This article was originally published on cmo.com

Every decade or so, a new, game-changing technology platform changes the way the world works. From the desktop, to mobile, and to the cloud, the landscape continues to advance. And now? We are knee-deep in the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution—one so big that it has been compared to the invention of electricity.

AI has the potential to power future innovation, especially in terms of customer experiences and the way we do our jobs.

“I like to take the term AI and flip it around so it’s IA, or intelligent assistant,” said John Bates, Adobe’s senior product manager for data science and predictive marketing solutions.

Framed that way, AI can be thought of more like a utility than a technology. Either way, now is the time to experiment and play. Start with a business problem or an unused data set, and then think about how AI could help create experiences that were never imaginable before.

The following brands did exactly that, discovering three ways AI can open the door to innovation.

  1. Efficiency: Adobe Takes On The Classics
    Last year, Adobe partnered with Goodby Silverstein & Partners/MediaMonks and challenged four digital artists to re-create lost or stolen masterpieces using Adobe Stock and Photoshop:

Adobe Sensei’s AI and machine-learning capabilities power content understanding, search and discovery, and computational creativity in Adobe’s creative solutions. This content understanding, for example, helped the digital artists more easily find images, aesthetics, styles, faces, colors, and foregrounds/backgrounds that matched the original masterpieces.

The photo-editing process also benefitted from Photoshop’s understanding of objects and actions in pictures. For example, a face-awareness feature enabled the artists to change a smile to a frown without distorting a photo. Additional features, such as auto-fixing and editing (think: automatic red-eye detection), also optimized their workflows, as did the auto-curation of images in Adobe Stock.

  1. Efficacy: A More Interactive USPS
    Efficacy comes into play in terms of how AI can enhance ideation, campaigns, services, bots, applications, attribution, and delivery.

A good example is the U.S. Postal Service, which demonstrated its interactive mailbox, the Smart Blue Box, at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The voice-activated mailbox uses AI to answer consumers’ questions, such as “How much will it cost to ship this package?” The package is weighed on the spot and shipped off in half the time, according to the USPS.

The Smart Blue Box serves as a great example of how AI is becoming a utilitarian product rather than just a marketing campaign.

Empowerment: Ada Puts Users In Control Of Their Health

  1. To accomplish this, Ada spent five years building a database of diseases and their associated symptoms. Its app features a chatbot interface, where a person inputs his symptoms. Then through a series of questions, the app returns the probability of which disease or ailment the person might have. It also suggests whether medical attention should be sought or whether symptoms can be treated at home.

The app aims to empower patients to make more informed decisions about their health, the company’s founders said. The company now has plans for a new AI-enhanced software, dubbed “Ada2020” and funded by the European Commission, that will provide support for medical professionals during the diagnosis process.

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