Artificial Intelligence: Benefits and Impact in Modern Times

Artificial Intelligence is undoubtedly one of the most controversial technologies –  dividing the tech community into two schools of thought. While many believe AI can eradicate social concerns like diseases and poverty, other groups of AI pundits have voiced their concerns- citing the possibility of AI becoming intractable and emerging as a threat to humanity.

In December 2014, Professor Stephen Hawkins gave his first statement about AI. He expressed his concerns that if someday an AI program could compete with the consciousness of the human level, then it could surpass humans and become powerful. He along with Elon Musk and other AI experts even signed an open letter on artificial intelligence titled Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence: An Open Letter which called for research on the societal impacts of AI.

The debate has again entered the limelight with generative AI tools like Open AI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard recently making the headlines. And yet again, various opinions about AI have started to pour in with the alleged sentient behavior of Microsoft Bing AI and not-so-credible answers by ChatGPT becoming the reason for pushback. Moreover, the capabilities of ChatGPT have also left a group of people, especially in the education sector, concerned about the likelihood of people using it to plagiarize or cheat.

Whether AI can achieve human consciousness continues to be an ongoing, open-ended debate. In its current state, the benefits of smart AI technology are quite significant, however threats remain for the future.


Impact of Artificial Intelligence in modern times 

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest technologies in the modern world. For instance, the 2022 McKinsey Global Survey on AI suggests that about half of all companies are already using AI, and a report by IBM suggests that only 20% of companies have no current plans for using it in the future. Per Gartner, venture capital firms have invested over $1.4 billion in generative artificial intelligence solutions in the last three years with maximum funding in the fields of AI-enabled drug discovery and AI software coding. Moreover, the McKinsey Survey suggests that many companies are already moving beyond proof of concepts to generating revenue and cost reductions with the technology.

Here are some other interesting statistics about artificial intelligence:

  • 91.5% of the leading businesses invest in AI regularly.
  • 80% of high-performing field service organizations use AI.
  • 44% of companies in the private sector plan to invest in AI in 2023.
  • 80% of marketers use AI-powered chatbots as part of their customer experience strategy.

Interestingly, artificial intelligence is also expected to have a significant impact on the Global GDP. A study by Grand View Research predicts the global AI market will grow at a CAGR of 37.3% and reach $1,811.8 billion by 2030. Another study by PwC states that the potential contribution of AI to the global economy by 2030 could reach $15.7 trillion. The report adds that AI will boost local economies by 26%.


Benefits of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is one of the driving forces of digital transformation. It pushes the boundaries of machine-enabled functions and expands the ability of businesses to improve real-time customer engagement, optimize their operations, and ensure business continuity. It facilitates the development of next-generation workplaces governed by seamless collaboration between the enterprise, its employees, and its customers. A Gartner study suggests that customer satisfaction is expected to grow in the future by 25% in organizations that use AI.

AI is just the tool; it does not replace the human at all. It’s not just how accurate the AI algorithm is but also how well humans can understand it.  It’s much easier to trust AI when its not just a black box. We will see a wide adoption of AI if what is behind the black box can be explained.

Following are some key benefits of AI discussed in brief:

  • Increased time efficiency
    Artificial intelligence is highly efficient and reduces operational time. It can perform a wide range of tasks – especially redundant ones – much more quickly than humans. Moreover, AI also unlocks the ability to multi-task to ease the workload on existing resources. For example, lots of time is spent by pathologists in counting the number of cells that meet certain criteria.  This is an activity that can very easily be done by AI, allowing human brainpower to be reserved for truly important clinical interpretation of those numbers and treatment recommendations.

  • 24×7 Availability
    Unlike humans, who typically stay productive for 3 to 4 hours a day and need breaks to maintain their work-life balance, AI can be productive and work 24×7 without interruptions or time-off. AI-enabled systems “think” faster and can be programmed to handle complex repetitive actions easily to keep any downtime concerns at bay.

  • Reduced errors
    The human workforce is prone to errors and tends to make mistakes. However, a correctly programmed AI system can perform many repetitive tasks with more accuracy. AI analyzes past data or information and applies algorithms to make decisions. For instance, AI has improved certain error-prone fields like weather forecasting.

  • Improved monitoring
    AI can process massive amounts of data in real-time. It allows companies to enhance their monitoring capabilities and optimize their systems to detect, alert, and in some cases, resolve issues. This proves highly beneficial in industries like manufacturing. An AI-enabled system can collect data from various pieces of factory equipment or machinery and conduct a predictive analysis to schedule maintenance. This helps prevent untimely and disruptive breakdowns and the prohibitive cost of maintenance work.

  • Better customer services
    Artificial Intelligence makes operations and processes faster and smarter. It facilitates decision-making, which significantly helps in improving customer service. For instance, companies now use AI-powered online chatbots to improve customer interactions and optimize response time. In a survey by Accenture, 57% of the executives said that chatbots bring significant ROI with minimal effort. Another report by MIT Technology Review claims that 90% of businesses report large improvements in the speed of complaint resolution with chatbots.  Certainly, chatbots today have their limitations, but the benefits when they are appropriately targeted significantly exceed their limitations.


Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Industries

Simply put, artificial intelligence brings together human judgment and scientific (or enterprise) data to facilitate the decision-making process – making it faster, smarter, and more accurate. Moreover, it can be programmed to solve problems with innovative approaches, like pattern recognition and speech recognition.

All in all, artificial intelligence has mass market potential and can be deployed across industries like healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, banking, and other financial businesses. AI can optimize functionality, improve trend predictions, enhance user experience, and strengthen security.

In the next blog, we will discuss the impact of artificial intelligence on various industries in more detail.

Next in the series – Artificial Intelligence: What does it hold for industries?


Shobhit Kulesh

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