The Amazing Potential of AI and Machine Learning for Every Industry

  • Innovation and disruption
  • 5/17/2022
Shot of tech support answering calls and reviewing computers in IT lab

Key insights

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping organizations across industries streamline processes and sift through data.
  • AI and machine learning technologies don’t just support the work humans do; they replicate that work and multiply it many times over.
  • Nearly any organization with data can leverage these technologies, and industries from higher education to nonprofits are already using it to their advantage.

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In a moment of frustration, you might have wished your organization had two superpowers. First, the ability to put your most time-consuming, labor-intensive, and detail-oriented processes on autopilot so you could focus on improving your growth outcomes. Second, the ability to answer questions that seem too complicated, confusing, or contradictory to make sense of.

With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), teams are accomplishing what used to seem impossible and learning what was once thought unknowable. And it’s happening now throughout public organizations, private companies, and higher education institutions — not just at tech giants — pushing expectations for innovation and excellence to new heights.

Let’s dig into why AI and ML are such transformative technologies. Then, we’ll illustrate how diverse (and unexpected) industries are using these technologies to solve their biggest challenges and unlock opportunities.

A new kind of tool

Let’s start with some basic definitions:

  • Artificial intelligence — AI allows digital systems to think as a human would, applying reason, logic, and deductive thinking to data in order to complete complex workloads or accomplish massive feats of analysis.
  • Machine learning — Machine learning is an application of AI. It gives digital systems the ability to learn from repeated analysis, gaining new knowledge and capabilities without having them “programmed” in.

What makes AI and ML different from past technologies?

These technologies don’t just support the work that humans do; they replicate that work and multiply it many times over to operate on a speed and scale even a team of seasoned professionals can’t match.

And while many people are excited, there also plenty who are hesitant. With tools as novel as AI and ML, it’s easy to assume they are too technical, expensive, or niche to apply in most settings. But technology that thinks and learns on its own is more accessible than people realize — and it’s already in action in many places.

Legacy industries embracing cutting-edge technology

Any organization with data (which is every organization) can leverage AI and ML. Several industries are already using it to their advantage:

  • Higher education — Colleges and universities are using ML to discover indicators that a student may be at risk of leaving, then using AI to provide advanced warning so they can intervene early and improve retention rates.
  • Recruiting — Hiring managers have used machine learning to better understand what their ideal candidate looks like and relied upon AI to search through massive talent pools for people who match those same criteria to expedite and improve recruiting efforts.
  • Nonprofit — Nonprofits have applied machine learning to donor data to learn what works and what doesn’t with their fundraising efforts, then asked AI to improve when, where, and how they target donation requests.

These use cases are just the beginning.

How we can help

There are few things AI and ML can’t transform, few organizations that can’t benefit, and few industries where these technologies don’t apply. What could artificial intelligence and machine learning do for your own organization? CLA can help you design, develop, and deploy autonomous technology — and getting started requires no special technical skills or talent. Fill out the form below to learn more.

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