, Amazon and several others, many artificial intelligence companies and startups are also doing extensive work in this space — like HealthTap’s voice-activated doctor, Nimblr.ai’s chatbot for automatic scheduling and confirmation of patient visits through electronic health record data.
We are just exploring the tip of the iceberg with current AI technologies. At the current pace of progress, this decade will see a lot more happening in this space across industries with AI augmenting and perhaps even taking over certain functions, and healthcare is definitely one of them.