The use of AI in business is now all around us – it seems to have crept up on us to become commonplace, and the debate around its potential benefits, ethics and future and now catching up. Here we look at some of today’s top artificial intelligence companies worldwide, as well as the technology trends that will take its development to the next level.
Artificial intelligence, where a machine is capable of ‘learning’ information from outside its original programming, is certainly not a new concept – it has been used since at least the 1950s. It is, however, becoming increasingly accessible in modern business.
Some AI processes, such as a search engine making helpful suggestions when faced with a misspelled search term, are already so commonly used we may take them for granted.
How AI is shaping the future of business
More sophisticated AI techniques are becoming increasingly popular in areas of business other than online and tech companies. For example, customer service ‘chat-bots’, providing a real-time conversation, have been utilised by forward-thinking hotels to provide room service orders and even firstline medical assistance from the National Health Service in the UK, in measures to reduce pressure on GPs and emergency staff.
Machine learning systems have also been developed to streamline warehousing processes for major retailers such as Ocado and Tesco, and even to process insurance claims; considerably reducing staffing costs and overheads. AI also offers huge scope for data management and analysis, forecasting and prediction of customer behaviours.
The potential uses for AI in the growth of a business are vast and constantly evolving, with global investment in AI development increasing by $billions year-on-year.
Research by IDC shows that as soon as 2018 an estimated 75% of all tech developers will be integrating AI into their business applications, with the most popular algorithms relating to voice recognition and response (think calling your insurance company and giving your personal details by voice, or paying your car parking fees).
AI in Business Search Trends
As you can see from the Google graph below, there has been an increase in search volume for AI in business over the last 5 years, especially since 2016:
This has been fueled partly by Google’s growing interest in artificial intelligence technologies, including their acquisition of AI company DeepMind, which is involved in intriguing research and development projects in the fields of Science, Health and Energy.
Their work promises to be transformative in those sectors, and will no doubt influence many others.