Believe it or not, you no longer have to wonder how machine learning can transform your life. That’s because it’s already here, upgrading aspects we only dreamed about ten (or even five) years ago. Machine learning spending is set to increase from $12 billion in 2017 to over $54 billion by 2021. Let’s take a look at what machine learning is and a few industries it’s revolutionizing.
What Is Machine Learning?
The long answer is “it’s complicated,” but the short answer is a subset of artificial intelligence. In machine learning, algorithms exposed to data adapt to that data input and effectively “learn” how to interact, making decisions, connecting dots, and providing insights.
For example, Netflix uses machine learning to nudge you to watch the next episode of a series and to make recommendations based on your viewing behavior. If you’ve ever turned on your friend’s Netflix account and marveled at just how different it looks than yours, you’ve experienced the wonders of ML.
The algorithm tracks your choices and searches, time spent on each series or movie, whether you finish certain things, and when you tend to choose certain genres. This feeds into the algorithm which adapts as you make choices, helping to draw out shows and movies you’re likely to say “yes” to. Your feed evolves over time and is highly personalized without your noticing.
These algorithms have undergone massive transformations because now, companies can run the algorithms with minimal supervision. The algorithm consumes (sometimes massive) amounts of data and can make logical decisions based on that input.
This is where it gets exciting.
We’ve had access to big data for decades now, but it’s been impossible for a human to sift through it to make any kind of decision, even with the help of traditional computing. You could get all the numbers and all the data, but have no idea what to do with it.
Machine learning sifts through that data faster than you could drink a cup of coffee, and hands you not the data – but the decision itself. Your human capital is freed up to take that decision, recommendation, or insight and do what humans do best – innovate, problem solve, and plan.
Industries Transformed By Machine Learning
You’ve already seen the effects of artificial intelligence in your Netflix queue, or perhaps your music streaming service of choice, but other areas are just as primed. Companies are rolling out machine learning initiatives as we speak.
The Usual Suspects
You’d expect to see some transformation in fields like these, but it doesn’t make it any less exciting. Here are ways in which industries that often experience disruption are changing with ML.
Law and Legal Fields
Law is a complex discipline requiring teams of people to perform basic tasks. Legalese holds up enterprises for weeks and months as they negotiate terms and clauses. Machine learning gives legal departments backup by parsing through complicated legal language, flagging potential discrepancies or issues and using boilerplate language to create the bulk of complicated contracts.
The result? Human power is freed up for complex tasks such as drafting enterprise legal solutions or planning future acquisitions.
Customer data is a huge driver of insurance decisions, and now machine learning can analyze that data for patterns and make highly accurate predictions about who is likely a liability and who isn’t a high risk.
This data can come from real-time driving data, customer profiles, even public social media patterns. Humans don’t have the time or ability to see the existing trends in all this big data, but machines can run the numbers and provide valuable insights.
The result? Faster and more accurate risk assessments, saving insurance companies a lot of money in overhead (which could be passed along to you as the customer).
Customer service is a new world. In the digital age, companies must keep up with customer responses, inquiries, and reviews across a multitude of platforms while maintaining the same rapid response rate as the days when companies were only answering letters or the telephone.
Machine learning can look for patterns across social media platforms, review sites, emails, messaging apps, and any other online presence. Sentiment analysis gives the algorithms the ability to interpret customer moods and flag for a response. Natural language processing allows machines to respond to customers messages and mentions in realistic language. Data processing helps companies make better predictions for the future.
The result? Customer service agents get back to high-level requests, and companies don’t worry that a negative tweet will sit unaddressed.
The Unusual Suspects
Machine learning is transforming a lot more than just business and legal. Here are a few industries being transformed by ML that you probably didn’t see coming.
No, it’s not the creation of art that machine learning is changing. Art valuation, on the other hand, is a notoriously slow process, taking weeks or even months to return estimated values and potential profits. Art houses and appraisers get a boost from machine learning to cut down those appraisals in record time.
Machine learning can comb through massive data, compiling image comparisons to create appraisal comparisons even when the work is unprecedented. Because humans don’t have to go through each image or bit of historical data, the algorithm can make a series of suggestions, giving the appraiser final say in the valuation. The machine can also take that high level of pattern recognition, and spot fakes even where humans are likely to miss the signs, reducing the risk of appraisals overall.
The result? Faster appraisals and better documentation.
Your contract process is probably fine, right? It takes weeks to negotiate terms, get signatures, pivot and find appropriate language when conditions are altered, and then remember those terms later for renegotiations or critical benchmarks – but that’s just the way it is, right? Not so fast.
Machine learning can process your contract data, eliminating redundancies and inconsistencies. It offers e-signature capabilities no matter how many times you’ve got to sign or resign. The AI can alert you to critical benchmarks such as when to notify clients of contract changes. It can speed up signing, get you to “yes” faster, and offer smooth maintenance.
The result? Your human teams get back to high-level operations with less grunt work. And hey, we know a guy who can show you the whole process in action. Go ahead and schedule a demo!
Historical data has valuable insights to offer, and now we have the chance to turn that data into insights. Historians are making use of databases to track human behavior, yielding insights into not only the present, but the future.
Or, we can glimpse into past societies and possibly even read texts too delicate to be opened. Machines can give us insights more objectively and link connections in larger behaviors we may not have noticed before.
The result? We get insights into where we’ve been, and get a better handle on where we’re going.
The Future Is Here With ML – Are You Ready?
Machine learning is already here. AI is transforming business, industry, and humanities. It’s teaching us more about who we are and what we’re capable of. Your organization doesn’t have to be an enterprise to get on board with the transformative power of AI. Start exploring companies that can help you make the transition and keep up with the curve during the Fourth Industrial Revolution.