How the pandemic has helped realise the value of AI

The pandemic has realised the value of AI

How the pandemic has helped realise the value of AI

Right from chatbots replacing face-to-face customer service and computer vision that enforces social distancing, the pandemic has helped realise the value of Artificial Intelligence (AI). One of the very few things that the pandemic has not been able to exert its negative influence on is the rate of adoption of AI technology.

During the pandemic, organisations have had the option to put off their projects and initiatives or to pre-emptively invest in AI technology to gain competitive advantage. Most organisations have appreciated the benefits offered by AI and have adopted the latter approach as their strategic option. The need for digital interaction during the pandemic has risen with more and more industries transforming their businesses to help them work remotely.

Some AI-driven advancements

  1. Education Industry – Schools and universities migrating to online learning platforms has created an increased demand for AI-powered technology. AI-based learning platforms enable continuous monitoring of student activities and provides learning content and pathways catered to student interests. This development has proved to be as competent as in-class tutoring owing to its continuous interaction capabilities through Chatbots and NLP algorithms.

Retail Industry – With social distancing standards and no-contact servicing requirements in retail stores, organisations have adopted AI technology to service their customers and update inventory autonomously. This includes using Chatbots and Kiosks to fulfill customer needs.

Healthcare industry – The healthcare industry has adopted the contactless check in option and mobile tracking through Bluetooth pairing to track the spread of the pandemic. AI-powered technology for healthcare has helped hospitals automate basic consultations for patients, book appointments and track patient visits.

AI for Business-Critical applications

Customer behaviour is constantly changing and with the impetus delivered by the pandemic, predicting customer behaviour has been more difficult than ever before. During times that offer limited economic resources to organisations, it is business critical to get these predictions right. Using historical data to predict customer behaviour during the pandemic might not be the best option available to organisations given that current behavioural patterns driven by the pandemic happen to be very different from historical behavioural patterns of customers. To avoid monetary implications that arise as a result of incorrect predictions, organisations are leveraging AI to analyse real-time customer data and improve the accuracy of predictions.

According to Gartner (2020),over 66% of organisations have increased investment in AI technology after the onset of the pandemic. Many organisations have been caught off-guard by the pandemic with increased demands and workloads. For instance, some airlines experienced an increase in airline cancellation requests by 800% and some essentials delivery services saw an increase in demand by 50%. Learning from such experiences, organisations have started adopting AI technology for their real-time monitoring and predictions. The implication of this advancement is an influx in the data being generated and this increased volume of data will lead to improved prediction accuracy, creating a virtuous cycle and fostering AI developments.

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