10 Common Examples of AI in Everyday Life

While we might think that artificial intelligence (AI) is something futuristic, it already has an enormous impact on our daily lives. Artificial intelligence doesn’t only change the way we work but also the way we live and make decisions. In this article, we’ll introduce the top 10 most common examples of AI in everyday life. 

Virtual assistants

Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana are perhaps the most popular virtual assistants available. These AI-powered assistants help users perform various tasks, from finding and calling a contact, browsing websites, to sending commands to other apps. Artificial intelligence has a significant impact on the way these apps work because they learn from every single user interaction. This allows them to recognize speech patterns better and provide users with results tailored to their preferences. There’s no doubt that virtual assistants will continue to grow and become even more capable of assisting us in our daily lives.

Advertising

Have you ever looked at an online advertisement and realized that you were thinking about buying this product? There is no magic here, and AI isn’t reading your thoughts. Instead, it’s about keeping track of your online activities. The search engines record the products you browse on various shopping sites and provide you with advertisements related to these products.

AI also uses demographic data, such as your age, gender, job, etc., to identify which products are most likely to be of interest to you. Today, more and more businesses are using digital marketing tools to target their preferred customers. 

Robot vacuums

Robot vacuums are one of the most common examples of AI in everyday life. They use AI to scan your living area, pinpoint obstacles and remember the best route to clean your house. The vacuum bot can also identify how much cleaning it needs to do based on the size of the room, and some robot vacuums even come with a mopping function. 

Financial services

The banking and finance industry, which plays a major role in our lives, has been using artificial intelligence to optimize customer satisfaction by simplifying payment processes and providing security features. For example, running to the bank for every transaction has become something of the past. Thanks to intelligent algorithms, we can make deposits, do money transfers, and even open an account from anywhere.

Artificial intelligence also increases security, identity management, and privacy controls. A typical example is the automated emails you receive from banks whenever you make an unusual transaction. AI can detect potential fraud by observing users’ credit card spending patterns. The system can create an alert or a request to validate transactions if there is any unexpected activity that doesn’t fit your user profile.

Chatbots

In the past, interacting with customer service was often time-consuming and stressful. Even today, if a company doesn’t offer 24/7 customer service, it will be difficult for customers to have their concerns addressed outside of office hours. One increasingly popular solution to this problem is AI chatbots. 

AI chatbots are set up with programmed algorithms, enabling them to answer frequently asked questions and take/track orders, which makes interactions between the customer and the company easier than ever. Today, advanced chatbots don’t offer only specific output formats such as yes/no questions. They can answer complex questions that require detailed responses. Additionally, if customers leave a poor rating for the response they receive, the bot will identify the mistake and correct it for next time to maximize customer satisfaction.

Text editors and autocorrect

Have you ever typed a misspelled word, and your phone or computer corrected it automatically? That’s because AI algorithms use machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing to identify incorrect language usage and suggest corrections in word processors, texting apps, and other digitally written documents. 

Machine learning is taught by linguists and computer scientists, which results in high-quality language data. When you type an incorrect sentence, the editor will catch it and make suggestions to fix it.

Facial detection and recognition

Many of us are probably familiar with using face ID for unlocking phones or taking pictures with virtual filters on our faces. These activities are typical examples of AI in everyday life, in which the algorithms incorporate face detection, which can identify any human face, then use face recognition to recognize a specific face to unlock the phone or make a command (e.g., confirming a transaction). Facial recognition also helps government facilities with surveillance and security.

Maps and navigation

Artificial intelligence has drastically improved traveling. Instead of having to buy and carry paper maps, you can now use Google or Apple Maps on your phone and search for your destination. How does the mobile app know where to go and suggest the optimal route, road barriers, and traffic congestion? 

In the past, there were only satellite-based GPS available. Now, artificial intelligence is being incorporated into these devices to provide users with a much more enhanced experience. The algorithms employ machine learning to remember the edges of the buildings they’ve learned, leading to better visuals on the map and the ability to recognize house and building numbers. 

The application can also understand and identify changes in traffic flow, such as user-reported incidents or road construction, to recommend a route that avoids roadblocks and congestion. 

Rideshare apps

When you use a rideshare app, how do they determine the price of your ride? How do they minimize the wait time once you hail a car? How do these services optimally match you with other passengers to minimize detours? The answer is machine learning, another example of AI in everyday life. Uber’s Head of Machine Learning, Danny Lange, has confirmed Uber’s uses of machine learning for ETAs for rides, estimated meal delivery times on UberEATS, computing optimal pickup locations, as well as for fraud detection.

