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Five ways AI is transforming businesses right now

Five ways AI is transforming businesses right now

AI is transforming businesses right now. Find out how.


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Five ways AI is transforming businesses right now

Two years ago, artificial intelligence was more hype than reality. Today AI’s applications are used in drones to monitor the spread of viruses, to quality control products before they get to supermarket shelves or to predict the effect of a hurricane on a reinsurer’s profit and loss. Right now, organisations are cutting costs, improving insights, reducing risk and widening their reach on an unprecedented scale thanks to AI.

Alex Montgomery, Application Innovation Lead at Microsoft, explains how some are making AI a reality. 

1. Chatbots – 80 percent productivity at 10 percent of the cost

Built potentially in just minutes, chatbots represent a very low friction entry into AI and can help companies serve customers at any time of the day or night, complementing the role of call centres.

One South African bank turned to chatbots as part of a project to make its call centres more efficient: it wanted to cut costs and reduce the impact of employee churn and gaps in staff knowledge. It also wanted to provide a service around the clock. The resulting chatbot delivered 80 percent of the existing service for 10 percent of the cost.

2. Automating quality control through computer vision

Advances in image recognition can help streamline quality assurance. One company, a fast-moving consumer goods player, previously checked for damaged products by manually taking photos, writing reports and feeding back the information to HQ. They are now using computer vision to instantly spot imperfections, doing away with the need for laborious human checks, in a fraction of the time. 

The company is now looking to automate processes throughout its supply chain. 

3. Protecting taxi passengers with facial recognition

What happens when taxi passengers aren’t picked up by an authorised driver but by someone who is falsely sharing or sometimes stealing that driver’s ID. That was serious problem facing one taxi hailing company two years ago, and one that needed an urgent solution.

The company worked with Microsoft to transform its authorisation process for drivers using facial recognition AI. The drivers took a selfie and the AI would spot the differences. Once authenticated, they were good to go. Passengers could verify the driver’s identify with a photo being sent to their phone. 

“The beauty of the intelligence and power of the Cloud is that, to implement that technology, the company had to write less than 100 lines of code,” explains Alex. 

4. “Lift out of order”? Not any more

A faulty lift can take weeks to repair. And that was an issue one elevator maker was determined to solve through AI. It is remotely monitoring its lifts by combining real-time troubleshooting with cutting-edge online diagnostic tools. This means engineers can constantly monitor a lift’s performance and predict when it might fail, as well as knowing what spare parts might be needed to fix it. Engineers in the field are using augmented reality glasses to guide them through the repair process. If they need more help, remote experts can alter what the engineer is seeing through their glasses to guide them through the job. 

5. Using the Cloud to interpret hurricanes

For the past two decades, one of the world’s biggest reinsurers has been building algorithms to examine climate change and analyse the potential outcomes from natural disasters. That’s involved it investing in huge amounts of infrastructure, from which extracting data can take hours. 

A decision to invest in cloud applications, means that process now takes seconds. The real story has been a change in the culture of the organisation however. 

“Despite the organisation having a traditional model of finance and risk, it is embracing data as a strategic asset,” says Alex. 

To find out more about how digital transformation can impact your organisation, contact KPMG

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