3 industry-busting uses of AI in 2020

Frankly, technological advancement is the main reason that this pandemic is more contained than the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak that claimed up to 50 million lives. 
9 March 2021

3 incredible uses of AI in 2020. Source: Shutterstock

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been steadily evolving over the last several years, and as time goes on, applications get no less exciting. 

It’s no longer a ‘future technology’, but one that organizations across a range of industries are actively integrating. Today, half of businesses with more than 100,000 staff have an AI strategy, while nearly a quarter (23%) of enterprises have incorporated AI into product or service offerings.

Of course, that still leaves us a long way off from a world of AI-powered business.

Definitely, in the coming years, AI will be added to the list of technological developments that are enabling us to more effectively deal with pandemics. Here’s an overview of the incredible uses of AI throughout this year.

Fighting the pandemic

It includes using machine learning-enabled chatbots for the contactless screening of Covid-19 symptoms and to answer questions from the public like how Clevy.io, a French start-up, and AWS customer did. It launched a chatbot to make it easier for people to find official government communications about the virus. Powered by real-time information from the French government and the World Health Organization (WHO), the chatbot assesses known symptoms and answers questions about government policies. 

With millions of messages sent to-date, the chatbot is able to answer questions on everything from exercise to an evaluation of Covid-19 risks, without further straining the resources of healthcare and government institutions. French cities including Strasbourg, Orléans, and Nanterre are using the chatbot to decentralize the distribution of accurate, verified information.

Organizations are also examining ways to limit the spread of the virus, particularly among vulnerable populations. Closedloop, an AI start-up that WHO works with, is using their expertise in healthcare data to identify those at the highest risk of severe complications from Covid-19. Closedloop has developed and open-sourced a COVID vulnerability index, an AI-based predictive model that identifies people most at risk of severe complications from Covid-19. 

This ‘C-19 Index’ is apparently being used by healthcare systems, care management organizations, and insurance companies to identify high-risk individuals, then calling them to share the importance of handwashing and social distancing, and also offering to deliver food, toilet paper, and other essential supplies so they can stay at home.

AI and marketing

For the longest time, marketing was more of an art than a science, until recently. With the emergence of ML and AI, data scientists are able to quantify marketing decisions and enhance marketing practices overall.

As reported by Statista, artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the most effective digital marketing techniques used by marketers today. With more and more marketers learning how AI can help them create better marketing solutions, in 2019 AI saw an 88% adoption rate in marketing—up from 43% in 2016. Some examples include, The Washington Post experimenting with automated storytelling. USA Today leveraged AI to maximize video engagement, and Netflix continues to apply machine-learning techniques to personalize your recommendations deeply, which in turn helps them save billions of dollars annually.

AI and logistics

Logistics wasn’t really the hottest topic in business until this year when more often than not, it is spoken alongside AI. In fact, some of AI’s greatest potential can be seen in logistics, including automated warehouses and automated vehicles.

Speak of automated warehouses and one would probably think of Amazon’s warehouses with hundreds of thousands of mobile robots moving inventory from point A to point B. And while that’s true, there’s actually a lot more to it. Automated warehouses also mean using data to optimize inventory levels, resulting in less warehouse space needed, lower transportation costs, and lower costs overall. Despite the temporary reduction in retail and e-commerce caused by lockdown and economic distress in this pandemic, 2020 have seen a strong order intake of warehouse automation.