There are few among us so inspired they truly change the world. In 1955, Dartmouth math professor and computer and cognitive scientist John McCarthy did exactly that when he introduced the notion of artificial intelligence (AI). Since then, AI has popped its head up and down, almost in mythic fashion. We’ve experienced it culturally in science fiction to the point that it has nearly become something more magical than real. Yet it happened — it became a true business value. Then it had legs and could freely cross the human landscape in ways that, thanks to Dr. McCarthy, have irretrievably changed everything.
If for no other reason, it’s arguably now the key difference in economic development across the world. PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimated that “artificial intelligence technologies could increase global GDP by $15.7 trillion, a full 14%, by 2030.”
At this point, it's no surprise that AI has come to revolutionize industries such as healthcare (faster, improved health services by mining medical records); automobiles (driverless cars); manufacturing (AI coupled with automation); e-commerce and marketing (chatbots, predictive sales, recommendation engines, warehouse automation); and financial services (algorithmic trading), among others. The innovation it’s causing is breathtaking, as AI is capable of analyzing massive amounts of data to predict quite specific outcomes. The precise strategy that AI offers a growing number of industries is to be expected. Or so you thought ...
A McKinsey AI report revealed a diverse trend in adoption rates of AI by industries. Technology and communications (32 percent), automotive manufacturing (29 percent), financial services (28 percent) — these make sense. But impressive adoptions rates were also on the rise in media and entertainment (22 percent), education (17 percent) and even travel and tourism (11 percent).
So discovering these five areas where AI is about to shake things up is surprising in ways, but the tea leaves were already predicting this.
One groundbreaking software program is using data to improve wildlife research. “Wildbook blends structured wildlife research with artificial intelligence, citizen science and computer vision to speed population analysis and develop new insights to help fight extinction,” according to its website.
Through its Project Maven,  the American military is deploying AI “to sift through the massive troves of data and video captured by surveillance and then alert human analysts of patterns or when there is abnormal or suspicious activity.”
Travel websites use AI to help individuals plan trips, including via chatbot travel AI concierges that do the planning directly.
Drones with AI, available in far greater numbers than first responders, are flying over natural disasters to navigate areas and assess danger.
AI communications strategist Jason Behrmann says agriculture is a sector hit hard by labor shortages. “We estimate that Canada will suffer from a deficiency in 100,000 farm workers soon. Adopting AI and related automation technologies is a matter of survival for the agriculture industry,” he said.