Four ways AI is changing industries

By Nicolas Zahn

Learn more about how artificial intelligence is changing the way businesses and the public sector operate in four case studies.

Image: NASACC BY 2.0

Artificial Intelligence is already changing our economy; replacing human workers with more efficient alternatives. Here, GovInsider takes a look at four industries that are using AI to do business. These case studies indicate the potential of tech to change our workplace in the future.

1. Digging for resources, autonomously

A massive truck moves up the hill from the mine, but something is different: there’s no driver. Instead, artificial intelligence is powering autonomous trucks.
AI that also powers the drones flying overhead is being used not only to monitor mining operations, but also to scout for new resources.

AI could transform mining more fundamentally by enabling swarms of nanobots, tiny helpers that mine for resources with less effort and environmental impact than traditional miners.

2. Dealing with rising healthcare costs

Healthcare is also being transformed. Artificial intelligence can help researchers identify diseases before they happen, reducing treatment costs.
Whether it is advanced data analytics or an increased use of robots in surgery, “AI can be a set of tools that can assist or help doctors provide care”, explains Steve Leonard from SGInnovate.

According to Eric Horvitz of Microsoft, these AI tools can help to halt the rise of healthcare costs in several ways: they can assist surgeons in complicated surgeries; and reduce human errors by assisting in diagnoses. The predictive capabilities of AI can also help to manage readmissions - and even the spread of epidemics - more efficiently.

3. Say hello to your digital insurance agent

Handling insurance claims is a lot of work for everyone involved. Customers have to fill out form after form, when all they want is to be reimbursed as quickly as possible.

Likewise, insurance companies have to go through ever more complex decision trees to decide whether a claim is legitimate or not.

Artificial intelligence can help here in two ways. First, on the client-facing side, it allows for technologies such as chatbots that can answer frequent client questions - thus taking away pressure from call centre agents, that are freed up to focus on more complex problems.

Artificial intelligence, in particular machine learning, can also help in the back office. Using past claim data, the algorithms can quickly work through claims. The technology is not only being tested in Japan, but is also being trialed by the private sector - for example, insurance provider Prudential Singapore.

4. Powering the brain of the city

With the growing trend towards urbanisation, the public sector faces the challenge of planning, building and maintaining cities efficiently. The corresponding infrastructure projects often come with a high price tag, so getting it right from the start is crucial.

China is the leading nation when it comes to deploying AI in the context of city planning and management. Hangzhou, a city of nine million people, has built a “city brain” which ‘runs’ the government on a huge amount of data collected from sensors and cameras.

And Hangzhou is not the only city relying on AI, particularly for traffic management. Similar schemes are being tested in Suzhou and Xi’an where, in addition to transport, migration of the labour force is also being analysed.

While we are only at the beginning, artificial intelligence has already proven useful across industries. Given the potential for further improvements and the considerable resources being poured into research, you can expect to see much more pervasive use of AI across all areas of life in the near future.