Entertainment 

If you’ve ever finished a TV show on Netflix, you’ve probably noticed how Netflix immediately suggests other shows you may enjoy watching next. YouTube is another platform that recommends videos or playlists relevant to your likes. This is how AI works: it analyzes thousands of records to suggest movies, TV shows, and videos that you might like based on your preferences and reactions to previous media choices.

The bottom line

These examples of AI in everyday life prove why artificial intelligence is talked about everywhere: it appeared everywhere. AI has greatly affected nearly every part of our daily lives, making us more productive and our lives more convenient. 

The Shoeboxed app is an AI-powered accounting app tailored to freelancers, accountants, and small business owners. Shoeboxed helps users clear their desks and drawers from piles of receipts and turn them into digital, clearly categorized data. Users can scan their receipts, manage expenses, store business cards, and track mileage easily with the Shoeboxed app

From there, you can generate expense reports and send them in emails for approvals. What’s more, Shoeboxed offers an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) function and human-verification feature to ensure that your receipts are scanned, well categorized, human-verified, and legibly accepted by both the Internal Revenue Service and the Canada Revenue Service. Shoeboxed helps you simplify accounting processes and focus more on your business’s core values. 

Don’t forget to sign up for the Shoeboxed blog if you’d like to read more about how Shoeboxed has helped our clients integrate artificial intelligence into their businesses and other engaging success stories, DIY accounting, together with the latest Shoeboxed’s product updates.

SaaS, Fintech And The World Technology

Looking back at our lives ten years ago, it is surprising how much our world has developed. We evolved from doing things manually to having things done automatically. We evolved from spending hours at the bank to finishing a transaction within just one click. The world has been changing at a flashing pace. Following the world trend in technology, many SaaS and Fintech enterprises have been born and increased astoundingly during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of SaaS and Fintech companies is also expected to continue to rise even after the pandemic. 

Since both types of business are leading trends in the market, in this article, we would like to introduce to you the relationship between SaaS (Software as a Service) and Fintech (financial technology). 

SaaS applications

1. What is SaaS? 

Together with the development of technology, SaaS (Software as a Service) has become a trend and is gradually replacing the existence of traditional SaaP (Software as a Product) due to its convenience, flexibility, fast implementation, and cost-saving benefit. 

2. How companies benefit from SaaS applications

SaaS allows businesses to access a particular service remotely through a web browser, using an internet connection. With SaaS, after implementing the application, companies just need to pay a certain amount to “hire” the service from the provider. They do not have to invest in setting up a server and other maintenance tasks afterward. Each amount of fees paid indicates a certain number of functions that can be performed. By this form of service, business owners can adjust which service plans are the most suitable for them. Hence they can cut unnecessary maintenance costs. 

With its specific benefits, SaaS is favored among big companies, as well as start-ups and entrepreneurs. By implementing SaaS, companies can spend more time increasing their revenue or improving their operating efficiency instead of focusing on handling, upgrading, and maintaining their system.

Moreover, nowadays, SaaS applications are specialized and can be applied to different departments in a company such as HR, Operations, Finance & Accounting, Sales & Marketing, Customer Service, and so on. 

Let’s take the following as an example. Shoeboxed is a SaaS company specializing in managing receipts for individuals and businesses (both small-size and big-size). (You can check out Shoeboxed here). All data on the receipts are scanned and stored in the system in both picture and data format. Users can then keep track of the payment history by exporting the file later. The receipt managing task is a big help for the accounting department in tax preparation and reimbursement procedures. Besides, since all the receipt data is well organized, it is easier for the Operations Team to consider which tasks need cutting off. It is useful for the Sales and Marketing Team to sit back and examine which marketing strategies are worth investing in.

See more: 5 Triangle SaaS Tools Keeping Small Businesses Organized.

Fintech and its growing trend 

1. Fintech definition

We believe that many of our readers have heard the word “Fintech” many times. It has even become a famous term and topic, especially among people in the IT sector. However, according to Statista, 67% of the US population said that they had not heard about Fintech, 21% have heard the word somewhere, and only 16% have clearly heard and understood its meaning. Despite those low numbers, the industry is still growing fast. So what is Fintech, and why do people talk about it?

“Fintech” is a short form of Financial Technology. According to the World Bank, it is a recently-created term that describes the new trend in the Financial and Banking area that “employs new technologies to improve or innovate financial service”, according to the World Bank. All companies that use the internet, cell phones, cloud computing technology, and other open-source software to advance the efficiency of the Banking and Investment business, can benefit from Fintech.

