Back

English articles

Artificial intelligence: a symbol of digital transformation

Artificial intelligence (AI) is what will really bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to life. It is already all around us, packed inside many of the devices we use at work or in the home, from Apple’s Siri to Netflix. So how can AI and machine learning be applied to wearables and the Internet of Things? Let’s walk through a few examples.


This is a very significant development in the rise of the connected home, which is coming as we move from PCs and mobile devices to the era of the internet of things when computer chips will be in objects all around us. Echo is arguably the first successful product to bridge that gap. It’s working voice recognition service and connected sensors essentially link your home to a marketplace supply chain that services many (if not all) of your needs.

One of the highest profile exponents of artificial intelligence is the Amazon Echo and its associated Alexa speech recognition software. The Echo is the first mainstream product that uses voice recognition and connected sensors to automatically link your home to an ever-growing marketplace which can fulfil a multitude of needs. At a whim I can issue voice commands: “Order me four batteries for my son’s remote control car” or “Reserve me a table for two at my favourite Italian.”

How could this be applied in the healthcare industry in the future? Doctors could issue commands such as: “Write me a prescription for XY medication” or “Please make me an appointment with a sales representative of the company that makes the fastest and most accurate measuring devices for blood glucose”. This isn’t reality quite yet, but the technology – and more importantly the AI software behind it – is advancing at a rapid rate. Importantly, the speech recognition – currently at 95% – will eventually move close to 100%. As we all know, reliability in healthcare is vital.

Chatbots keep your service promises

Another example of artificial intelligence is chatbots. They can chat with a real person, without the person realising they are actually only “talking” to a bot. Chatbots can usefully fulfil service commitments, because they are available around the clock, never take a holiday or call in sick and are always learning. Just like a person, they improve over time, but they also need time to learn initially, a sort of content training. The narrower the topic is defined, the better the bot.

One healthcare-specific example: To be able to chat with a doctor about diabetes would require a huge amount of data input, because of the very wide spectrum of topics about diabetes. When restricted to talking about one aspect of the disease – say blood glucose monitoring – it would be considerably easier. It makes the most sense with the present state of the art to provide a bot as part of a campaign that addresses only specific key topics.

Artificial intelligence as convenience factor

Artificial intelligence can relieve people of arduous tasks and it is constantly available. This notion of convenience will help artificial intelligence succeed. There are also many applications for marketing and sales that can reinforce the service orientation of businesses and provide better and closer customer contact. The disruptive nature of artificial intelligence becomes apparent with examples such as the “Face2Gene” app. Thanks to a detailed analysis of the facial structure and skin complexion the app can rapidly recognise possible diseases. Patterns are detected from colossal volumes of data and these are compared with the face scanned (“deep learning”).

How does this relate to our own marketing? Maybe not today, but perhaps tomorrow it will offer you valuable services that supplement a medicine and promise you a competitive advantage.

This is article 5 of our “Digital Transformation in Marketing” series. The other five articles of the series cover the following topics: Digital Transformation, Internet-of-Things, Customer-Relationship-Management, Marketing Automation and Virtual Reality.

Our author Thilo Kölzer is a member of the board and responsible for Digital & Mobile, Performance Marketing and the Internet-of-Things at antwerpes ag.

Find more english articles on our english blog.