G“Predicting the future isn’t magic, its artificial intelligence.” – Dave Waters

  • The number of jobs requiring AI skills has increased 4.5x times as of 2013. (Forbes)
  • 50% of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020. (Campaign)
  • Intelligent Chatbots are anticipated to reduce business costs by $8 billion by 2022. (Impactbnd)
  • 30% of companies will be using AI in at least one of their sales processes by 2020. (Venture Harbour)
  • The growth of virtual assistants is expected to reach $15.79 billion by 2021. (ValueWalk)
  • A recent McKinsey report found that AI will generate revenue of more than $ 10 trillion in GDP by 2030.(McKinsey)
  • 85% pioneers have expressed an urgent need for an AI strategy while 90% say they already have an AI strategy in place. (MITSloanReview)

These statistics speak for themselves on how AI is leading us into the future with the market poised to grow at a CAGR of 36.62% between 2018 and 2025.  The battle from web browsers and online search has progressed into another arena – Artificial Intelligence. A battle that every IT organization today wants to win through key AI talent hires and acquisitions. Markets and Markets Research predicts that behind this surge is the growing AI software market that is expected to reach nearly $190 Billion by 2025.  The race to develop and deploy powerful AI tools is one of the hottest topics in the tech world and organizations in every industry are already investing the hefty sum on AI-based tools to boost business profitability. From developing a companion for the elderly to fighting terminal illness, tech biggies like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are the forerunners leveraging artificial intelligence and expecting to see more, not less of AI in 2019 and beyond.

Here’s how the top tech giants are using AI to deliver better products and services by positioning themselves at the crossroads in the challenging and competitive AI race on the road ahead –

Google

AI is deeply integrated into Google products as the company moves from mobile-first to an AI-first world. Be it the Google Search Engines or Google Maps or Google Photos or YouTube Safe Content or Gmail Smart Reply, AI is hidden inside all the Google Apps that we use daily.  Google is leading the driving force behind AI through its technological offerings like TensorFlow and Cloud AutoML that help developers and SMB’s innovate through its open-source projects.

AI Projects and Products at Google

  • Deep Learning, the area of artificial intelligence is at the core of Google services to provide useful recommendations on YouTube. Google Brain is the underlying AI-based technology that monitors and records user’s viewing habits as they stream content from video servers. Deep neural networks are put to work to analyze everything about users viewing habits and preferences so they can be glued to their screens, and the ad bucks rolling in, making the company profitable.
  • Artificial Intelligence is the underlying technology behind Google’s RankBrain that contributes to 95% of Google’s revenue from ads on its search engines. RankBrain is the third most important factor in Google’s search engine ranking algorithm along with content and links.
  • Google’s Cloud Video Intelligence segments and analyses videos’ stored on Google for context and content to generate video summaries automatically or alerts if the systems notice something suspicious going on.
  • Jigsaw is another AI project owned by Google parent Alphabet to detoxify the Internet. The tool identifies hate speech and toxic comments by assigning a toxicity score to a content piece based on multiple parameters.  It has been successful in protecting political campaigns and websites against DDoS (distributed denial of service).
  • Ernst Young reports Alphabet filed 186 patents between 2013 and 2017 in the healthcare industry of which most of the patents were focused on its AI company DeepMind and Verily Life Science. Google plans to shape and reinvent the $3 trillion healthcare industry in the US by applying AI to disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment. A Health IT Analytics report mentions that Google’s machine learning program can detect breast cancer with 89% accuracy compared to a human pathologist who can detect it with just 73% accuracy.

Google is targeting emerging economies like India to expand its AI offerings by training government officials and Indian policymakers in AI tools that will help streamline governance. Google has also partnered with NITI Aayog, an establishment of the government of India to work on multiple AI driven initiatives.

We have summarized just a small fraction of how Google is spearheading the AI race as we look forward to seeing its major impact in 2019 and beyond. Google is and will continue to be a leading player in championing and bringing the benefits of Artificial Intelligence and deep learning to the masses. Now that you know how Google is leveraging AI, let’s explore how other top tech companies are betting big on AI.

