The wide application of artificial intelligence (AI) systems, such as virtual reality (VR), robots, self-driving vehicles, and drones, will turn our life during the next decade into that we used to watch in science fiction movies.
The near future holds many radical changes for business enterprises of all kinds. Those changes may be closer to transcontinental and global institutions, making them more dependent on AI technologies and applications.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of service businesses such as journalism, hotels, and education turned to VR, which helped them enhance their markets. By the end of 2020, the number of VR headsets is predicted to reach 82m, a 1,507% increase from the 2017 figures. On the other side, conventional businesses now use VR to demonstrate and promote their products. So we can say that COVID-19 gave AI chance for vast expansion in various sectors.
In logistics, we will find warehouse robots used for sorting and storing goods. The global warehouse robots market was valued at about $3.580bn in 2019 and it is expected to reach $6.858bn by 2025, registering 11.54% CAGR during the period of 2020-2025.
Amazon is one of the leading companies in using AI technology in its warehouses.
Virtual inspection is also widely used for quality control at warehouses and ports. It’s used to identify damaged containers and estimate the severity of damage to determine the right course of action, whether maintenance, repair, or replacement.
Some of us dream of climbing into the comfy back seat of a driverless car in the morning so we can check our email or read the news on the way to work. Others cannot fathom the idea of ever giving up control of our cars to some robot or algorithm. This dream came true as self-driving vehicles have showed great success compared to traditional ones in terms of safety. The autonomous cars market is estimated to reach $60bn by 2030.
Another AI-based technology is drones. The flying robot can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems, working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS. Asia Pacific accounted for the largest share in the commercial drones market in 2019, followed by North America. This region is expected to keep the largest share during the next five years. The commercial drones market in Asia Pacific is forecasted to register the highest CAGR during 2019-2023.
Moreover, advertising and promotion will have incredible chance to enhance their practices through augmented reality (AR) technology. For instance, IKEA has already used AR by dropping furniture pieces that the customer chooses on the specified location and testing their suitability with the specified location.
Benefits of using AI in business
Many industrialists are very keen to applying AI in business for better and faster performance. AI saves time and effort and helps managers take better decision, as AI applications have the capacity to do several tasks simultaneously. In any company, the most time-consuming process which is also prone to human error is cash flow forecasting. AI technology can help in increasing accuracy in forecasting cash flow without human interference.
So what businesses should do to benefit from AI?
Business organisations should put plans and roadmaps for AI application. AI is a core part of digital transformation and should be delivered in close cooperation with IT departments, being in charge of such solutions and technologies. Any initiative to implement new projects always goes from top to bottom, so there is a need for a strong leader, often a CEO or director of digital transformation, to help businesses benefit from this technology.
Dr. Walaa Yehia: Assistant Professor at Mass Communication Faculty