Technological innovations are caused by many factors, such as our needs, lifestyle preferences, and competition in the marketplace. In recent decades these advances have become so frequent that we got used to the fact that each year brings new trends.
However, 2021 is a special year in that sense, as the recent pandemic (which still troubles the world) has forced many individuals, companies, governments and entities to think outside the box and adjust their operations to the current situation.
In addition to digitization, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has played an important role in addressing the inconvenience caused by the coronavirus. So, let’s see what are the AI trends of 2021 that will help companies face and overcome the “new reality”.
AI + Automation
The concept of automation is nothing new to us and has been used since the industrial revolution.
When we talk about basic automation, we mean minimizing human involvement by introducing equipment that automates simple and unsophisticated tasks. Regardless of whether human involvement is minimized, monitoring of the process is still required.
However, what is relatively new to us is Artificial Intelligence automation also known as Intelligent Process Automation (IPA).
Since IPA combines the robotic process with elements of Artificial Intelligence such as Machine Learning (ML), it serves as a powerful tool for companies by imitating human activities and eventually becoming even more efficient at it.
The complete digitization of customer service due to the pandemic demonstrated the importance of AI automations. In most cases, businesses were overwhelmed by incoming customer inquiries via email, live chat, phone calls, etc. and they just couldn’t serve all of the clients, resulting in long wait times and service times.
However, companies with AI automations were better able to handle the situation by freeing up staff time with AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants. This, in addition to reducing costs and waiting times, allowed employees to focus their attention on more meaningful operations with less stress.
With all the experience and examples, the companies plan to invest and implement more of these technologies in their operations. 66% of global business leaders surveyed said they are already testing solutions to at least automate one of their business processes.
AI + IoT
Today we are more connected than ever. Electronic devices and gadgets became an inseparable part of our lives.
Like us, most businesses depend on electronic devices. Video cameras, smart locks, temperature sensors are just a fraction of the gadgets that companies use to better manage their operations.
There may be nothing special about these devices from the first glance, but what makes them unique is their ability to communicate with each other.
Such a capacity of physical objects classifies them as the Internet of Things, which means that all devices and sensors are connected to each other and continuously exchange data over the Internet.
However, things get more interesting when Artificial Intelligence also gets involved in this process. As IoT devices collect mountains of data, AI can help companies speed up the data analysis process and provide concrete insights to help make informed data-driven decisions.
In this way, by integrating IoT and AI, companies can:
- Improve operational efficiency
- Prevent equipment failures
- Enhance safety and security
These benefits are exactly the reason why recent research showed that companies that use the combination of IoT and AI have reported exceeding value expectations.
AI + Augmented reality
Augmented Reality (AR) refers to a technology in which a computer-generated image is placed in front of the user’s view of the real world with the help of an electronic device such as a telephone.
One of the most famous examples of AR was the game Pokemon Go, where users see and catch virtual pokemons in front of them with the help of the phone’s camera.
However, AR has more complicated and useful applications when it comes to the business world. Companies can now showcase their products in front of interested customers who don’t even have to leave home.
This means that people can have the experience of trying on virtual shoes, opening the door and looking inside their desired cars, and even trying on what makeup will look like before purchasing.
AI further enhances what AR has to offer. Intelligent AI algorithms can detect items in real time when cameras point them, which are then labeled in the AR app, making the shopping experience more streamlined.
Businesses began to pay attention to AR, especially after COVID restrictions that prohibited some businesses from operating and people from leaving their apartments. The uses of AR go beyond the retail industry and can also be applied to other sectors like education.
Despite the devastating effect the pandemic had on the world, it forced us to find innovative ways to overcome challenges and made us see the real benefit of Artificial Intelligence in almost every sector. By looking at all these developments in AI, we can say that 2021 will really be an exciting year.
If you think your business has a lot to gain from implementing AI, schedule a free consultation call with our experts so that we can discuss your project in more detail and find the concrete benefits that our team can offer your business.