What’s Next for AI? 3 Sectors Poised for AI-Driven Disruption

Feb 13, 2023 | by Michaela Lozano

Artificial intelligence is transforming industries and humanity minute-by-minute. Already a key component of much technology, AI’s influence on our daily lives will only continue to grow. In this article, we look at three sectors poised for AI-driven disruption. 

Advanced Personalized Medicine  

Personalized medicine is rooted in the belief that health interventions should be tailored to patients’ unique genetics and physiological, biochemical and behavioral features. The advancement of AI could be the catalyst for diagnosing and creating personalized intervention plans for patients.  

AI has the potential to impact the way medicine is practiced in massive and positive ways. For example: Assays produce massive amounts of data and, therefore, require advanced statistical methods to pinpoint meaningful patterns. This is where AI can help. It can identify patterns—all the way from DNA sequencing to molecular pathology imaging protocols. As a result of AI-based analysis, mining DNA sequence information from a data warehouse can aid in diagnosing genetic diseases and more. Furthermore, it is predicted that AI-based health products, including monitoring devices, could exploit advanced – or even next-generation – computing capabilities, such as quantum computing, to drastically increase the speed and ability to handle much larger sets of data.  

The result: More sophisticated health monitoring devices + Larger data sets = More reliable predictions 

Next-Generation Consumer Experiences   

Another heavily AI-impacted area is consumer behavior and experiences. Here, the technology is employed to study consumer activity to better identify patterns and predict behavior and preferences. This enables companies to provide a more personalized experience for consumers which, in return, increases customer engagement and retention. Companies like Starbucks and Walmart are already putting personalization at the forefront of their enterprise strategies.  

Intelligent experience engines analyze customer journey data to improve the consumer experience through increased personalization, efficiency and simplicity. This enables companies to design end-to-end solutions, such as sending follow-up emails if a customer did not complete checkout or if a customer clicked on a product but did not purchase it. A good example is Starbucks' so-called “Deep Brew” AI, which is busy at work analyzing and learning from customer data enabling the coffee giant to deliver an increasingly personalized flavor to go with your grande latte. As the AI learns the unique preferences and habits of customers, the Starbucks app can suggest food and beverage options, but also push tailor-made recommendations according to the time of day and frequency with which the customers usually visit the coffee shop. As a result - as long as the AI gets its recommendations rights – customers will sense that Starbucks understands them – providing that crucial caring, personalized experience that inspires them to keep coming back. 

A company currently utilizing the “intelligent experience” is Amazon. The data and analytics Amazon collects from a customer’s behavior help the company provide additional recommendations for what it thinks the customer may be interested in.  Through Amazon’s licensed anticipatory shipping model, they can utilize customer data to predict WHAT they will want to buy next and create an estimate of WHEN customers will want to buy it. Overall, the more customers continue to purchase through Amazon, the smarter AI becomes; therefore, creating more accurate customer predictions. Most Amazon users witness this technology at work through personalized recommendations whenever they open the app or visit the website.  

Increased National Security  

According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), AI is transforming the very character of warfare and national security. This is a necessary part of the Department’s evolution. If the DOD does not continue to implement digital transformation and AI into their warfighting mission, it will likely diminish the country’s current battlefield advantage and could threaten national security. Several AI-based capabilities are in development as the DOD works to enhance its war-fighting mission. One example: The U.S. Air Force plans to implement a proof-of-concept at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois to employ facial recognition technology to enter the base. The goal is to speed up entries and improve security. In addition, the DoD is employing AI to help enhance weapon systems (e.g., drones) or provide recommendations to personnel on the battlefield. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – the innovation side of the U.S. military – established a new program called “In the Moment.” Through this program, they aim to outsource some decision-making to AI during stressful situations in the battlefield. The use of “In the Moment” would utilize algorithms and data to provide a quick decision for those in battle. In addition, this program aims to remove human biases in these situations, which many believe could save lives on the battlefield.  

Another example of intelligent technology on the battlefield is AI being able to identify a helicopter and not confuse it with an airplane, bird or a person. And while the AI still cannot reliably distinguish between friendly and enemy vehicles, this could become possible with a future iteration of this innovative form of military technology. AI thus could help minimize friendly-fire tragedies. 

AI, truly, is ubiquitous – and this is just the beginning as the technology still is only in its “narrow” phase.  As technology becomes smarter and more ubiquitous, AI’s footprint on society, economy and many other pieces of our world will only grow bigger.