Understanding AI and automation use in business

HR, finance, transportation— how AI and automation will transform industries.
7 June 2019

Cross-industry impact. Source: Shutterstock

Since the 20th century, when Leonardo Torres y Quevedo built the first chess-playing automat, robots have been slowly integrating into our lives. Nowadays, they are ever-present in our daily jobs and many businesses depend on artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies to complete tasks.

This growth in the use of AI and automation has been dubbed ‘Industry 4.0’ and has some people worried about whether robots will put millions of people out of work. On the other hand, others argue that AI and automation’s capabilities can be used in a wide range of applications that can increase productivity, save costs and lead to less mundane, repetitive jobs for humans.

Companies can benefit from these hyper-advanced technologies because of their ability to increase the rate of production, with the bonus of running more efficiently in less downtime. Some of their capabilities include sending emails, sharing documents, vetting job applications, sending invoices, managing tasks, and much more.

Examples of AI and automation applications in business

One of the most important benefits of AI and automation is in its ability to increase efficiency in performing monotonous and time-consuming tasks and as a result, businesses can enjoy a new sense of freedom by investing more time into areas of the businesses that require additional problem-solving. The other advantages of implementing AI and automation include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Better customer service
  • More opportunities for growth and staff training

These are only just some of the benefits that in recent years have had a profound impact across a number of different industries.

Finance industry

The hyper-advanced algorithmic capabilities of AI enables banks to more accurately monitor accounts for any detection of fraud. Unlike humans, these technologies are able to pick up inconsistent patterns in mountains of complex data within a matter of seconds, thus significantly reducing the chances of any fraudulent activity occurring.

The trading industry has also been reaping the benefits through its ability to wade through vast amounts of data for more accurate analysis as well as speeding up trading decisions. Chatbots have become a revelation across all industries, especially within finance. Customers that are willing for AI integration in their bank accounts can receive more personal financial savings advice at a more micro level.


The possibility of self-driving cars that you see in sci-fi movies may finally become a reality thanks to the innovations of luminaries such as Elon Musk. AI has the potential to significantly increase road safety not only through self-driving cars but also by using software that can predict the flow of traffic.

Traffic flow can be monitored and analyzed, with sophisticated traffic light systems designed to predict optimum flow at certain times, thus helping to decrease congestion at busy junctions.

Management & HR

HR departments can use AI to streamline the recruitment process with Applicant Tracking Systems like SmartRecruiters or Zoho that sift through job applications and weed out unqualified applicants. The necessity to commit to the tedious and time-consuming process of sifting through endless piles of CVs and job application forms is no longer required, therefore freeing up more time for employees to invest elsewhere into the business.

Email platforms such as Gmail use AI to remind users to follow-up to email responses, and other AI technology can send drip campaigns driven by customer data. As a result, businesses can save valuable time that can be invested elsewhere in the firm.

The introduction of advanced team management software, such as Slack, has helped to rapidly increase the speed of which employees are able to communicate with one another. Managers can now oversee teams in different locations, automated reminders can be sent to ensure that employees are aware of upcoming deadlines, private messages sent by bots to every member of the team that is then shared to the team as a whole. This new way of communicating also prevents the necessity to host time-consuming meetings since every member can view important documents simultaneously whilst sharing their thoughts on them.

The Future of AI and automation

Research from Narrative Science shows almost 25 percent of companies use AI applications for predictive analytics, while 22 percent use it for machine learning where an algorithm is used to allow devices to ‘learn’ based on data.

With AI and automation’s many benefits, companies that want to employ these technologies should consider carefully the areas where it would yield the most benefits. Rather than completely replacing all human employees, often the best approach involves a collaboration of both to fully maximize work potential.

This article was contributed by Asavin Wattanajantra, Global Content Writer for Large Businesses, at Sage