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The Artificial Intelligence Revolution Sweeping APAC Industries

Artificial Intelligence’s time has come. A perfect storm of enterprise interest, data growth, and access to greater computing power is driving its growth.

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More organisations than ever are turning to artificial intelligence driven by high levels of customer expectations, heightening pressures from new competition, increased regulation, an incredible growth of structured and unstructured data, and easier access to higher computing power.

Where and Why Enterprises Are Investing

AI investment areas, depending on the industry, tend to cluster around machine learning and deep learning, predictive and prescriptive analytics, natural language processing, computer vision and recommendation engines.

The benefits of AI to organisations are numerous. At the business level, they include new levels of service, alternate sources of revenue, increased profit, business expansion, improved efficiency and cost structures.

At the more granular level, artificial intelligence is expected to turn data into insight and unveil patterns in massive data sets more quickly. It’s supposed to help visualise data, speed up analytics, and drives outcomes faster.

These insights, says a Forrester report titled Predictions 2017: Artificial Intelligence Will Drive The Insights Revolution, will allow early adopters to “steal $1.2 trillion per annum from their less informed peers by 2020.”

Artificial Intelligence For Healthcare

Artificial Reality holds the possibility of driving affordable healthcare while improving the cost and quality of care delivered by healthcare systems across the world and especially in the Asia Pacific. Also, the proliferation of health monitoring technology through smart device platforms and internet-based interactions are driving revolutionary changes outside of traditional diagnostic and clinical settings.

According to MIT’s Asia’s AI Agenda, 30% of healthcare systems, by 2018, will be running cognitive analytics to help physicians deliver personalised treatments.

Here are some of the opportunities for artificial intelligence in healthcare.

  • Simplify Cancer Diagnosis
    Artificial intelligence powered applications help oncologists diagnose and plan cancer treatments more accurately by scanning through mammoth volumes of medical literature and past cases.
  • Predict Mental Health Challenges
    Artificial intelligence can predict mental health disorders years before they become acute. Natural language processing looks for anomalies in the way patients speak, while other artificial intelligence tools scan both medical and social media data, allowing researchers to predict who might develop psychosis, or if someone will attempt to commit suicide.
  • Treat Rare Diseases
    A few years ago, a dermatologist stumbled on a rare skin disorder called bullous pemphigoid. He did not know which medicine to prescribe. Using artificial intelligence, he scanned a repository of 14 million medical cases and soon found the most appropriate treatment.
  • Delivering Meticulous Insights
    The potential of artificial intelligence goes beyond understanding human queries and knowing what type of response is needed. Artificial intelligence can generate valuable insights by detecting even the smallest abnormalities in X-rays, MRIs and genomics. This, in turn, can help physicians deliver highly customised treatments.
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Retail: Sold on Artificial Intelligence

Many experts believe that AI will have an even greater impact on retailing than all other digital technology to date. AI is driving personalised shopping experiences like never before. For instance, Stitch Fix, an online clothing retailer, uses artificial intelligence to help customers decide what to buy. Using a mix of customer-selected Pinterest boards, questions and answers, and personal notes from customers, Stitch Fix’s artificial intelligence tools, in conjunction with humans, choose a few pieces of clothing for clients.

Similarly, Otto, a German e-commerce company, uses artificial intelligence to predict what customers are likely to buy in the following week—based on 200 data points and weather data. The AI solution’s predictions are so accurate (90% accuracy) that Otto lets the system buy 200,000 items a month from third-party brands, all on its own, without human intervention.

Here are some of the opportunities for artificial intelligence in retail.

  • Dynamic Pricing
    AI offers retailers the ability to leverage dynamic pricing: Product pricing that changes based on multiple factors like the time of the day, the location, and even the person making a purchase.
  • Customised Sales and Marketing
    AI can be used to listen to sales calls and analyse how to improve messaging. It can also flag stagnant deals, help sales figure out why deals are stuck, create both customised sales scripts and customised marketing campaigns.
  • Accurate Product Recommendation
    Going beyond today’s unidimensional product recommendations, artificial intelligence allows retailers to recommend products that are based on product images shoppers are looking at in real time, and reams of other data—resulting in a more accurate product recommendation.
  • Sharper Ad Targeting
    AI and machine learning can help marketers target ads more accurately, by learning the behaviour of different audiences and ensuring the right ads are served.

Manufactured With Artificial Intelligence

AI has the potential of driving new manufacturing models, approaches, and ecosystems and is a game changer in all aspects of design and production, delivery and customer experience. “Manufacturing executives, cite improving product quality as a top initiative (of using cognitive systems),” says Jessica Goepfert, Program Director, Customer Insights and Analysis, IDC.

Here are some of the opportunities for artificial intelligence in manufacturing.

  • Enable Predictive Maintenance
    With predictive models, manufacturers can enable predictive and preventive maintenance, which shrinks maintenance costs, lowers capital investments in new equipment, and improves profitability.
  • Improve Product Design
    AI can help manufacturers scan and analyse millions of images and text, and reams of product data (wear and tear data, service data, etc.) to create products that customers want, that are more durable, and that are easier to service.
  • Increase Operational Efficiency
    Using predictive data analytics and machine learning, manufacturers can boost production capacity up to 20%, and shrink material consumption by 4%.
  • Fine-Tune Warranties
    By modelling use patterns, artificial intelligence can help manufacturers better define warranties on their products. It can help, for instance, fine-tune the most optimal duration of a warranty.
  • Handle Large-Scale Stock Better
    AI's ability to discern patterns and offer advice to stock managers, allows them to boost the number of products they manage. It also ensures greater visibility, lowering stock levels and enabling bulk buying.
$1.2 Trillion: The amount businesses adoptiong AI, IoT and big data will steal from less informed peers by 2020
44% of business executives say that delaying arficial intelligence implementations will make their businesses more vulnerable.

BFSI: Banking on Artificial Intelligence

There is tremendous potential for AI in reshaping financial services. Most firms are already exploring AI to prevent fraud and identify abusive activities. In fact, many traditional firms are catching up to digitally-native, cloud-first companies and providing innovative ‘FinTech’ solutions.

Here are some of the benefits of AI for the banking and finance industry.

  • Create Competitive Differentiators
    AI boosts a financial institution’s ability to create customer experiences that create new normals. Natural language processing, for example, allows one bank’s customers to ask machines questions, like “I was in Singapore recently, how much did I spend?”
  • Expand, Without Increasing Cost
    AI enables financial institutions to grow their customer base—without adding staff—and incentives—as they once needed. Robo advisors in China and Japan, for instance, offer customers automated, algorithm-based portfolio mana
  • Improve Customer Experience
    AI makes customer service more efficient. For example, Swedbank’s artificial intelligence powered virtual assistant helps customers—and customer-service staff—find answers to questions. In three months, the virtual assistant averaged 30,000-plus conversations a month, with a first-contact resolution of 78%.
  • Detect Fraud
    Using pattern recognition and self-learning, banks analyse the buying patterns of their customers look for abnormal patterns to stop fraud in real time. Artificial intelligence also detects abnormal behaviour to spot market abuse and rogue trading.

According to a recent report by PwC titled Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond, estimates suggest more than half of the activities people are paid to perform can be automated by adopting advanced robotics and AI—either now, or surprisingly soon.


Already, about a third of enterprises are exploring AI solutions, and another third are experimenting, according to research from the Economist’s Intelligence Unit. And just under 45% of executives say delaying artificial intelligence implementations would make their businesses vulnerable.

All this interest in AI is driving market growth. According to IDC, “widespread adoption of cognitive systems and artificial intelligence across a broad

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