8 ways AI is helping industries today

Ava Chisling
September 11, 2017

According to Gil Press of Forbes: “A Narrative Science survey found last year that 38% of enterprises are already using AI, growing to 62% by 2018. Forrester Research predicted a greater than 300% increase in investment in artificial intelligence in 2017 compared with 2016. IDC estimated that the AI market will grow from $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020.”

We have in the past discussed some of the sillier ways companies are using AI to promote their products and services, most notably the use of AI and beer and AI and roti (here). But if you look beyond the buzzword and the hype, you will find many important things going on with artificial intelligence, not only in the tech sector, but in other fields as well. AI is not just promising, it is already in our lives. Here are eight ways AI is being used by industry — there are of course many more…


AI is helping industries - education and technology - legaled

Rather than replace teachers, as the fear-mongers claim, AI can help with the more mundane tasks that will let teachers spend more time, well, teaching — much like how ROSS Intelligence helps lawyers. AI systems can handle record keeping/grading and they can provide customized tutoring, catered to each child’s needs (here). The world’s first AI-based online learning systems was just announced (here).

According to EdTech, “Recent research predicts that the use of AI in the education sector will grow 47.5 percent through 2021… Of all the areas where AI might work in K–12, the article indicates the potential to create adaptive learning features that personalize tools for each student’s learning experience is the biggest.”

Some of the major players in AI and education: IBM’s Watson Analytics, Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning, Google’s G Suite for Education and in-classroom robots like Robota, Paro, and Nao (here).


AI is helping industries

According to R.L. Adams in Forbes, “Quantum computers will not only solve all of life’s most complex problems and mysteries regarding the environment, aging, disease, war, poverty, famine, the origins of the universe and deep-space exploration, just to name a few, it’ll soon power all of our A.I. systems, acting as the brains of these super-human machines.” We’re not sure AI will solve ALL our problems — but it is and will continue to be able to find solutions much quicker than we humans can.


AI is helping industries

NBC News reports: “Some researchers are using AI to pinpoint the regions most in need. Other scientists are integrating AI into research designed to improve agriculture, possibly giving the world’s poorest farmers a way to elevate their financial status. AI is also an effective tool for increasing access to information and boosting education and literacy, among other things.”

As an example, George Kantor, a roboticist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and his colleagues launched FarmView, “A project that combines AI with robotics to improve the agricultural yield of certain staple crops, in particular sorghum. In developing countries like India, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, this drought- and heat-tolerant plant is a valuable cereal crop that has huge genetic potential thanks to its more than 40,000 varieties.” (here)

“AI will be a game changer, and benefit billions. Today two billion people in the world go hungry, so righting the imbalanced distribution of food and dealing with the worldwide agricultural system is a good start. Technologies such as GPS have increased the yield in developed countries but have not been widely used in developing countries. Now we can level that playing field with smartphones and access to the cloud.” (here).


Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft… these are just some of the partners looking to help humanity through AI technology via Partnership on AI.

The organization’s philosophy is: “We believe that artificial intelligence technologies hold great promise for raising the quality of people’s lives and can be leveraged to help humanity address important global challenges such as climate change, food, inequality, health, and education.” The partnership focuses on various pillars of AI, including developing best practices around the development and fielding of fair, explainable, and accountable AI systems; promoting public good; and making sure the benefits of AI are widely shared and that competition and innovation is encouraged.


AI is helping industries

Data management, apps, DNA, and treatment plans are only a few of the uses of AI and health. For example, “Watson for Oncology has an advanced ability to analyze the meaning and context of structured and unstructured data in clinical notes and reports that may be critical to selecting a treatment pathway. Then by combining attributes from the patient’s file with clinical expertise, external research, and data, the program identifies potential treatment plans for a patient.” (here). And as 60 Minutes reported, “Watson had been trained to read medical literature. It read 25 million published medical papers in about week and was also able to scan the web for the latest scientific research. As an artificial intelligence, Watson can understand and analyze natural language, continuously learns and never forgets.”

