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AI’s growing role in everyday life and business

1 May, 2020

Ten years ago, the idea of talking to a computer would be considered madness. Yet here we are in a new decade fully reliant on voice assistants like Alexa and Siri to help us complete simple tasks like playing music, watching a movie and turning on the kettle in the morning.

Artificial intelligence (AI) was arguably the big technological advance of the previous decade and, as we move into the 2020s, we will see it continue to flourish as use cases prove its compatibility with our everyday lives. 

For example, the popular smart robot vacuum cleaner Roomba is now relatively commonplace with more than 10 million products shipped since 2002, to the point that it’s easy to forget it’s a robot. The robotic vacuum uses AI to scan the size of a room, identify obstacles, determine how much vacuuming there is to do and remember the most efficient cleaning route. 

This is a good example of machines being able to think and learn for themselves. And, while fully intelligent, self-thinking robots remain consigned to science fiction books and movies for now, the capacity and capability of the technology is already having major benefits for the human race. For example, only last month, it was announced that a drug molecule ‘invented’ by AI will be used in human trials for the first time. It took just 12 months to develop the drug and bring it to trial, a process that would previously have taken five years.

AI immerses itself into the business world

It’s not just our personal lives and the medical world that are being hugely impacted by the benefits of AI. Businesses are increasingly being immersed in the power of robotic assistance. The apps of today can learn who we are, what we like and more, using behavioural learning and intelligence to make our lives easier.

Here are a few examples of how AI is simplifying the everyday tasks of organisations around the world.

Enhancing empathy: All too often, human emotion can be to the detriment of a business deal or a sales lead. So a great example of the power of AI is its ability to bypass these emotions and strengthen connections with customers. Specifically, AI can make an interaction more empathetic than humans are capable of. Cogito, a company born out of MIT researchers’ studies into human communications, is enabling exactly this, using software to analyse a conversation in real-time and read what’s going right or wrong. It then provides colour-based warnings and updates to determine the emotional quality of the interaction and helps businesses improve the quality of their sales calls.

Gaining a financial edge: The financial world is particularly reliant on quickly and accurately processing huge volumes of data to make vital decisions. So AI like algorithmic trading, chatbots and machine learning are central to the industry’s success.

For example, automated investing platform Betterment has created AI technology known as ‘robo-advisors,’ which use algorithms to learn about an investor, automate trading transactions and build personalised profiles built on their financial plans. While New York-based AlphaSense has created an AI-powered financial search engine that scans millions of financial data points using linguistic search and natural language processing to generate actionable reports and saves analysts vast amounts of time.

AI for everything: Apple famously coined the phrase ‘there’s an app for that’ to describe the all-encompassing power of its iPhone, and Amazon is doing the same thing for eCommerce with its AI-powered domination of the market. The Seattle-based firm uses AI to recommend products to customers, power the robots that grab them from the warehouse then sort and ship them to people, as well as powering its website. The company also sparked the modern obsession with conversation-driven virtual assistants with the launch of Alexa back in 2014.

AI does your hardest tasks, better

One of the key benefits of AI is automating tasks that humans either don’t want to do or that would take them too long to complete manually. Indeed, McKinsey research suggests that building AI into process management can have up to a 35% improvement in efficiency, reduce business process times by up to 60% and at least double returns on investment. 

This is especially the case with email management, whereby business productivity is being killed by time-consuming tasks and human error. Rather than relying on employees to remember to store emails in the correct folder and not delete important information, businesses need to look to technology that simplifies the arduous, time-intensive task of filing, finding, sharing and storing emails. 

Mail Manager reduces the time and complexity of filing and searching for emails and attachments. It simplifies every part of the process, giving businesses the peace of mind that all their important data is safe and can be found at the click of a button, in one central location. The Outlook add-in learns businesses’ filing behaviours, then uses this insight to prompt employees to file emails to suggested locations. Emails are centrally filed alongside other client and project information, ensuring it is quick and easy to find and access.

Step into the AI revolution

AI is having a revolutionary impact on all areas of businesses and it’s time for organisations to get on board. Implementing AI in your processes is simple and could save your employees huge amounts of time and effort, especially when it comes to checking their emails and storing information in the appropriate location. And the benefit of that for your business could be huge.

Discover how Mail Manager’s automated, intuitive software can enhance business efficiency and productivity. Read our Ramboll case study.

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