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By: Anurag Varshney on April 13, 2019

blog-post Bots and automation at work

In general term, Artificial Intelligence refers to a machine which mimics human cognition. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a transformation in itself, and it is crippling fast into all facet of our lives and across industries. The fact remains that every company needs an AI-based application that will help them sustain their business model for the future generation.

In recent times, B2B and B2C businesses have recorded great return-on-investment through AI and automation of business processes. Gradually, organizations are becoming more smarter; decision makers now have deep business insights and employees empowered through the adoption of AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) at the workplace.

However, Artificial Intelligence is not a substitute for the workforce, but rather, an enabler to make employees smarter and allow time for other productive tasks.

Why Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace?

Whether AI is being used for business analysis in companies, or to guide financial advisors at investment companies, artificial intelligence is rapidly re-defining the workplace. And human resources departments should ensure employees are ready for the change through the acquisition of in-demand skills. Sooner, bots will be able to execute more of the task done by humans, especially repetitive ones, the work that humans do, and even perform some roles that go beyond what humans can do. As a result, some occupations will decline, others will grow, and many more will be altered.

Recent research reveals that over 2000 work activities across more than 800 occupations show that certain categories of activities are more easily automatable than others. These include physical activities in highly predictable and structured environments, as well as data collection and data processing. This account for roughly half of the activities that people do across all sectors. The least susceptible categories include managing others, providing expertise, and interfacing with stakeholders. AI and workplace automation will have a positive effect on companies' growth and revenue generation like never before. This new technology will make work easier for employees, streamline business processes, increase efficiency, and reduce workplace hazard.

Let's analyze how AI and Automation are helping some industries maximize profits and increase efficiency:

How Artificial Intelligence is revamping Retail and Fashion World

Often, AI and automation discussion have always been around fear of losing jobs. However, AI, otherwise called Machine Learning is enhancing control, improving creativity, and will bring faster innovation to the retail and fashion sector. Automation is helping fashion pro's to be better at what they do. For instance, it has made online fashion retail possible which has unimaginable scope to speed up visual merchandising by applying large data sets to forecast and understands patterns and subsequently making recommendations that shoppers want. As an organization, having limited or excess supply of goods can affect your company's bottom line. With AI, restocking is made simple. Artificial Intelligence and automation enable retailers to replenish supplies by identifying products or goods that are in high demand as a result of location, sales history among others. It would help organizations predict what customers want, stock the right product-just in time as per seasonal consumer behaviors, increase revenue, and product returns. Aside from getting insights about the stock, retail companies can also leverage AI to predict results of various pricing strategies for best promotional offers, increase sales and turn leads to customers faster.

Financial Institutions and RPA

We often talked about Artificial Intelligence and automation concerning futuristic dystopian visions, but their near-term usefulness is evident in the banking industry. Since data is an important component of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is not a surprise that financial institutions were among the first to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) and they already see the return-on-investment. Increase in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has made banks to automate repetitive clerical tasks such as requests for replacement of credit cards and loan applications. Trained bots in the banking sector can execute tasks within a limited time, with higher accuracy and at a reduced cost than would be the case with people involved, allowing financial institutions to cut down on back-office function overheads.

Artificial Intelligence in Medical Field

The health sector is currently enjoying the benefits of AI and automation. One of the challenges facing the health sector is the inability of doctors and healthcare regulators to attain perfection. Research shows that a whopping improving diagnosis in health care and several hospital complications are the result of diagnostic errors. A study shows that combining human effort with automated tools can raise the diagnostic rate to 97 percent or higher. Artificial Intelligence systems are designed to empower medical doctors to provide a higher level of care. These AI systems can ensure compliance in every step of the process.

There are now online medical applications which have been developed via Artificial Intelligence so that the sick can get health advice on the go in the absence of a medical doctor. Once you observe any strange body symptoms or reactions, you can log into the app if you have a membership account and you will get timely health advice and information anywhere you are.

Bots for the Energy Industry

The energy sector is not left out in the adoption of AI and Robotic Process Automation. In our quest for sustainable green energy for the safety of lives, bots are helping the energy sector to store energy, manage renewables, and optimize resources.

Through AI, we are gradually getting to a point where energy is neither created nor consumed centrally. Energy "prosumers" will connect their distributed resources to the grid, downloading and uploading it according to need, with potential payment for their surplus supply. AI algorithms will, for instance, decode patterns of behavior on, say, a weekday evening in 2025, when drivers arrive home and put their cars on charge. The AI will distinguish between drivers who use their vehicles overnight and those who leave cars charging until the following morning; the intelligent grid will ensure that the battery charged in time for the driver's next journey, without mounting continuous load on the network.

The Author is an IT thought leader in the retail and fashion world and has written this article for a new division “NeuVays” of Mckinsol, focused on emerging technologies.

NeuVays is dedicated to developing products based on Blockchain, AI, ML and IoT at McKinsol. NeuVays is aggressively hiring the right caliber of people in Asia at their offshore development office.

(Anurag Varshney, 2019)

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