Digital transformation is an important consideration across many industries. After all, developments in technology have the potential to boost efficiency, innovation, and productivity in businesses. Not to mention that as customers and clients more closely embrace the digital landscape, they may expect the companies they interact with to do the same.
Nevertheless, successful digital transformation can be a challenging prospect. It’s important to identify the tools that are most relevant for each sector and company. Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as one form of tech that has the agility to offer benefits across a range of applications, bolstering the efforts of companies in multiple sectors.
Let’s explore how a few industries have harnessed the power of AI in their digital transformations.
The construction industry is often at the forefront of technological innovations. After all, businesses are key contributors to both the economy and quality of life of the general public. It relies on tools and processes that help projects achieve high-quality outcomes in the most efficient manner possible. As a result, AI has become a core part of digital transformation in this industry.
In many ways, the rise of AI in the construction industry is tied to the way the technology effectively meets the specific needs of the sector. In particular, machine learning — a subset of AI — enables software platforms to develop algorithms that enable them to make accurate predictions based on complex data sets. This supports better risk assessment for construction projects, as AI can review historical and current data on a variety of potential issues and give staff insights into how to reduce these risks. Machine learning aspects of AI also enable architects and project managers to improve the quality of designs by assessing how people use certain features of buildings and recommending elements that are the best fit for the target user base.
The construction industry is also continuing to implement AI for real-time workflow monitoring. This is made possible by another subset of AI, known as computer vision. In essence, computer vision is the process of collecting information and providing immediate analytics insights about it. In construction, cameras and other sensors linked to software platforms are being used to track productivity, identify bottlenecks in project processes, and identify deviations from the plans. This enables managers to swiftly spot potential issues and make adjustments that get the project back on track.
The marketing industry has been among the sectors to most enthusiastically embrace aspects of digital transformation. Indeed, as technology and how people use it continue to develop, the tools and processes marketers use often have to adjust in tandem. This allows teams to keep making connections and develop relevant campaigns. As AI has become more accessible and popular in recent years, marketers have begun to closely examine how it can improve practices and campaigns, as well as examine ethical considerations.
Among the most practical uses for AI is marketing teams utilizing automation to streamline their processes. As a result of continued development, there are various AI-driven forms of automation that can benefit marketers. Digital analytics platforms automatically collect data from both website traffic and wider demographic online behavior. These then provide marketers with insights that allow them to optimize campaign materials to prompt greater engagement.
There are also automated tools that support more efficient lead generation and engagement. Software can be programmed to recognize certain user triggers on websites or interactions with emails. As a result, it can immediately respond with the most relevant information to support further engagement. This may be initiating outreach contact when users show interest in marketing materials on certain products or services or offering a discount code if they navigate away from item listings.
Another important point of consideration for marketing AI at the moment is content generation. There are a variety of natural language processing (NLP) tools — such as ChatGPT — that enable marketers to request text-based content on specific subjects. This could potentially streamline content creation for blogs, news items, tutorials, and video scripts.
However, there are significant ethical issues surrounding this. Utilizing AI can not only take work from human marketing writers but there are questions around how accurate and credible the content created is. Though Google allows the use of AI content for search engine optimization efforts, there is a clear duty to ensure the advice marketers give is accurate and authoritative, particularly on Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) topics. Therefore, some marketers have considered it wise to use AI in a limited way. For instance, for suggesting multiple titles or subject areas for content in order to plan content calendars more efficiently.
Health and safety professionals have a significant impact on workforces and the wider public. In some instances, they may be consultants providing insights and suggestions to private businesses. Others may be embedded within human resources (HR) teams. Not to mention that some professionals work for government or industry agencies that regulate workplace safety. These can be complex roles that rely on the ability to navigate changing regulations in different industries. This is why AI has become a powerful part of digital transformation in this sector.
Within individual businesses, health and safety professionals are using automated robots and AI to bolster safety protocols. For instance, sensors in the Internet of Things (IoT) placed throughout workplaces can collect data on the functioning of machinery and utilize AI software algorithms to spot anomalies or predict maintenance needs. This allows health and safety professionals to work with staff to mitigate issues. AI combined with sensors can also assist emergency response scenarios, such as predicting the likely spread of fires so health and safety staff can establish the best possible escape routes.
Another important use of AI in health and safety is compliance monitoring. Whether professionals are internal staff or have been brought in as consultants or agencies to assess issues, determining company compliance with frequently changing regulations can be challenging. NLP-driven AI software can quickly assess large amounts of company documentation, comparing these with current compliance guidelines, to identify areas of inconsistency. This enables organizations to keep on top of relevant training and for agencies to provide the most accurate guidance.
AI has emerged as a key tool in digital transformation across a range of sectors. In construction, it supports more relevant design processes and can help improve workflows. The marketing industry has adopted it to more efficiently generate leads and assess demographic behavior. Health and safety professionals have been making the most of AI’s real-time hazard monitoring and prevention abilities, among other tasks.
However, it’s important to recognize that AI — as with any technology — must be applied mindfully. For it to be a genuinely positive part of digital transformation, business leaders must be mindful of the practical limitations and the ethical quandaries that surround these tools. From here, they can take steps to ensure their companies, staff, and the wider industry gain from the potential AI has to offer.