Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been hailed as the big technological breakthrough that will transform digital operations across the spectrum.
As the pandemic highlighted, AI-driven automation and analytics tools proved to be force multipliers and gave greater operational ease to the healthcare, civic and commercial authorities that deployed them.
In the post-pandemic phase, the emergence of multi-dimensional AI will be key to successful digital transformation of the world.
Robotics, autonomous vehicles, computer vision, NLP, video analytics, virtual agents, and machine learning etc., have witnessed major advances in AI capabilities in recent years, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The early adopters have been able to combine their digital infrastructure with AI to achieve objectives such as superior customer experience, greater revenue and profit generation, and market leadership. Let’s take a look at how AI’s various applications impact different business functions by improvements in forecasting, sourcing, process optimization and automation, targeted marketing and dynamic pricing, delivery of superior user experience, etc.
Institutional sales top priority
Improving sales numbers is the top priority for any commercial establishment and AI is helping companies gain an edge in this area. Smart AI-powered CRMs are helping sales personnel understand and predict customer needs better. Using AI analytics, sales leaders can identify best performing and worst performing strategies with accuracy and make dynamic changes to improve lead conversions.
Retailers can plan inventories in optimized manner
Going beyond the good old digital marketing analytics tools, AI has ushered in advanced options such as video AI analytics for marketing personnel. Video AI analytics solutions are being used to analyse the video data generated by conventional CCTV networks. It enables monitoring and reviewing of customer behaviour, identifying best-selling or low-selling products, and demographics related data. The insights obtained can then be used to predict demand at different hours of the day, days of the week, and the surge in demand during the peak seasons. It allows retailers to plan their inventories and shelf spaces in an optimized manner so that the sales numbers can grow steadily.
AI technologies for marketing
In 2022, if a business is not using any kind of AI technologies for marketing, then it is on its way to irrelevance. Today, AI is used not only for the development of marketing strategies or campaigns, but also for executing, reviewing, and improving them. Smart AI marketing tools make targeted ad delivery to consumers based on their preferences, browsing history, past shopping records etc. This is something that ecommerce platforms and online retailers are already doing. Now, with video AI analytics, there is the added ability of monitoring and analysing the impact of physical marketing campaigns within retail stores and shopping malls etc.
For instance, if a company runs a promotional activity in a store, video analytics would deliver insights such as how many people were engaged, at which hour of the day were more people engaged with the campaign. The advertisers would know whether more men engaged with the promotion or women, their age groups, ethnicity, and so on. Such insights can significantly enhance the effectiveness of future campaigns for the marketers, and give them a better grasp of the audience.
Security, major concern
Security has become a major concern in almost every area today. This is where AI integration with CCTVs has brought about some game-changing abilities that can make our world safer and seamless. For instance, smart video AI surveillance enables facial detection, and can be used to control access to buildings, specific areas within building complexes, to only people authorised for that area. It would continuously monitor and report any suspicious activity, behaviour or signs such as stress, agitation, anger to identify the intent of the visitors to a premise. It can even be trained to identify objects such as guns, to monitor traffic violations, harmful driving, and violence etc. Conventional CCTVs only record the video feed, and more often than not, they have little utility in preventing a crime or responding to it when it is being carried out. AI integration plugs that gap.
Crowd management, a must
In post-pandemic times, crowd management within premises has become a must, and through AI powered surveillance systems, the task has become a lot more manageable than ever. AI surveillance can keep a count of the numbers, as well as monitor factors like social distancing, behaviour, and mask adherence etc. Even after COVID-19 gets completely controlled, there are various other infections and potential future pandemic risks that can be eliminated with the help of AI-enabled crowd management.
Smart urban management solutions
Using AI to manage smart buildings is already in vogue. AI is being used to manage buildings, and control illumination, heating, cooling, access, and surveillance in modern buildings. Integration of IoT and video AI analytics has now made it possible for a person to seamlessly, and in a touchless manner, enter a building, reach the designated spot, and carry out the tasks in a fluidic and safe manner. On a larger level, smart cities are witnessing deployment of such AI-powered systems that can efficiently manage a network of smart buildings, roads, public spaces, and transportation to create an integrated and superior experience for the city/building administrators as well as the general public.
AI was first brought into public conscience through science-fiction movies and comic books, but it has rapidly gained prevalence in the 21st century. We are still a long-shot away from creating truly sentient AI that is self-aware and can resolve different challenges in a human like manner. Yet, we have inched closer to a scenario where AI would make it possible for all machines and buildings to become automated through integration of IoT solutions that empower them to speak, listen, and see.
(Abhijit Shanbhag, President and CEO, Graymatics)
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Published on: Saturday, April 02, 2022, 09:51 PM IST