Surprising Uses of Artificial Intelligence

*This post was written in collaboration with Industrial Vision Systems

“Artificial Intelligence” seems to be one of those buzz phrases that gets thrown around, and although most people have an understanding of what AI does, they might not realise how much it is used in real life. It seems like quite a new concept to us, as we only ever hear about it when it is used for mainstream application, but you would be surprised at where AI is used in this day and age. 

Search and rescue

Search and rescue is mostly carried out by people, so you wouldn’t naturally connect Artificial Intelligence with their operations. Although the actual rescues are carried out by humans, large amounts of photo and video footage need to be examined to determine whether people are in immediate danger or not. Because this simply cannot be done in an appropriate time by humans, AI can go through photo and video footage in record time, which means more chance of survival for the people that need to be rescued. Vision systems are quite a common use for AI, with companies like Industrial Vision Systems providing solutions for things like print quality inspection and surface inspection.  

Robot bees

It sounds unbelievable, but robot bees are a “thing”. Because bees are often wiped out with things like pesticides, and their population is fragile, AI and GPS has been used to create robotic bees that mimic the pollination process of normal bees. Unfortunately, bees are currently under a massive threat because of our farming methods, so next time you see one try not to think of it as the enemy, and maybe get close enough to see if it is a robot. 

Diagnosing and monitoring health conditions

Johns Hopkins University has done research that suggests AI could be used to diagnose sepsis. Sepsis is more treatable if it is caught early, and research has shown that AI could analyse the data to identify sepsis up to 24 hours before a human could. There has also been discussion about how AI algorithms could be used to monitor ongoing health conditions like diabetes.

Tracking wildlife

Before we had AI, tracking wildlife was an extensive task. A lot of manpower and research and data analyses were needed to track things like migration patterns and wildlife populations. But now we have AI, it can be used to keep track of populations. Another way it can help wildlife is by helping to stop poaching. As wildlife parks are often huge, and the park rangers are unable to patrol them all, Uganda is currently using predictive modelling to find out where the most likely poaching areas would be.


Maybe this one isn’t much of a surprise, but yeah, that Facebook ad didn’t just pop up randomly. AI is used in every online advertising system to eliminate the people who are less likely to engage with the ad by clicking or making a purchase. The net starts off being cast wide, and the campaign learns over time who is more likely to provide a “conversion”.


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