The rise of AI and intelligent machines is expected to usher in the next industrial revolution, disrupting the healthcare, manufacturing, auto and transport, retail, financial services, agriculture, retail, legal services, defense and mining sectors and more.
Indeed, within 10 years AI and robotics are expected to create an estimated “annual creative disruption impact” of up to $33 trillion globally, including $8 trillion to $9 trillion of cost reductions across manufacturing and health care, $9 trillion of cuts in employment costs thanks to AI-enabled automation of knowledge work and $1.9 trillion in efficiency gains via autonomous cars and drones, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report.
The report predicts adoption of robots and AI could boost productivity by 30% in many industries, while cutting manufacturing labor costs by 18% to 30%.
Major corporations are recognizing AI’s potential impact. In a recent Infosys poll of 1,600 senior business executives at large companies across seven countries 76% of the respondents cited artificial intelligence as fundamental to the success of their organization’s strategy and 64% said they believe that their organization’s future growth is dependent on large-scale AI adoption.
Already robots are making their way into the office environment. According to one study, 38% of businesses were using AI in some way last year, and that number is expected to jump to 62% by 2018. AI virtual assistants called bots are widespread in sales and customer support departments. These chatbots, which provide text and voice services to everyone from Pizza Hut to KLM, are already making it hard to distinguish man from machine. But this is only the beginning. In the near future, conversational “bot” interfaces will use voice, biometrics, augmented reality, virtual reality and some other forms of reality yet to be defined – including, one day, perhaps a direct interface to the human brain, says industry expert Jeff Keni Pulver.
Nearly every sector is expected to be impacted. With natural language generation tools such as Quill, robots analyze data and turn it into newsworthy articles on topics like company earnings and investment funds—a service that is already being used by such companies as Forbes and Credit Suisse. Law firms are getting in on the AI action, too. TermFrame and MarginMatrix are AI-based tools that lawyers rely on to draft documents and codify financial law while startup DoNotPay is using AI technology to offer free legal advice to consumers.
AI and machine learning are already being widely used to assist doctors, thanks to the enormous amount of health data available. Watson, a computer system built by IBM, made headlines last year when it successfully diagnosed a rare form of leukemia in just 10 minutes that had mystified doctors at the University of Tokyo for months. And in the operating room, Johnson and Johnson’s Sedasys system, designed to automatically deliver anesthesia, received FDA approval. And last year, the STAR robot successfully outperformed doctors in a test surgery on a pig’s small intestine
AI is also changing education. ETS, the world leader in assessment development, routinely uses AI to grade open-ended responses on its standardized tests. Last year, a Georgia Tech professor shocked his students when he revealed that his teaching assistant was actually a robot. Social learning platform Brainly uses AI to filter out spam and make friend suggestions for students with complementary skills.
If pundits are right AI will not only transform existing industries it will create new ones.
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