Machine Learning and AI Fuel Transformative Tech Trends

By Avi Ben Ezra Thursday, July 16, 2020

On July 2, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the figures for the June 2020 employment situation. Current unemployment rates declined by 2.2% to 11.1%. These gains in jobs were mainly spurred by a sharp rise in leisure and hospitality jobs.

However, despite the current situation, another sector is contributing positively to the hiring statistics. These are tech companies focused on health care, cloud connectivity, digital marketing, financial services, and online retail distribution.

Contributing to the explosive growth of technologies are machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Even though the importance of these technologies has been steadily growing over the last few years, lockdown and all its consequences suddenly made them essential and they needed to be rolled out fast.

Some tech companies were much faster in jump-starting the process of getting their technology out there because they had digital strategies that had been executed before the lockdown. Unfortunately, this left their competitors straggling behind, because the current economic climate made it difficult for them to maneuver.

Advantages of Strong Digital Strategies

Recently, CNBC reported that 37 of the companies on their Disruptor 50 list hired new employees even during the pandemic to meet the growing demand for their products. Also, at least 18 of these companies reported that the demand for their products doubled.

Observing these companies and others that successfully contributed ideas at this time, one can see that they had built strong digital strategies from before. These were ingrained into their business strategy, allowing them to adapt rapidly. These companies have mostly focused on cloud connectivity, digital marketing, virtual interaction, and distribution.

One of the greatest advantages of digital readiness has allowed these tech companies to be agile enough to meet the challenges they suddenly faced. They managed to introduce new services and products that suddenly became essential.

Machine Learning and AI as Essential Technology

Breakthrough technologies like machine learning and AI are at the heart of new developments.

The largest global source of COVID-19 data comes from C3.ai, a company defined by AI. The company teamed up with Amazon Web Services to create a COVID-19 data pool. Since April, they have been unifying data sets that are updated in real-time, offering researchers clearer data for their insights.

The development of medical treatments to fight this virus and others in the future has also been sped up by AI and machine learning.

One business that was ready to act swiftly when the pandemic hit was the medical technology company Tempus. They had a ready-designed platform for drug discovery and development to diagnose diseases, and this put them in a position where they were immediately able to work on solutions.

In their efforts to slow the spread of the virus and look for a treatment, they were able to launch a test in April. They have also undertaken a research project to find effective treatments and any other useful insights by examining 50,000 COVID positive people.

Cloud computing plays a major role in how companies can support many critical aspects of these new technologies, including food delivery, virtual learning, and telemedicine.

Increasingly, criminal activities are becoming a serious issue as more people are forced to use online interactions for everything from their children’s schoolwork, shopping, and working from home. According to the FBI, software-defined security is vital to fight off these attacks, especially since cybercrime quadrupled in April. Machine learning-based solutions have helped SentinelOne, a cybercrime startup, to offer secure laptops, phones, and other devices used for online business networks.

Many fintech companies focused on the fast shift to digital payments over the last few months as more of their clients quickly adapted to doing online banking and commerce transactions.

Surge in Ecommerce

Ecommerce platforms saw a huge increase in retail sales and those poised to handle the fulfillment of orders and the logistics were the definite winners. Attabotics is a Canadian robotics startup that helps e-commerce stores replace their row-and-aisle storage configurations to vertical and horizontal ones. Inspired by ant colonies, robots can efficiently access products and is the ideal supply chain solution for e-commerce.

These are just some of the examples of companies that were poised to meet the demands that were suddenly placed on them. These are just some of the examples of companies that were poised to meet sudden onset demands.

About the Author


Headshot of author Avi Ben Ezra

Avi Ben Ezra is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Cofounder of SnatchBot and SnatchApp (Snatch Group Limited). He leads the Group’s long-term technology vision and is responsible for running all facets of the tech business which includes being the architect of the platforms and UI interfaces.

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