Artificial Intelligence is rocket fuel for business innovation … AliveCor to Barbie, Darktrace to Infervision, Netflix and nuTonomy

February 25, 2019

The power and potential of artificial intelligence (AI) cannot be overstated.

Almost every industry and realm of life is set to be transformed by it, with the estimation that by 2020, 95 per cent of all customer interactions will be carried out by some form of AI. When it comes to business innovation, it is one of the most exciting technologies available, with PwC estimating that it could add $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

“Everything invented in the past 150 years will be reinvented using AI within the next 15 years,” predicts San Francisco-based Randy Dean, chief business officer at Launchpad.AI.

It is already having a transformative effect in a number of industries. In sales AI can help strengthen pitches by detecting and reacting to consumer emotions. Japanese investment bank, Daiwa Securities, found that customer purchase rate increased by 2.7 times after they implemented AI technology.

UAE even has a government Minister for AI.

In the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, AI tools have been built which can sort and accumulate medical knowledge and data on a scale humans could only dream of. At one end of the spectrum sit dosage error deduction and virtual nursing assistants, at the other: genome sequencing. AI has brought the time and cost of sequencing someone’s genome, which is the unique arrangement of their DNA, down to 24 hours and just $1,000 respectively.


Whilst Apple Watch 4 has focused on its new ability to create cardiograms, AliveCor developed the first smartphone-connected electrocardiogram, or EKG, called Kardia, which detects abnormal heart rhythms on a phone in much the same way that an EKG in a hospital records the electrical activity of the heart. This means that patients can check their heart health regularly and find out within 30 seconds whether their results are normal or they should seek medical attention. That’s particularly important for millions of Americans at risk for arrhythmias, which may be symptomless and can result in potentially fatal outcomes like heart failure and stroke.

American Express

American Express processes $1 trillion in transaction and has 110 million AmEx cards in operation. They rely heavily on data analytics and machine learning algorithms to help detect fraud in near real time, therefore saving millions in losses. Additionally, AmEx is leveraging its data flows to develop apps that can connect a cardholder with products or services and special offers. They are also giving merchants online business trend analysis and industry peer benchmarking.


When you first think of Burberry, you likely consider its luxury fashion and not first consider them a digital business. However, they have been busy reinventing themselves and use big data and AI to combat counterfeit products and improve sales and customer relationships. The company’s strategy for increasing sales is to nurture deep, personal connections with its customers. As part of that, they have reward and loyalty programs that create data to help them personalize the shopping experience for each customer. In fact, they are making the shopping experience at their brick-and-mortar stores just as innovative as an online experience.


We’re all ultra conscious about the vulnerability of our devices and systems to cyber attack. Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System (EIS) slows attacks on computing systems by emulating the way humans fend off viruses: The AI-enabled platform embeds in a network, learns what be­­haviors are normal, and flags anomalies. It became more formidable last April with the launch of Antigena, which automatically stops or slows compromised networks and devices. “Our system is self-running,” says CEO Nicole Eagan, “so [customers] don’t have to touch anything.” When the WannaCry ransomware proliferated last May, Antigena disrupted it in less than 30 seconds. More than 4,000 networks (including the city of Las Vegas) rely on EIS, worth some $300 million in contracts. is using artificial intelligence to bring autonomous driving to America’s roads today. The company has on-demand self-driving car services in operation in two American cities. In July 2018, launched in Frisco, Texas, serving its commercial sector. In October, debuted in Arlington, Texas, a generally available shuttle service that operates in between the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, The Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park, the Arlington Convention Center, and many area  hotels, among other places.


Grammarly helps people improve their writing. It uses AI to help make people’s communications more clear and successful, recommending improvements like expressing oneself in fewer words and with more impact. In 2018, the company upgraded its Grammarly Editor to continue to help users learn how to write better, including being more inclusive in one’s language. Grammarly also improved its browser extension to work with sites like Medium and Google. The company shares its research into communication and natural language processing in an effort to have its data improve the field overall.  More than 15 million users take advantage of Grammarly daily.


HeartFlow uses deep learning to improve how we test and treat coronary artery disease (CAD). HeartFlow Analysis develops a personal 3-D model of the heart and then uses AI to consider the impact of blockages on blood flow so doctors can devise treatment plans without invasive surgery.  In 2018, HeartFlow launched a mobile app for doctors so they had the information they needed  to  check patient status, and in April, HeartFlow Analysis was selected to be part of NHS England’s Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) program, to accelerate its adoption across Britain’s healthcare system. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare started covering HeartFlow, meaning that HeartFlow is available under insurance for about 75% of Americans.

Hello Barbie

Using natural language processing, machine learning and advanced analytics, Hello Barbie listens and responds to a child. A microphone on Barbie’s necklace records what is said and transmits it to the servers at ToyTalk. There, the recording is analyzed to determine the appropriate response from 8,000 lines of dialogue. Servers transmit the correct response back to Barbie in under a second so she can respond to the child. Answers to questions such as what their favorite food is are stored so that it can be used in conversation later.

