The boom in machine learning is here and will only get bigger. When the pandemic destroyed the workforce and limited personal interaction, artificial intelligence tools helped companies increase productivity. Industries such as hospitality, healthcare and energy have benefited from recent innovations in artificial intelligence, but there are still disruptions on the horizon. Ithe number of businesses using automated experiences is increasing and automation is expected to increase both in the metauniverse and in the way companies pursue environmental, social and management initiatives (ESGs), According to Pranay Agraval, co-founder and CEO of AI services and analysis provider Fractal.
Here are three predictions from Agrawal for some of the next big steps for AI
Customers will expect more from automation services.
When the pandemic hit and businesses struggled to adapt to the digital world, automation became much more common in everyday life. People have become accustomed to talking seamlessly with chatbots for customer service and virtual assistants, and this knowledge has led to increased expectations from users.
“Over the last few years,” says Agraval, “companies like Apple and Amazon have created incredibly elegant and user-friendly products, and I think customers and society at large now expect more personalized service and experience.”
Examples of this more personalized experience include better targeted advertising, personalized social media experiences, or personalized experiences in banks, healthcare companies, and telecommunications companies, according to Agrawal.
Take virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa as an example. A common complaint with Alexa is its “by the way” suggestions, in which after answering a question, the bot will ask if the user would like to engage in an unrelated task, such as buying a product or inquiring about air quality. Agrawal says that in the near future, it will be easier for users to fully customize the way their AI assistants interact with them without potentially annoying interference.
Companies will use AI to improve their environmental initiatives.
Companies are under more pressure than ever to prove themselves environmentally friendly and focused on sustainability, as investors increasingly use environmental and social criteria to determine where to invest their money. Automation can help companies increase their ESG efforts, such as by using AI to optimize energy consumption.
“We will see a lot of progress happening in the ESG space as more and more companies implement AI to help manage their carbon footprint,” says Agraval. Machine learning also allows companies to extract more relevant data when it comes to analyzing potential environmental and social investments. There is no standardization for ESG datasets, which means that different research companies use their own methodologies to determine ESG rankings. Due to this lack of consistency, data researchers sometimes have to use intuition when converting information into a quantifiable indicator. With machine learning, the algorithm can determine what is and is not appropriate data with much greater accuracy than a human and without the need for assumptions.
However, Agrawal says adopting AI to support sustainability will coincide with the need to address ethical issues related to AI, such as whether consumers have a right to know when to interact with AI rather than a person.
Moving to the metaverse will increase the need for AI
The prospect of doing business in a virtual online world like the metauniverse is understandably confusing, but the real world has already begun to become a mixture of the physical and the digital. For example, Pokémon Go, the viral hit of 2016, took millions of people out of their homes to capture digital monsters and store them on their phones.
Agraval says the younger generations, including Millennials and Gen Z, are much more comfortable living online than the older generations, and companies that want to take advantage of this younger demographics should consider how to use virtual worlds for e-commerce and marketing.
Machine learning already plays a role in the development of both augmented reality and the metaverse, as building large virtual worlds often requires a certain level of automation combined with human design. Agraval says that by analyzing your likes and interests, machine learning can direct you to a specific corner of the metaverse suitable for you personally.
Machine learning will also be used to power the next generation of unplayable characters in these virtual worlds, which will be able to respond much more intuitively than your typical video game NPC. These characters will be key to the success of the metaverse, as they may also be responsible for selling physical and digital items.