Using Artificial Intelligence

Identifying possible artificial intelligence (AI) applications in your workplace does not require that you know anything about AI.

You can start by looking for the financial leverage points in your operation. Think of the different tasks in your organization that require reasoning or experience to perform well. Look for tasks that involve substantial costs, take up a lot of management time, affect revenues the most, are critical to customer service, or are crucial in some other way. In other words, look for the financial leverage points of your operation. Think also of new tasks you might perform to reduce costs, increase revenue, or improve customer service. The table below lists some food-for-thought examples of reasoning activities that could be automated. Once you have your ideas, move on to determining if artificial intelligence software is likely to provide the best approach.

  • Access the pieces of information we need to answer our immediate questions from vast databases?.
  • Advise our at-home chronic care patients on their own non-emergency care, so as to relieve our nursing staff from this work. Also to decide from information provided by patients and from sensor readings if a remote patient is in an emergency situation?
  • Advise consumers which Web shopping sites have the best buys for them today?
  • Advise our company how to select from amongst the many health insurance programs on offer the best few to offer to our employees this year?
  • Analyze all the data in these large databases to look for useful patterns of information (i.e., data mine it)?
  • Assist each of my plant operators to set priorities in difficult situations, when a lot of things are happening at once, and to avoid overwhelming or panicking them. Of course, we need each operator to be treated individually, so they’ll accept the assistance?
  • Assist our team to effectively collaborate when browsing the Web in gathering market intelligence on our comptetitors?
  • Auction items so that all the rules are applied in the millions of transactions that take place on our Web site?
  • Bid for me at Web auctions?
  • Broker my share transactions on my behalf once the stock exchange hours are extended?
  • Broker the purchase of electric power from generating companies in an unregulated market?
  • Classify all the hits I get from a Web search using any of the commercial search engines, so I can see them organized in a few groups?
  • Categorize our customers so our service agents can devote appropriate amounts of attention to individual customers?
  • Compare a current legal case with all possible precedents?
  • Control our work flow so that details aren’t overlooked, or too much or too little effort go into different tasks?
  • Control a chemical process optimally under a wide range of conditions?
  • Control the behavior of game characters so they behave more like humans, and make the game more unpredictable and enjoyable to play?
  • Coordinate activities and documents for a project team drawn from multiple companies and distributed across the globe, so they are always working with the latest revisions and updates?
Data mine
  • Data mine our point-of-sale (POS) data to better understand the factors driving our daily sales levels, and to better predict those sales levels, and allow us to calculate the resources we need to make available to support them?
  • Design a road system using a CAD/CAM software package so no expensive errors or code violations are built in?
  • Design and redesign mechanical components that will most efficiently handle the stresses expected in operation?
  • Detect intrusion into our computer network by unauthorized employees or outsiders?
  • Detect signs that major failures may be about to happen in our chemical plant?
  • Detect inside trading more effectively and earlier?
  • Diagnose faults in a remotely operating piece of equipment such as a stand-by power generator, so a maintenance person will be able to fix it faster?
  • Diagnose diseases so that harder cases may be referred to specialists more quickly?
  • Evaluate the potential effects of planned changes to our factor layout and advise us of them?
  • Evalute and advise on the best alternative courses of action in an emergency, and re-evaluate them as the emergency proceeds?
  • Explain why another automated system made the decision it did?
  • Filter the enormous amount of e-mail I receive so I only have to answer the important stuff?
  • Guide efficient placement of acoutic sensors to detect enemy movement instead of land mines to avoid the danger of land mines to non-combatants?
  • Handle the more mundane problems in our information flows, and make sure the more important ones are passed on to humans to handle?
  • Help sales engineers answer technical questions from our customers better, while at the customers’ plants?
  • Invent a new analog electric circuit to do a specified job?
  • Learn from the old generation of mechanics who are rapidly retiring from the company and had such wonderful general knowledge, not matched by today’s specialists?
  • Manage distributing new information that the company has received to the people who need it now?
  • Manage computer networks because of shortage of humans trained to do this?
  • Mediate between parties by providing them with past decisions to similar cases that human expert mediators provided, with slight adjustments for the current situation?
  • Monitor movements in currency exchange rates, and initiate changes in our position when human would react too slowly?
  • Negotiate the thousands of requests for licenses for minor uses of copyrighted material that we receive annually?
  • Optimize a structural design using engineers’ rules of thumb, as well as math modeling to produce a better design in less time?
  • Organize the schedule for our large sports tournaments so that all the matches are scheduled on the fields available to us subject to travel, cost, and other constraints?
  • Plan the steps we need to take to produce each batch of chemicals with their different specifications?
  • Predict our sales level tomorrow so we can decide how many servers to bring into each of the hundreds of our outlets, so our customers don’t have to wait for service, but we don’t have idle servers?
  • Predict more accurately if non-prime consumers can be extended credit cards?
  • Predict the toxicology of chemicals?
  • Predict failure and abnormal operation of major mechanical and electrical equipment?
  • Process requests for credit card transaction approvals to reduce fraud, but not needlessly embarrass our customers?
  • Rank our options for dealing with a situation?
  • Represent me in bidding on e-Bay?
  • Research our customers’ questions about our products that they put to us so we can get quick, accurate, and useful answers to them?
Route, acknowledge, queue, and generate reports
  • For the ever growing volume of e-mail sent to us by our customers, so we can respond promptly?
  • Schedule all the maintenance activities we must perform tomorrow, in the next six months, and for the next ten years, depending on different equipment availability plans?
  • Schedule our best customer’s order placed last night into our plant’s production schedule so we satisfy the customers, but not at any cost?
  • Search for technologies that we might wish to license in to our company from a case base of licensable technology available on the Web?

Search for the perfect house for our clients? Search for optimum solutions in our supply-chain management system?

  • Teach illiterate adults to read proficiently in the privacy of their own homes?
  • Teach naval officers to command an AEGIS cruiser during tactical situations?
  • Teach our engineers to expertly use CAD/CAM software faster?
  • Test the competency of our engineers in using our CAD/CAM software?
  • Warn us of movements in stock market price and volume changes overnight in foreign markets so we can react?