Infervision diagnostics

AI and deep learning is being put to use to save lives by Infervision. In China, where there aren’t enough radiologists to keep up with the demand of reviewing 1.4 billion CT scans each year to look for early signs of lung cancer. Radiologists need to review hundreds of scans each day which is not only tedious, but human fatigue can lead to errors. Infervision trained and taught algorithms to augment the work of radiologists to allow them to diagnose cancer more accurately and efficiently.


Lemonade is reinventing insurance to be instant, easy, and transparent. It offers home insurance powered by artificial intelligence and behavioral economics. By replacing brokers and bureaucracy with bots and machine learning, Lemonade promises zero paperwork and instant everything. And as a Certified B-Corp, where underwriting profits go to nonprofits, Lemonade is remaking insurance for social good, rather than a necessary evil.


Central to everything Microsoft does is leveraging smart machines. Microsoft has Cortana, a virtual assistant; chatbots that run Skype and answer customer service queries or deliver info such as weather or travel updates and the company has rolled out intelligent features within its Office enterprise. Other companies can use the Microsoft AI Platform to create their own intelligent tools. In the future, Microsoft wants to see intelligent machines with generalized AI capabilities that allow them to complete any task.


Netflix success story can not be explained without understanding their granular knowledge of their subscriber base and their AI driven focus on personalisation. Netflix not only looks at millions of ratings, searches and “plays” a day, but the entire viewing history of billions of hours of content streamed per month. It took them 6 years to collect enough viewer data to engineer a show that became an worldwide success: House of Cards. Since then, Netflix has increasingly used this formula for content creation achieving success rates of 80% compared to 30%-40% success rates of traditional TV shows.


Nvidia is a maker of graphics processing units (GPUs) for a wide variety of applications, from gaming to artificial intelligence.  In 2018, Nvidia debuted the Turing GPU architecture, which enables real-time ray tracing possible for designers, engineers, gamers, and scientists and heightens realism in computer graphics. By interpolating real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, simulation, and rasterization, Turing makes photo-realistic cinematic worlds possible, whether it’s for entertainment or even healthcare purposes in visualizing the body in new ways. Other applications include 4K HDR gaming on PCs as well as work in climate change and urban development.


Whilst Apple and Google, GM and Tesla have dominated the driverless car headlines, autonomy has been quietly making the most progress. Created by former MIT faculty, researchers, and graduates, self-driving car startup nuTonomy has been getting autonomous cars on roads from Boston to Singapore, where it has been providing autonomous taxis since 2016. NuTonomy has also partnered with Group PSA, owner of European car brand Peugeot SA, to bring self-driving SUVs to Singapore. In June 2017, nuTonomy teamed up with Lyft to figure out how autonomous vehicles work in practice, whether they’re put toward ride sharing or personal ownership. The two companies began rolling out the fruits of their labor in late 2017 with a self-driving car pilot in parts of Boston. NuTonomy’s high-profile successes caught the attention of car-part supplier Delphi Automotive, which acquired the startup in October 2017 for $450 million. The move beefs up Delphi’s self-driving car mission and gives nuTonomy more scale through Delphi’s resources and distribution.

Pinterest Lens

Pinterest started as a fun way of sharing images,  an online pin board of visual inspiration, founded in 2009 by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra. Covering everything from travel to home renovation projects, it is a unique social platform that gives its users a place to express what they want in the future. Every idea is represented by a “pin” that includes an image, a description, and a link back to the image’s source online where they can learn more about the idea. Pins can then be further organized into “boards,” which sort ideas based on categories. Every month, Pinterest processes hundreds of millions of image searches in its bid to help users find things they’re most interested in. It is increasingly turning to machine learning to surface content that resembles objects its users have already pinned—so if someone pins a picture of, say, a midcentury table, it will automatically recommend that they look at pictures of other furniture from the same era. In 2017, seven years after encouraging users to curate the internet with photos rather than hyperlinks,  Silbermann and Sharp unveiled their next act: Pinterest Lens, which enables people to search for information and inspiration simply by aiming their phones’ cameras at objects around them. Advertisers are increasingly embracing Pinterest—­2017 revenue was reportedly just shy of $500 million, up 64% from the previous year.


Rare Carat

Rare Carat was launched in 2016 by Ajay Anand who says Rare Carat has the capacity to disrupt the market for the diamonds by bringing greater transparency to an industry that has traditionally relied on opacity. The business does not physically stock and sell diamonds. Its platform offers prospective diamond buyers comparison shopping and price transparency by connecting them to diamond retailers. The platform uses IBM Watson technology to compare the price of diamonds. Rare Carat has also partnered with Everledger, whose technology tracks diamond provenance, on a blockchain-based diamond ledger to verify the certification and transaction history of the diamonds its vendors are offering, as well as ensure they are



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