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AI to Teach COVID Lessons to Mainstream Business
By Chuck Martin  |  Jun 01, 2022
AI to Teach COVID Lessons to Mainstream Business
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The COVID-19 pandemic has hugely impacted the pace of AI innovation by accelerating existing trends and giving rise to new ones, thus raising the bar of possibility. Companies have also benefited from sharing their technology or expertise at no cost, aiding the fight against the pandemic and speeding vaccine development. Many of these trends will hold post-pandemic and reshape the global business terrain.

NEW YORK - The global COVID-19 pandemic drove unprecedented innovation in the world of artificial intelligence (AI), some of which occurred out of necessity and some through creative design.

The power of AI was unleashed for businesses of all shapes and sizes to contribute to a global effort to push their internal capabilities and cooperate with other businesses as never before. Now is the time for mainstream businesses to engage, much as innovators did with AI during the pandemic.

After the initial shock of the stark realities of the economic impact of COVID-19, much of the business world turned to AI to lend a hand. This process started around March 2020 after the World Health Organization had confirmed that the coronavirus outbreak had indeed become a global pandemic.

Since that time, many businesses have come to the realization that the pandemic has totally and irreversibly altered their path forward, most notably healthcare.

“We have to fundamentally change the way that we approach healthcare,” Mark Wehde, the chair of Mayo Clinic Engineering, recently told me. “When the pandemic started, our remote visits went up by about 20 times. Even now, well after the start of the pandemic, we’re an order of magnitude more remote visits than we were prior to the pandemic.”

Some of the AI innovation from the last two years has been occurring very naturally, e.g., Capgemini Research Institute found the adoption of AI is speeding up as customers seek more contactless connections with organizations. Customers plan to use contactless interfaces such as facial recognition and speech recognition, according to a Capgemini survey of 5,000 customers in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. More than half of these customers said they had conducted daily AI-enabled interactions with organizations through chatbots, digital ass

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