We can divide Fintech companies into two groups:

  • The first group is companies that focus on the end-users. Their main businesses provide digital tools that help improve the customer experience in borrowing, money managing, and start-up funding.
  • The second group is companies that play the “back office” roles in supporting other financial institutions.

So, is the e-wallet function on the mobile application of a banking institution called Fintech? Unfortunately, the answer is no. It is just an application of IT in the banking area.

However, for example, if Shoeboxed develops and applies a new data security technology to the e-wallet application of a banking institution to provide convenience and safety to the customers, yes, it is Fintech.

2. Fintech services

Fintech is now providing services in different areas such as banking technology, payment, financial management, cryptocurrency, … with diverse services including

  • Digital wallet (or e-wallet) – “a software-based system that securely stores users’ payment information and passwords for numerous payment methods and websites” (according to Investopedia). (Example: PayPal).
  • Distributed ledger technology on a blockchain platform. A distributed ledger is a database that is distributed to more than one computer or node. Each node maintains a ledger, and the ledger will be updated if there are any changes in data. A blockchain is a type of distributed ledger where every node has its own copy of the ledger. When data changes happen, it will also update all copies of the ledger. (Example: Bitcoin).
  • B2C e-commerce – online transactions between businesses and customers. 
  • mPOS – known as mPOS, a portable point of sale of a smartphone or tablet that acts as a register. This service is popular for businesses such as food trucks, convenience stores, supermarkets, etc. that allows the customers to complete payment transactions with just a touch.

Aside from the examples of Fintech products listed above, there are still a lot of services that might be a bit less popular such as:

  • Peer-to-peer lending (abbreviated as P2P lending) – a website that allows users to borrow and lend money directly. The P2P lending website helps to connect the borrowers directly to investors. In exchange for that, they control the transaction by setting the fee, interest rate, and other terms of conditions. 
  • Crowdfunding – a platform that allows start-ups to sell some of their future products to potential investors. If start-ups can fund enough money, they can start their project right away, and vice versa, if the amount of money funded is not enough, start-ups will return them to investors. 
  • Personal finance – a different branch of P2P lending that collaborates with banks to give end-users insights and advice about their bankings. 
  • Data management
  • Insurtech and so on

It is undeniable that Fintech has been encouraging a trend of entrepreneurship in Finance and Banking, the famous industries for their requirement of huge capital when joining the game. Thanks to this trend, a wide range of services are available in the market, yet the difficulties in management. 

However, if wisely used, Fintech can bring several benefits such as:

  • Improving customer satisfaction since the customers save time when completing a transaction
  • Analyzing customer behavior easier than before with reliable recorded data
  • Saving operating costs for business owners
  • Setting limits on manual inaccuracies

Following the Industrial Revolution 4.0, and now at 5.0, many traditional financial institutions are changing their ways of approaching more customers by collaborating with Fintech companies. According to PwC, 82% of traditional financial institutions plan to increase collaboration with Fintech in 3 – 5 years to avoid losing revenue.

Conclusion

With the explanation of SaaS and Fintech mentioned above, can we say Fintech is a type of SaaS? Or can we position Fintech as Saas? Well, IT DEPENDS. We say “it depends” because they have a lot of similarities in their purposes, ecosystems, applications, and so on. Therefore, it depends on the ultimate goals of the companies and how they operate their business.

As you can see, Fintech companies provide a wide range of services but mainly in the Finance area, while SaaS applications are broadly provided in different areas. Since the ever-increasing number of available services can make users unsure of what to choose, SaaS, Fintech, and other traditional business platforms should consider collaborating to introduce better and more compact services. The nuances of SaaS and Fintech can be hard to keep straight, but the value they offer to the world economy and the development of technology means they are here to stay. Therefore understanding their nuances is essential to thriving in today’s economy.

Receipt Tracking of the Future Using Google Glass

By now we’ve all heard the buzz surrounding Google Glass. While the newest product from Google may not be the most stylish technology accessory available, it may be the most innovative. The possibilities of how this eyewear could change our lives are endless.

While the public is excited about the possibility of getting directions, checking the time, and finding answers to their questions without lifting a finger, developers are anxious to get their hands on the Google Mirror API. The API allows third-party apps to develop integrations with Google Glass devices, called Glassware, which could potentially overhaul our current workflows and change the way we think about technology.

Companies like Evernote and Path have already released previews of possible integrations, so we’re giving you a preview of how receipt tracking Glassware could revolutionize the way you manage your receipts. Continue reading “Receipt Tracking of the Future Using Google Glass”