Historically, when new technologies become easier to use, they transform industries.
That’s what’s happening with artificial intelligence and big data; as the barriers to implementation disappear (cost, computing power, etc.), more and more industries will put the technologies into use, and more and more startups will appear with new ideas of how to disrupt the status quo with these technologies.
By my predictions, the AI revolution isn’t coming, it’s already here, and we’ll see it first in a few key sectors.
Most people agree that healthcare is broken, and many startups believe that the biggest answer is putting the power back in the hands of the patient.
We’re all carrying the equivalent of Star Trek’s tricorder around in our pockets (or an early version, at any rate) and smartphones and other smart devices will continue to advance and integrate with AI and big data to allow individuals to self-diagnose.
Sequencing of individual genomes and then comparing them to a vast database will allow doctors — and/or AI bots — to predict the probability that you will contract a particular disease and the best ways to treat those diseases when they appear.
Companies including Google, Apple, Samsung, and others are investing billions in developing new biometric sensors. Combined with big data, the information from these sensors could help prevent disease and extend lifespans.
And consumers aren’t likely to have to pay for it. Insurance companies have a vested interest in new technologies that will keep their clients healthier, and AI bots that help you remember to eat well, take your meds, and get important diagnostic tests that could keep you out of the hospital are a good investment.
AI is also going to be increasingly important in the financial services industries.
In the very near future, AI financial advisors will begin to replace human advisors. Computerized systems can sort through tens of thousands of possible companies to make recommendations. It can look at your social media posts, your emails, and through sentiment analysis, determine which companies best align with your values and your risk tolerance. And then it can continue to monitor your personal profile and the market and help adjust your portfolio in real-time.
And a human advisor can’t begin to compete with that level of detail and automation.
This doesn’t even take into account the AI algorithms that are already making stock market transactions in nanoseconds and making revenue predictions based on hundreds, if not thousands of data points.
The era of the guess and the gut feeling when it comes to investments is headed out the door. Additionally, AI systems will benefit banks and lenders by being able to predict which applicants are high and low risk
investments for personal and business loans. Our credit scores are already on their way to being much more than the sum of our debts and bills paid. Before long, AIs working for banks will be able to tell by something as innocent as the kinds of things you buy and where you buy them whether or not you’ll repay your car loan.
Building on the idea of the AI guaranteeing your personal loan, your insurance company will also be transformed by artificial intelligence and big data. It’s already begun, with companies like Progressive offering discounts of you agree to putting a little monitoring device in your car that lets them know whether or not you’re a safe driver.
Imagine a health insurance company doing the same thing; just wear this smart device for a few weeks, and we’ll let you know if we can insure you at a lower rate. If your heart rate, blood pressure, activity levels and other things indicate you lead a healthful life, you get a discount.
Another big change AI could see ushered in is autonomous cars. One of the major purposes behind developing autonomous cars is that they rarely, if ever, crash. So the only insurance they would need would be to replace them if a storm drops a tree on them. No more collision insurance.
In addition, it’s likely that auto ownership in general would decline; people would no longer buy cars, but buy 24/7 access to a car. In this case, the auto insurance industry loses millions of customers, with only a few large corporations that rent the cars to insure.
Got hail damage to your home or your crops? Sensor data and satellite imaging, combined with weather data, can instantly assess whether or not you have a claim, eliminating the need for certain claims agents.
The more data the insurance industry has access to, the more they can automate, and the more they rely on AI, the more the industry will change.
These are just a few examples of industries that I predict will change dramatically in the very near future due to the advent of less expensive, easier to implement artificial intelligence programs.