Machine learning (ML) is a variety of artificial intelligence (AI) that uses algorithms to teach machines how to learn. It has changed how we do many things and has the potential to improve all the technologies we already have in our lives. Below is how machine learning is disrupting incumbent industries.
Healthcare has great potential for improvement with the application of machine learning. With people’s health depending on medical professionals for centuries, it has limitations. It can go as far as a human doctor can stand. In fact, healthcare professionals have to do long shifts to meet demand.
As we see now with the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors are humans who can get sick, exhausted, and die like any other. Plus, there are thousands of diseases, and a healthcare professional cannot possibly know each one of them with all the possible complications and symptoms.
That’s where machine learning can optimize the process by solving many of the current issues, and even add things that we didn’t imagine before.
For example, with the pandemic, many mobile apps can let you know where an outbreak is occurring using machine learning algorithms.
Another application is the use of machine learning techniques for medical imaging and radiology. It could detect signs of disease in seconds by comparing with thousands of other images. It is already being used, and it is an essential tool to make the job of the healthcare professional easier.
In addition, hospitals and clinics generate a great deal of paperwork. Fortunately, the industry-wide adoption of electronic health records systems has drastically reduced the amount of paper needed. In this context, machine learning—and AI in general—are being deployed to improve administrative systems and streamline administrative functions.
It is estimated that a more efficient administrative workflow due to AI technologies could result in $18 billion in annual savings. This, of course, also applies to all small businesses, which can use AI to digitize their processes and boost efficiency.
The transportation industry has a lot of room for introducing machine learning. Many big cities around the world suffer from traffic, logistics companies struggle to optimize delivery times, and people struggle to find cheaper options to move from one place to another. These are just some of the issues society is having now that machine learning could help solve.
One of the most popular and known applications of machine learning in transportation is self-driving vehicles. Many prototypes have been built and are in the development process still, but they aren’t yet a reality. However, Tesla is getting closer with its autopilot and self-driving capabilities. Tesla models have these features that are meant to be used as a tool to enhance the driver experience.
These vehicles, however, when they get fully implemented, will change how people transport. In a not too distant future, companies of all sizes will be able to cut costs by relying on this technology. They will no longer need to employ drivers, thus reducing payroll expenses. In addition, using machine learning algorithms, companies will be able to create more efficient routes, saving time and money on gas.
Another less popular application is the use of machine learning algorithms for traffic management. Many companies already offer mobile apps that give the user traffic information like peak hours for traffic, or if there is a road accident or blockage. Machine learning can take things further and, combined with cameras and sensors around the city, provide essential insights to optimize traffic.
Users will be able to check in seconds the best route to work or home with the updated state of traffic. Also, it can make predictions on traffic, which will allow us to optimize wait times, congestion, and road safety.
Marketing has seen an enormous change in the last few decades since the invention of the Internet. It has moved from traditional mediums like TV and radio to the digital world. With this transition, companies started to realize the potential all the data generated by Internet users had.
That’s how big data was born. That quantity of data cannot possibly be processed and analyzed entirely by humans. Each user in one platform can produce hundreds of data each minute, now add in each social media profile, each mobile app on our smartphones, smart TVs, or wearable devices. There is so much information that we couldn’t make sense of it in a lifetime.
Now, by applying machine learning algorithms and data analytics, companies can gain powerful insights from big data. Already, most companies use these methods to create profiles of their users and offer targeted marketing. That way, they will show customers the products they are more likely to buy, according to their likes.
Machine learning algorithms also can predict user behavior and make the user experience better. These methods are already widespread in the marketing industry and make strategies a lot more effective when evaluating conversions.
Customer service is one of the areas most industries have in common. It requires a lot of human capital, and the responsibilities are time consuming. Companies have tried different approaches to make customer service cheaper and faster, including automating part of the processes.
However, the real game-changer came in the form of artificial intelligence (AI). The use of AI and ML in customer service is still in its early years, but it has already made an impact. It has made the process faster, in some cases instantaneous, and more enjoyable for the customer.
One example of this is chatbots. Tons of websites have chatbots to answer basic questions from customers, and the best part is they can be on 24/7. These chatbots also can collect data from customer interactions and learn to give better answers each time. Machine learning algorithms can make recommendations based on the customer’s tastes, improve inventory management, and support smart searches.
Machine learning is here to stay, and it will continue to disrupt all the aspects of our society. From healthcare to transportation and marketing, everything will be better and faster, thanks to artificial intelligence.
These four industries mentioned above are just a few of the many ways machine learning has already impacted our world. But this technology is helping to boost other developments, so we cannot imagine what we will see in the next decade or two.