Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform how we do things, the way we do things and the speed in which we can do them. Many businesses are looking toward AI as they look to improve efficiency, reduce error, remove human emotion and increase accuracy. The journey toward AI is happening now across many industries and is becoming integrated into what we do each and every day.

Already we have seen AI growth across many industries, for example the use of autopilots in aeronautics; in automotive, where driver less cars are in development and mining, such as autonomous extraction. However the big shift in AI will come from vision, detection and supervision capabilities using large volumes of data (i.e. Data Lakes) to undertake analysis, provide real-time decisions and determine the “best outcome” based on predictive and sensory data.

AI driving innovation and growth

Artificial intelligence (AI) AI can be used to drive rapid innovation. Using AI together with augmented reality, teams can model big data, build predictive models, define machine learning behaviours, and understand “real-world” scenarios without the costly investment and the time traditionally needed to build a physical model.

This provides businesses with a key cost advantage, speed to market and a high level of pre-tested capability, previously not possible. Using AI for automation can cut costs and provide increased levels of consistency, speed and performance. For example, in the Manufacturing industry, product quality control can be added to existing production lines lowering reject rates and improving overall profit. The ability for AI to drive growth in almost every industry in untapped.

In the Construction industry, where Occupation Health and Safety (OH&S) is paramount, AI can help early detection of safety issues, increase safety compliance and improve worker safety. This can lead to lower workplaces hazards and increased productivity through reducing lost time. In the Health industry AI is changing the way preventive health treatments are provided, offering early detection of chronic and life threatening ailments, leading to lower morbidity rates and overall reducing the cost of health care to the community.

AI provides competitive advantage

With machine learning and deep learning being the foundation underpinning AI applications, businesses can adopt near real time decision analysis tools. These tools increase the ability to analyse information from multiple sources which can adapt or change the business process accordingly and with a degree of accuracy that otherwise may not be possible.

In food manufacturing, where products come off the production line at thousands of units per hour, it is almost impossible for humans to count and detect imperfect products. AI, using advanced vision technology, can do this with very high (>95%) accuracy. This can provide competitive advantage through consistent very high product quality leading to a brand prestige.

Over the next few years AI will become core to how businesses build sustainable competitive advantage, how they generate efficiencies in their business and how they can innovate and adapt at speed. AI should be enshrined as a key enabler of any business strategic priorities.

The benefits of AI

  • Improved accuracy and decision-making: AI augments human intelligence with rich analytics and prediction capabilities to improve the quality, effectiveness, and creativity of business decisions.
  • Increased efficiency: AI improves analytics and resource utilisation across the business which can result in identifiable cost reductions, be that improved quality, compliance or uniformity. It can also automate complex processes and minimise wastage by predicting when systems are preforming below specification.
  • Innovation and Agility: Modelling using AI can help uncover gaps and opportunities more quickly, helping speed to market. This increased level of speed and quality, to the
    degree of forecasted accuracy, wasn’t possible without AI.
  • Always on Detection and Supervision: AI tackles mundane activities which humans find tedious and often make errors. Detection of product quality, workplace activities, human movement, traffic management; the list is endless; is highly accurate and frees up valuable (and costly) human resources to spend time on more fulfilling greater-value tasks. By shifting the emphasis to AI detection and supervision, rather than humans the result is greater precision, increased levels of supervision and in the longer term a reduced reliance of human attentiveness.

AI is used in many ways, but the prevailing reality is that any business strategy in 2020 and beyond should include an AI Strategy.