DEV Community

Cover image for Business Applications of AI

Posted on

Business Applications of AI

Hello and welcome to this slightly different blog post where we talk about the applications of AI in the business world.

In general, AI is used to increase efficiency in a workplace, which often means improving profits. This post will highlight how different types of businesses would utilise AI to their advantage.

McDonald's Automated Drive-Thrus

70% of McDonald's sales come from their drive-thrus, so finding ways for the business to increase drive-thru efficiency is crucial.

In 2021, McDonald's partnered with IBM help develop their ideas of an automated drive-thru.

The order-taking process would be controlled by an AI powered bot which utilises machine learning for voice recognition and for natural language processing.

McDonald's have already implemented this in a small number of drive-thrus and have said it has cut the average time of a customer to be in a drive-thru by 30 seconds, which resulted in an increase in customer satisfaction.

To further increase drive-thru efficiency, McDonald's decided to implement order prediction at a few of their restaurant locations in 2018.

They devised a machine learning solution which considered the time of day, restaurant traffic, current order selections, the weather and the popularity of menu items to update the digital menu displays at drive-thrus.

Amazon AI Powered Grocery Stores

Amazon Fresh / Amazon Go are AI powered stores, where customers can simply walk into the store, get what they need and walkout. It is a completely till-less experience, which revolutionises the shopping experience. No need to wait in long queues to checkout - you just leave.

Users need to download the Amazon Go app, which links to their Amazon account for billing. Users enter the shop through a turnstile, where they scan a QR code provided by the app.

The shop uses a combination of machine vision and in-store sensors to watch customers and keep track of their virtual baskets. They can put the products into any of their bags without the need to scan them and they can put them back on the shelf if they change their mind. The app shows what items you have picked up so far and has a receipt screen to show what you bought by the time you leave.

AI In Recruitment

Several companies use Natural Language Processing to scan through the resumes of shortlisted candidates.

The algorithm would look at several different factors such as education, location, skills and some would even recommend other job positions for the candidate.

This save a huge amount of time for recruiters, while also ensuring a non-biased selection.

However, it does come to question if the algorithm is truly unbiased. All machine learning models learn from real world data, generated by human behaviour. All humans would have a certain degree bias, whether subconscious or not, so it is possible that the machine learning models learn this bias too. It all comes down to the quality of the dataset use to train the model.

This small game shows a fun insight into how bias in AI models could appear!

Social Media Insights

Many business use their social media platform to gain more exposure to people in the world and utilise AI to reach out to the right people.

This can be seen on YouTube or Instagram where users are shown ads, based on the type of content they commonly see and their location.

This gives rise to the problem where people think their data is being sold to 3rd party companies without them knowing or giving permission. Companies often just say to a social media platform that they want to advertise on there and the platform uses its AI models to take the companies adverts and recommend it to the right users, all done without giving any data to the advertising company. But selling of data does happen with some companies and it is unknown what the businesses may do with the info they are given.

However, I believe a lot of data collected is anonymised, so the selling of data may not be malicious as thought to be. Most of the time, the data is used for targeted ads and not for any malicious purpose and users are given options to say that they do not want their data to be shared.

Thank you for reading through the post and please do checkout my other posts!

Top comments (0)