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Using Artificial Intelligence in Applications

DZone's Guide to

Using Artificial Intelligence in Applications

AI has greatly impacted mobile applications in terms of reasoning, predictions, content, and personalization capabilities.

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Before we understand how artificial intelligence can be beneficial for businesses, let's consider the very definition of AI, the various ways it has manifested in recent times, and how it is creating a major impact in customer service. Artificial intelligence in the mobile app world is the hottest topic this year.

Definition of AI

To put it in simple words, artificial intelligence (AI) is a part of computer science wherein computers are developed to perform intelligent tasks or solve problems that are otherwise done by humans. The term "artificial intelligence" is said to have been coined by Stanford researcher John McCarthy in 1956. We see that AI is currently being developed by many top companies like Watson by IBM, Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, Google's Home, Microsoft's Cortana, and so on. Huge investments are being made by major tech companies and businesses to incorporate AI into their mobile apps (i.e. Google's $400 million investment in Deepmind). Gartner's research says that "AI app development will be one of the top ten strategic trends in 2017 and will be embedded into every category of enterprise mobile apps."

According to Britt Armour:

"AI is an umbrella term, encompassing capabilities such as machine learning, natural language processing, machine vision, and knowledge management/context-aware computing."

Research in the AI field defines machine learning as a "computer's ability to learn and essentially teach itself to evolve as it becomes exposed to new and ever-changing data." For instance, Facebook's Newsfeed and Uber cab mobile apps use machine learning to constantly monitor a customer's activity and notify relevant content.

On the other hand, natural language processing is defined as how a computer "analyzes, understands, and derives meaning from human language in a smart and useful way." Email spam filters and language translation applications use natural language processing by continuously taking in data and user feedback to perform better with time.

The machine vision subset of artificial intelligence is described as "systems or devices that capture and analyze visual information and are used to automate tasks that require 'seeing'" — for example, the way cameras and lenses are used to work on image-based inspections to analyze further. Also, Engie, a French multinational energy firm, uses both drone and AI image processing technology to check its infrastructure issues. It helps the company increase its efficiency and profitability whilst avoiding unexpected damages to their assets.

Context-aware computing is defined by Gartner as "a way of processing situational and environmental information about people, places and things to anticipate immediate needs." The ability of a mobile app to provide content or features to a customer who is relevant to either the customer location or availability of mobile network is the work of context-aware computing.

AI and Its Impact in General

Many researchers and business experts suggest that AI will be a major trend in all kinds of businesses — retail, healthcare, mobile apps, and so on. Companies in such areas, and especially entrepreneurs in mobile app start-ups, are very willing to invest in AI, as this will bring about a positive change in providing efficient customer service. This helps businesses retain their customers, as well. Businesses are incorporating AI in the form of chatbots. The data that AI apps receive is leveraged into a set of decisions or answers that are given to customers instantly.

"A lot of cutting-edge AI has filtered into general applications, often without being called AI because once something becomes useful enough and common enough, it's not labeled AI anymore. Many thousands of AI applications are deeply embedded in the infrastructure of every industry." — Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence professor at Oxford University

Researchers, industry experts, and developers predict that AI will change the world like no other technology ever has. Machine learning and AI technology will gradually but certainly affect human jobs in the very near future. Marketing technologist Travis Wright says that in five years' time, this might even become a reality. He says that "very soon, AI will be part of all aspects of our lives." 

Impact of AI in Mobile Apps

We see tech giants like eBay, Amazon, Uber, and others already using AI successfully. Developing AI in mobile apps enables a business to provide personalized, seamless, and relevant customer services. Over a period, the AI in mobile apps collects massive amounts of data from previous customer questions and understands customer behavior. This builds the customer interaction and helps in increasing the customer retention rate as it connects customers closer to the business.

Research shows that customers either abandon or uninstall 70% of mobile apps within a period of seven days. as a result of apps not being able to expectations regarding loading speed, bugs, and an inability to provide a satisfactory overall user experience. Also, more and more people these days rely majorly on mobile apps as opposed to computers or desktops to browse for information, purchase, and learn.

Therefore, it clearly indicates that there is a definite need for businesses to invest in mobile app artificial intelligence sooner than later.

Mobile apps can use AI in several ways so that its presence is felt more powerfully and so that it creates a positive user experience. The following are some of the many ways in which this can be accomplished.

1. Reasoning

The AI in mobile apps is built in a way that it weighs risks, benefits, and resource costs to create decisions. This reasoning is so powerful and is proven by the fact that AI machines have beaten humans at chess and Jeopardy. These are all done through AI algorithms and not by humans.

Consider the AI in the Uber app. It advises the driver with the route that will take the customer to their destination faster. This route is the result of the AI processing, which takes data from previous customers and drivers who have taken various routes to the same destination.

2. Predictions

Anyone who uses mobile apps knows that there are constant notifications about products, discounts, and offers from time to time to engage the customer. These are the result of predictive AI algorithms that use a customer's previous purchase history and browser history to predict what a customer will wish to buy. The major reason to create predictive AI is that it will increase the revenue of the business.

Pattern detecting AI algorithms are also developed for certain mobile apps like credit or debit cards. The mobile app will understand the patterns in the card usage and learns the customer's behavior pattern through previous bank statements and purchases. It will detect when an unusual payment is made and notifies the customer.

3. Content

As mentioned earlier, a majority of mobile apps don't retain customers because of a lack of exciting, fresh, and relevant content to engage the customers. One way of providing right content is to send in recommendations to the customer. The AI algorithms collect data from customers' behavior patterns through their search history or purchase history and make reasonable recommendations related to it. For example, a sports facility mobile app can use AI to understand the kind of lessons a customer is purchasing and make recommendations when a new lesson related to it comes up.

4. Personalization 

The mobile world is a perfect platform for AI apps as it has access to the customer's location, behavior patterns, and purchase history. The AI algorithms utilize this information to give a more personalized and intuitive customer service. These AI capabilities can be built into mobile apps of all kinds thus making the user experience a more valuable one. Most of the businesses which are forward-thinking are now capitalizing on AI as it is proved to connect customers much closer to the brand.

Why Should Businesses Adopt AI Technology in Their Apps?

This new trend of machine learning and AI progress has caused a radical change in the way businesses, developers, and customers expect intelligent interactions in mobile applications. There is a need for all kind of businesses to be competitive and target the top spot by using AI.

With the ever-changing and evolving needs of customers, AI will only help in a better analysis of user's trends, productivity and serve them effectively. Companies or businesses that do not wish to consider AI for customer service will certainly be left behind in the market. Businesses that are quick to adopt AI technology are those with the ability to see its tangible results.

TrueSight is an AIOps platform, powered by machine learning and analytics, that elevates IT operations to address multi-cloud complexity and the speed of digital transformation.

Topics:
ai ,app development ,machine learning

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