Occupations from these industries would be able to take advantage of the technology to improve processes

Artificial intelligence (AI) was just a product of the imagination of many scientific minds years ago — now it is finally here. AI is changing not only how people live their lives but also how businesses operate. The way it has been utilised in many fast-adapting industries nowadays to streamline and automate processes is nothing short of remarkable.

AI is hardly a new phenomenon — it has been a buzzword for quite a while now but it has yet to reach its peak. It is slated to be one of the primary drivers of the fourth industrial revolution, together with big data and machine learning. With this, embracing AI has become an adapt-or-die situation for most industries. In the current climate, market players need to be a step ahead of their game or they risk losing their businesses over to those who are quick to adapt.

Despite the seeming necessity to eventually pursue AI, there is still a constant fear surrounding it. Perhaps, it is the very reason why the technology has yet to really boom. For some, AI presents a threat to the human workforce — as machines learn to do what humans can through AI, many workers are expected to be displaced.

This fear, however, seemed to be misguided. With the innovation AI promises comes a new wave of opportunities for workers to develop new skills that would complement the technology. AI has a crucial role in the evolution of work systems, but not to replace humans in the equation. In fact, many occupations will benefit from the use of AI — not only will the technology be able to take care of repetitive work, but it will also give humans more time to deal with more complex tasks.

1. Insurance

For a people-oriented industry such as insurance, using AI is seen as risky. After all, insurance relies on the connection of brokers to their clients — using AI is believed to strip the human touch from the process.

However, the opportunities AI have in store for the insurance industry are endless. A massive portion of the insurance process is collecting information, something AI would be able to do seamlessly and efficiently.

AI can also be tasked to take care of simple decision-making parts of the insurance process by utilising historical experiences and available data. This would allow insurance workers to use their time on more intricate issues.

2. Transportation and delivery

Driverless cars and drone deliveries were made possible with AI. Some car manufacturers have been working on self-driving cars, while retail giants like Walmart and Amazon have been developing automated delivery drone systems to transport goods. Furthermore, AI is being incorporated into navigation tools used not just by businesses but also by ordinary people with smartphones.

In the near future, transportation and delivery workers would be able to take advantage of AI to efficiently provide service to their clients, reducing the manual labor needed and increasing their turnouts.

3. Banking and Finance

AI is becoming more known the banking and finance industry, particularly in the field of customer service. Some banks are now using chatbots in their websites and social pages to attend to simple customer queries, from credit card concerns to home loan applications.

It is not impossible that in the years to come, banks will fully embrace AI and use it not just for customer service but also for coming up with investment advice and funds management.

4. Food and Beverage

It’s hard to imagine AI being incorporated to the food and beverage industry but it certainly is feasible. In restaurants, for instance, machines can be set up to learn and replicate recipes prepared by chefs. They can also be programmed to serve the food to the right customers.

5. Research and Journalism

AI can also break into the field of journalism — algorithm-powered bots can quickly be tasked to generate news reports tackling sports and business. But this is not to say that AI will soon replace journalists. Media workers should see AI as an advanced tool for them to produce compelling and data-driven stories. With the use of AI, journalists would be able to understand statistics and data better, providing new ways of telling and presenting stories.

6. Medicine

In the field of medicine, AI would equip doctors and nurses with tools that can help them make diagnoses about diseases. The technology can also be used in determining possible treatments and even in accompanying surgeons during operations.

7. Construction and labor

A common theme with the use of AI is the use of automation to reduce manual labor. Construction is a labor-intensive industry, and it could greatly benefit with the adoption of AI. Machines can be programmed to aid workers in the construction of buildings. They can also be trained to help ease work in factories and warehouses.

8. Retail

The adoption of AI in retail is two-fold — it can be used by brick-and-mortar players to automate payment systems, allowing customers to do self checkout. The technology can also be used to improve inventory systems.

The other element is e-commerce. As more customers go online to shop, retail players can capitalize on AI to make the digital shopping experience more convenient and easy for netizens.

What’s the real deal with AI?

The key for industries and groups to thrive amid the fast-evolving technological landscape is to continue to capitalise AI to deliver value and service to their customers. They need to identify opportunities, models, and algorithms that would further help them improve their systems and processes.

Will AI replace the majority of the work done by humans? The simple answer is no. AI will be an essential tool for humans to push their capabilities. With AI taking over menial tasks, humans can now focus on aspects of their jobs that needed the most attention. Instead of looking at AI as a death sentence for most jobs, humans need to see it as an opportunity to re-engineer processes and reinvent occupations.

Think of AI as a new tool that can complement the competencies of workers. By allowing AI to do all the repetitive and routinary work, humans will be able to increase their productivity and quality of work — paving the way for better products and services for the end consumers.

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