Amazon

Amazon has never ceased to amaze!!! Artificial Intelligence is helping Amazon become a trillion-dollar company by shaping every aspect of the business right from its product warehouses to its Echo smart speakers. It is one of the first companies to provide collaborative filtering based personalized recommendations of products.The machine learning and AI efforts have made Amazon a ground-breaker in the customer experience revolution and here’s how –

AI Products at Amazon

  • Amazon received a patent for “anticipatory shipping” that lets the company get your order to the nearest possible location of your address before you actually purchase the product. AI is the core technology underlying Amazon’s forecasting and Prime Now service that helps the company push out one-hour deliveries. Amazon uses an app known as “Flex” that depends on artificial intelligence to calculate the number of drivers needed for making deliveries at any given point of time. The app considers multiple actors to make every minute count for one-hour deliveries like – the number of packages to be delivered in the same neighborhood, the weight of each package, the time taken to deliver a package to a given address, and more.
  • Amazon is well-known for the use of an AI-powered dynamic pricing algorithm on its marketplace to get an edge over the competition. The algorithm leverages AI to enable optimal sales and revenue automatically by reducing the prices of products to increase sales when needed and increasing the prices of products where there is high demand. The dynamic algorithms have increasingly become sophisticated over the years.
  • Amazon’s AI-powered recommendation engines generate 35% of the company’s revenues. Amazon’s sophisticated recommendation algorithm uses data from customer’s past purchases, preferences, browsing history, search history to create a list of personalized products a customer is most likely to buy.
  • Amazon uses AI to implement its sampling strategy. It uses infrastructure and product purchase data to identify products which each customer is likely to buy. Using the AI-based sampling strategy, the company then sends samples of new products to the customer chosen by the machine learning models. Amazon has already implemented the AI-powered sampling strategy on its Prime Subscribers where Prime users enjoy the exclusive advantage of trying out samples of new products.
  • Amazon’s checkout free physical stores have AI-powered cameras and sensors that charge a customer automatically as they walk out of the store with a product using the Amazon Go App.
  • Amazon’s first voice-powered virtual assistant, Alexa, is powered by AI that has helped many companies add value to a customer’s life. Alexa is also integrated with Amazon Music, Prime Video to provide personalized recommendations.

Amazon is forging ahead as the leader in the use of machine learning and AI technology but not a clear winner in leading the AI race with other retail companies like Alibaba, Flipkart increasingly depending on AI for business growth and maximizing their profitability multi-fold.

Microsoft

Microsoft is deploying AI solutions across myriad industries -healthcare, agriculture, retail, education, banking, and financial services.

The Power of AI at Microsoft

  • Microsoft uses AI to fight against hackers by learning from the data of each company using its systems.  Microsoft Corp’s Azure security team customizes security to a client’s usual online behavior and browsing history. The company has been successful in protecting its customers from fake login by bringing its false positive rate down from 2.8% to 0.001% (almost negligible).
  • Microsoft is also disrupting the healthcare industry with its AI initiative Project Hanover to find the best cancer treatment. A group of researchers at Microsoft have created algorithms that helps scientists understand how cancer develops and also helps predict the best drug combinations to fight against it.
  • Microsoft leverages AI to clean up shipping. Maritime ships transport 90% of goods across the sea and produce at least a minimal of 3% of global carbon emissions. Many companies do not know how much fuel their ships actually consume. Microsoft AI solutions determine fuel efficiency with frequent data on weather patterns and vessel speed to help these companies make better decisions to reduce fuel usage.
  • Microsoft in partnership with ICRISAT is using artificial intelligence to help farmers increase their crop yields by 10% to 30% by predicting the best sowing date for crops.
  • Microsoft’s AI solution helps Carlsberg detect various aromas and flavors in a beer. The AI-powered solution has led to the development of new beers and improve quality control of existing beers.

Facebook

If you have logged into Facebook today, it is very likely that you have been using some kind of an AI system. With more than 1.2 billion users updating their status 293,000 times every minute and uploading 136,000 photos – Facebook is a data-rich company extensively using artificial intelligence for projects of today and tomorrow to connect every person on the planet.

Applications of AI at Facebook

  • Using deep neural networks, the platform decides which adverts are shown to which users and serves ads to users in a more insightful way.
  • Facebook Watch is powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, an online video site that lets users watch movies and TV series within their Facebook Phone. Facebook Watch customizes content a user sees based on their likes,  their friend’s likes, places they have checked in, where they have gone, and more.
  • Facebook is using AI to Thwart Suicide by scanning user’s posts and comments left by family and friends by flagging messages with signals of sadness and pain that express suicidal thoughts.
  • Facebook is working on building AI-powered systems that will understand images at the pixel level and not classify the entire image. This image segmentation will help identify individual objects in the image and their relation.  Image segmentation will provide an immersive experience for visually impaired with “talking images” that can be read with fingertips.

Wrapping Up, With Eyes Laid on the Spellbinding Future of AI

With every company unleashing the potential of AI to the finest and participating in the AI race aggressively with an ambition to win the race, there is no clear winner yet in this AI battle.  In short, every company looking to stay competitive and successful in 2019 and beyond must leverage artificial intelligence. It would be exciting and worth a watch to witness the unusual uses of AI and how it will unfold in the future, in the hands of tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and others.