AI is revolutionizing industries across the board, including ones nobody expected. But it’s a sign of the times — and the times to come.
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Not every AI-loving company operates in logistics, marketing or healthcare. Artificial intelligence isn’t picky about which industries it revolutionizes, and many niches have already embraced automation.
Given the global value of AI, it’s no surprise the tech is spreading. Statista estimates that worldwide AI revenue will hit $90 billion by 2025. With so much wealth to go around, no industry is safe from disruption.
Sooner or later, artificial intelligence will be table stakes in every industry. A few sectors you might not expect are leading the way:
1. Beauty and skincare.
Consumers can’t seem to get enough of sustainability and personalization. In the beauty space, AI is helping firms deliver both. By aligning cosmetic shades and styles with specific shoppers’ skin features, AI is ending the beauty product guessing game.
On the sustainability front, beauty brands are trusting machine learning to manage their supply chains. AI is the centerpiece of Nu Skin’s sustainability strategy, for instance, which includes a partnership with an agriculture startup that uses technology to automate its growing environment. “This process provides consumers safe, effective and traceable product ingredients while drastically reducing the land and water resources required,” noted Nu Skin president Ryan Napierski.
Despite its old-school reputation, the mining industry is taking full advantage of modern tools. More than just pickaxes and dark caves, mining relies on a combination of energy, workers, capital and mineral prices to maintain profitability. Using AI, mine operators can reduce worker risk, predict pricing changes and improve their operational efficiency.
AI can also show mining companies new opportunities for exploration. GoldSpot Discoveries, a mining-specific AI vendor, agreed in April to help Gran Colombia accelerate its exploration programs in Segovia while reducing the exploration risks of the project. Not only can AI make mining more profitable, but it can also show skeptics that the industry cares about its environmental impacts.
3. Customer service
Even in the age of AI, people like to talk to other people. However, they also hate long hold times, which is pushing more customer service companies to replace contracted call center workers with automated systems.
“If you really look at the work in a contact center that’s outsourced, it’s generally very low-value work,” said Abinash Tripath, co-founder of Helpshift. “It’s something that lends itself easily to automation. And companies will start shedding their outsourced agents.”
Firms like Helpshift are already using automated systems to process payments and handle run-of-the-mill information requests. When customers can use automated assistants to serve themselves, companies can afford to allocate their human capital to more complicated tasks, such as house calls and customer retention.
Normalization Is Near
AI is a competitive-advantage chameleon. For any company in any industry, it can eliminate inefficient business practices, identify unseen opportunities and explore new markets. Best of all, AI algorithms create positive feedback cycles. The more widespread the tools become, the more quickly they can improve. As more and more companies dip their toes in, all users will gain more insights in ever-shrinking fragments of time.
Sooner rather than later, the AI discussion will shift from disruption to standardization. Companies that fail to leverage automated tools will cease to exist. Don’t get caught off guard: The edge of possibility will soon become the baseline customer expectation.