AI can also save lives by predicting suicide: At Florida State University, “machine learning — a future frontier for artificial intelligence — can predict with 80–90 percent accuracy whether someone will attempt suicide as far off as two years into the future. The algorithms become even more accurate as a person’s suicide attempt gets closer. For example, the accuracy climbs to 92 percent one week before a suicide attempt when artificial intelligence focuses on general hospital patients.” And heart failure: “By tracking the movement of 30,000 different points on a patient’s heart, it was able to construct an intricate 3D scan of the organ. Combining these models with patient health records going back eight years, the system could learn which abnormalities signaled a patient’s approaching death, making predictions about five years into the future.”


AI is helping industries - law - legal technology - legal AI - ROSS

We have to mention the great advances AI is having in law. Says ROSS CEO and Cofounder, Andrew Arruda: “Artificial intelligence is not changing the law tomorrow, it’s happening already. When it comes to the need for efficiency, better client service and better outcomes for clients, artificial intelligence is helping lawyers at law firms, legal departments and government agencies of all shapes and sizes do more than ever before. ROSS Intelligence is proud to have sparked the revolution for bringing AI to law and we are excited about our continued leadership in the space.”

The New York Times, reported on Luis Salazar, a partner in a five-lawyer Miami firm, who tested ROSS Intelligence against himself. “After 10 hours of searching online legal databases, he found a case whose facts nearly mirrored the one he was working on. ROSS found that case almost instantly. Mr. Salazar has been particularly impressed by a legal memo service that ROSS is developing. Type in a legal question and ROSS replies a day later with a few paragraphs summarizing the answer and a two-page explanatory memo. The results, he said, are indistinguishable from a memo written by a lawyer. “That blew me away,” Mr. Salazar said.


AI is helping industries - transportation - self driving car

There are driverless car trials being run from Atlanta to Bristol to Ohio to Australia, and north to the Canada-US border, where clearing customs without a driver is about to be tested. The consequences of having no driver in a vehicle are many, including “[Accidents] caused by drug-driving, drink-driving, speeding, in the future that will be no more. There’ll be literally thousands of lives saved as a result of in the future people utilising autonomous vehicles,” says Australia’s NRMA chairman Kyle Loads. “A car equipped with artificial intelligence will not only react faster than any human, but also drive more defensively,” says Harald Kröger, president-Automotive Electronics (here).

New Enterprise Associates’ Arjun Aggarwal says in xconomy.com, “Our broader view is really that anything that moves will eventually become autonomous, whether it is cars, trucks, drones, or planes. We believe that the $726 billion trucking and logistics industry is one that will be disrupted by autonomous technologies in an accelerated fashion relative to others simply due to the massive costs and inefficiencies that characterize the market, along with up-ended consumer delivery expectations.”


AI is helping industries - construction

According to The Mercury News, in Pittsburg, California “the city is working with RoadBotics on a pilot program to better manage its local roads. The company uses car-mounted cellphone cameras to snap photos of street conditions before running that data through artificial intelligence software to create color-coded maps showing which roads are in good shape, which need monitoring and which are in need of immediate repairs.”

Using AI technology to monitor the flow of traffic is already saving lives. After a successful project in Toronto, whereby Brisk Synergies documented a “30 percent reduction in vehicle crashes after the city made changes to an intersection there,” now the company “is hoping to use cameras and artificial intelligence software in a different way — seeing how the design of the road influences how drivers behave.” (here) The company installed a camera to watch how cars, cyclists and pedestrians move through the intersection and to identify why drivers might be speeding. “Before, documenting the need for changes would require special crews to either monitor the roads directly or watch footage from a video feed, both of which take time and personnel,” said Charles Chung of Brisk Synergies in the Mercury News.

Ava Chisling

Ava is an award-winning lawyer and editor who counsels creative types, writes about pop culture/tech+law and sometimes creates ad campaigns. She is Quebec counsel for Momentum Law.