What industries will AI impact the most — a CTO guide

In this guide, seven CTOs and AI experts provide their view on what industries will be most impacted by artificial intelligence

As part of Information Age’s Artificial Intelligence Month, we are providing three CTO guides over the coming weeks on artificial intelligence: what it is, the industries most impacted and implementation best practices.

The first guide discussed how business leaders and CTOs understand artificial intelligence; and how they define the technology in the context of business. Opinions ranged from AI being just an algorithm, to a spectrum of technologies that are already active in everyday life.

This is the second guide, and will focus on the industries AI most impact the most, with insights from CTOs and AI experts.

The service economy

Harald Gölles, CTO of omni:us, believes “AI solutions will have the most impact on service economy industries, that rely on a free flow of information through more efficient and rapid data processing”.

“This includes financial services, namely insurance, banking and accounting.”

Every vertical

Hari Mankude, CTO at Imanis Data, suggests that AI is going to impact every vertical, “anywhere where primary customer and operational data is the lifeblood of an enterprise”.

“Not surprisingly, financial, retail and healthcare verticals are at the forefront, and here AI is helping not just the intelligent backup and restore of data after human error, but also deliberate insider threats and of course ransomware, which can wipe all data very effectively.”

Data-oriented industries will lead

Greg Hanson, CTO & VP at Informatica, says that while businesses across industries are rushing to adopt AI, those that are naturally more data-oriented are the ones that will continue to have the lead.

“For example, telecommunications, banking and pharmaceutical companies are rapidly employing AI engines to undergo tasks that require logic-based decisions, which can in turn standardise operations and increase productivity.”

“Looking ahead, AI has the potential to disrupt industries such as utilities on a wide scale. It could reduce maintenance costs by using AI to predict system failures and avoid leakages. This will become increasingly pronounced as more IoT sensors are put in place to manage complex infrastructure systems.”

“AI will also have a big part to play in the development of smart cities, whereby citizen-based services from housing to transport, relying on huge data sets, will operate in a technologically interconnected way.”

Most impact in data-intensive sectors

John Gikopoulos – Global Head for automation and AI at Infosys Consulting – believes AI is so exciting, because it has applications in every industry.

“That being said, we’ll likely see the most impact in process-heavy, data-intensive sectors that depend on predicting likely future scenarios based on historic information. This includes financial services where there is enormous scope for automating manual processes such as algorithmic trading; the healthcare industry, which is already making great strides in areas such as drug discovery among others; and manufacturing, where AI can identify efficiencies from the shop floor to the supply chain.”

“It’s unfair to single out any one sector, though. Each month brings another exciting development, whether it’s optimising pricing or inventory in the retail sector, or making efficiencies in the oil and gas exploration and production life cycle.”

AI in healthcare

Ian Roberts, CTO at Healx, believes healthcare is an industry that will be particularly impacted by AI.

“In healthcare, 80% of the collected data is unstructured. But, now institutions and companies realise the potential to structure it. This is a huge opportunity for many companies in the industry, we are focusing on accelerating drug discovery, currently it takes 10-15 years and more than $1 billion to approve a new treatment.”

“Also in diagnosis, prognosis, patient stratification, and ultimately in personalised medicine. Possibly, the greatest benefit will be in “personalised preventative medicine”, where everyone is made aware of early lifestyle choices, through integrated medical and biological data, that may be made to achieve overall improved health and happiness.”

Incredible opportunities

Steve Ritter, CTO, Mitek is excited and motivated about the future of AI, because of the incredible opportunities for good to come out of the technology.

“One really inspiring example is in healthcare. AI-driven personalised medicine could bring a lot of good to our world through AI tech that can provide a really high level of healthcare to all four corners of the Earth. That’s something that is possible with these AI-assisted solutions.”

“I’m also really excited about self-driving cars – despite their bad press. I have ageing parents, and I love the idea of an autonomous vehicle that I trust that could make their lives easier.”

“This could also extend to logistics and supply chain, of course, bringing even more benefits to businesses as well as the public. There is untold good that can come out of AI, and it’s absolutely worth pushing forward. But it’s imperative we also keep the negatives in check.”

The frontrunners

Kalyan Kumar, Corporate Vice President and CTO at HCL Technologies, believes that the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector and media, publishing and advertising industries will be the frontrunners in adopting AI technologies, closely followed by healthcare and life sciences.

“Given the rapid rise in the rate at which financial data is being generated, many financial services companies are turning to artificial intelligence to keep up with demand. Robots can use predictive systems and market data to forecast stock trends and manage finances, often much quicker than their human counterparts. Even the service of providing financial advice is becoming automated, with a growing trend towards “robo-advisers” by making use of a variety of algorithms to provide recommendations that best meets the client’s spending, saving and investment habits.”

“The use of AI in healthcare represents a collection of multiple technologies enabling machines to sense, comprehend, act and learn so they can perform administrative and clinical healthcare functions. Unlike legacy technologies that are only algorithms or tools that complement a human, AI today can truly augment human activity. A few examples of the areas where AI can be implemented include robot assisted surgeries, virtual nursing assistants, fraud detection, administrative workflow assistance and automated image diagnosis to name just a few.”

“For media, publishing and advertising companies, one of the most visible use-cases has been the use of artificial intelligence as well as Natural Language Processing (NLP) in the process of collecting data and analysing it. NLP is an area of AI that aims to produce effective human-computer dialogue by teaching computers to understand, organise, analyse and reproduce coherent sentences.”

“Currently, NLP algorithms enable large amounts of data to be absorbed and processed to give users the latest stories before they are discovered manually. The ultimate aim is to allow computers to not only create sentences but to understand the direct and indirect meaning of those generated sentences. This would mean that articles would contain perspectives too, rather than just facts, showing that the computer was smart enough to understand the language.”


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