Is Artificial Intelligence the Answer to Businesses’ COVID-19 Problems?


In an ever-changing technological landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) presents a plethora of opportunity and growth. AI refers to the technologies and machines that simulate human intelligence and mimic human action. This could include robot vacuums, computers that play chess, or even Siri on your iPhone. Though we are still in the very early stages of determining the exact capacities of artificial intelligence, we can see from the aforementioned examples that it already has many uses.

AI is also currently used in an array of business sectors, ranging from human resources, marketing, and sales. Similarly, other sectors are poised to reap the benefits of AI in the not-so-distant future, including health care, transportation, education, and legal categories. But how will AI adapt to the industry changes arising from the COVID-19 pandemic? Will it present the much-needed solutions to the unique challenges that businesses worldwide will face in the wake of the virus?

The short answer: it certainly seems that way. There is growing evidence to suggest that AI can and will benefit companies in a post-pandemic world. In order to assess exactly how it will help businesses adapt to these changes, we must first examine what some of these key changes will be and how they will affect the ways in which business is currently done. Some of these alterations will likely include remote work becoming more common, social distancing practices remaining in place long-term (i.e. potentially for years), and investors requiring “pandemic proof” contingency plans from businesses.  

So, how can AI assist businesses in adjusting to these changes and overcoming any hurdles that accompany them? AI helps businesses to improve overall efficiency (including remote efficiency), improve decision-making processes by completing predictive analysis, and automating processes. Given the severe economic repercussions of COVID-19, efficiency, decision-making, and uniform processes need to be high priorities for businesses in a post-pandemic world. It’s also important to remember the powerful cloud-computing capabilities of artificial intelligence technologies; this centralization of corporate data to the cloud can greatly facilitate remote work operations.

Furthermore, the global lockdowns that have ensued in the wake of COVID-19 have impacted consumer behavior in ways that will greatly influence AI’s development, namely in the e-commerce sector. With more and more consumers purchasing products online rather than in-store, card-spending and shopping data is generating vital insights for AI corporations. Upon accruing and analyzing this data, these organizations will be able to improve their algorithms and ultimately boost sales.

Similarly, the COVID-19 crisis has underlined the need for supply chain digitization to assist companies in dealing with massive disruptions. AI programs can help to significantly mitigate the risks presented by such disruptions again through the completion of predictive analysis. In predicting disruptions – which can take the form of examining weather patterns, health pandemics, or political unrest in certain regions – an AI program can calculate the likelihood of these issues occurring, the impacts they will have on the business, and the adjustments a company should make to its supply chain management to field these risks.

Even in the midst of the pandemic, there is evidence to suggest that AI is helping municipal leaders identify the needs, concerns, and priorities of residents pertaining to COVID-19. AI company Zencity has conducted massive social media analysis, examining millions of online conversations about the pandemic taking place in hundreds of towns across the U.S. This kind of data-driven analysis could easily be applied by enterprises hoping to gain better insight into the thoughts, priorities, and behaviors of their customers in order to serve them better in a post-pandemic world.

There are several online resources available for organizations looking to develop their AI operations in the wake of COVID-19. For example, sites like offer insight and innovative technology to facilitate the data annotation and collection processes of global companies, which allows them to improve their algorithms and boost their AI technologies.

While the future of technology’s role in the business world remains largely unknown, it seems highly likely that artificial intelligence will play an integral role in companies’ recovery and reintegration after COVID-19. The wide-ranging capabilities of AI technologies offer an array of solutions to COVID-related problems, including increased efficiency, smoother data collection and annotation, powerful cloud computing to facilitate remote work, and supply chain digitization to name a few. In order to reap the benefits of artificial intelligence, particularly in a post-pandemic world, corporate leaders must familiarize themselves with the offerings of such technologies before formulating a plan to integrate them into their day-to-day operations.