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Tech Isn’t the Only Industry Benefiting from AI

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:56PM

Many people fear the idea of artificial intelligence (AI). I think a lot of that fear has to do with the belief that the emergence of artificial intelligence means the jobs they’ve been doing for decades will be taken away, and by machines nonetheless.

Then there’s the irrational fear that’s most likely rooted in seeing too many science fiction movies in which technology threatens to take over the world and make humans obsolete.

Neither of those things should be why people are apprehensive of artificial intelligence. AI is shaping itself into a sector with some really amazing technological advances right now and for the future.

AI is already very present in our lives, and you might not even know it. Customized search engine results, social media notifications, e-commerce recommendations and listings... all are rooted in AI-based algorithms and models.

I would be lying if I said AI wasn’t going to take some jobs away, but it will be jobs that would be better off done by a machine that can provide the company with more accuracy, efficiency, and time.

Artificial intelligence will allow people to be placed in jobs and careers that fulfill them on a personal level, which in return will benefit them and the company as a whole — the workday will be spent less on time-consuming tasks and more on developing ideas to grow the business.

Before we go on, I want to define the term "artificial intelligence." AI refers to a machine that exhibits intelligence similar to a human's cognitive functions, like the ability to learn a certain task or problem solve in a given situation. Ideally, AI devices perceive their environment and will take the action that's needed to efficiently complete a task.

What makes this sector even better is that the technological advancements aren’t limited to just the technology industry.

A lot of non-technological industries are adopting the tech because those companies see the potential profits and benefits that AI-technology has for them.

According to Loup Ventures analyst Doug Clinton, “Every company will eventually need to be an ‘artificial intelligence company’ to succeed in the modern economy.”

In a report, Clinton pointed out 17 companies in non-technology fields that were early investors in artificial intelligence. He plans on watching these companies begin to demonstrate clear competitive advantages over the next several years, something he expects will be reflected in their stock prices.

Just take popular clothing company Under Armour (NYSE: UA). It has been partnering with International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and its Watson machine learning platform to develop health-monitoring and personalized fitness apps.

It’s also using AI to better understand its customers so it can provide personalized marketing strategies directed toward customers’ lifestyles and interests.

Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) recently created an analytics and innovation division to help integrate AI into its products. It also plans to use AI to help with preventative maintenance for its equipment, which will decrease time spent trying to fix the equipment and the downtime that comes along with it.

Then you have the tech companies that have been investing in this sector because they knew the potential all along...

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has an AI-powered personal assistant, M. This assistant can do a lot of tasks via Facebook Messenger, from booking a flight for you to contesting your cable bill.

Facebook wouldn’t be what we know today without its facial recognition feature, which you might think is a little creepy, but it does save users a lot of time when they’re searching for a particular photo of a friend. The facial recognition feature identifies faces and sorts and tags entire groups of friends.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) is another company that recognized the great potential of this sector early on. Nvidia is a chipmaker that’s been investing in advancing the AI sector by building chips specifically made for deep learning.

Artificial Intelligence in Education

AI is also infiltrating education, with hopes of bringing our education system up to date and lessening the burden of menial, everyday tasks on teachers.

AI has the opportunity to support teachers by taking over time-consuming tasks like grading and recordkeeping. This would allow teachers to spend more time with students.

But there’s still a lot that needs to be figured out before AI is fully integrated into our education systems. One of these things is reconciling the fear that students won’t develop the critical and social skills they need during childhood development if they have more interactions with a machine than a teacher.

China Wants to Build a $150 Billion AI Industry

China wants to be a global leader in artificial intelligence. Li Meng, the Vice Minister of Science and Technology, spoke about China’s plan to have AI technologies and research facilities to match other leading countries by 2020. By 2030, China aims to be the global “innovation center for AI.”

This sector is growing rapidly. AI has started to replace warehouse workers with robots, driverless vehicles are being developed and are on the verge of going public, and the technology may even replace doctors in some medical procedures.

Even the much smaller companies that are supplying the technology to make artificial intelligence possible will start to lead the tech industry, and it's all thanks to the inevitable growth of AI.

As Doug Clinton from Loup Ventures said, “In 10 years every company will have to be an artificial intelligence company or they won’t be competitive.”

There's no denying that this sector is about to grow significantly, and that's why both tech companies and companies in other industries must recognize what lies ahead to keep their businesses thriving and competitive.

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia
Wealth Daily

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