7 Industries Ripe for Disruption by AI

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Just as electricity transformed everything 100 years ago, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are redefining the modern world. In fact, many believe we are at the very beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Just as all revolutions are disruptive, this one is no exception. The following is a discussion of seven industries that are being transformed by AI.

1. Manufacturing

AI-powered robots are already having an impact on the future of manufacturing. Self-driving forklifts and automated conveyors are moving materials and finished goods around. Robots are not only capable of working faster and more reliably than humans on manual jobs, but they can also perform tasks that are beyond the capabilities of the human eye such as microscopical precision assembly.

2. Agriculture

AI is helping agriculture in many ways. Robots are programmed to handle routine agrarian tasks such as crop harvesting at a faster rate and higher volume than human laborers. AI can predict the impact on crop yields of erratic weather changes. Drones and land-based robots can monitor crops, soil, and livestock.

3. Transportation

Everyone knows that self-driving vehicles are coming. However, self-driving buses are already carrying passengers in Finland, Singapore, and China. Autonomous trucks are being used in San Francisco for railway cargo transportation. In the future, the major safety challenges concerning self-driving transportation will be overcome causing huge disruptions in various sectors of the industry such as trucking.

4. Energy

AI is deployed in smart electric grids making them more efficient in delivering power and enabling prediction of when batteries and other equipment will fail. The use of AI will make exploring for new energy sources easier and more economical. AI can analyze data collected from drilling, seismic vibrations, thermal gradients, strata permeability, pressure differentials, etc. 

5. Healthcare

Healthcare is a sector with massive potential for AI – everything from user-friendly bots assisting patients with their health diagnoses to robots that can perform surgery with precision. AI is being used to increase the accuracy and speed of treatment, automate diagnostic tests, identify high-risk patient groups, predict diseases, and more. 

6. Retail

AI is empowering retailers to offer much more personalized customer experiences by analyzing immense amounts of data collected from web-based shoppers. Going forward, chatbots will even be able to capture the audible reactions, emotions, and moods of customers. Business Insider states that by 2021 most retailers will be investing in AI technologies for location-based marketing, supply chain automation, inventory control, etc.

7. Call Centers

Call centers and the service industry are going through revolutionary changes. AI-powered voice assistants and chatbots can answer uncomplicated queries. AI software can listen to calls and analyze their impact on consumers’ buying behaviors and shopping experiences.

How Disruptive is AI?

Advances in AI are just beginning to transform many industries, and robots will inevitably replace many human workers. However, the world doesn’t just need smarter and faster robots; it also requires the capabilities of humans with their un-robotic ingenuity, intelligence, and relentless optimism. Disruption is not all bad, and AI will continue to benefit humankind by leading to unprecedented innovations and productivity.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.