Artificial Intelligence (AI) Practices in Business
Business Proposal for AI/robotic Applications………………………………………………….3
Issues with AI and with the Proposal……………..……………………………………………..6
Benefits with Proposal………………………………………………………………………….. 9
Humanoid Robots Alleviate Healthcare Labor Shortages
Robots, particularly humanoid robots with great workplace specialized AI, have a bright future ahead. One of the most valuable fields for humanoid robotics is the healthcare and hospital setting. It is here that robots are arguably needed most to aid the increasingly overburdened community of nurses in hospitals everywhere as pandemics like Covid-19 have wreaked havoc across the globe. There is also a larger elderly population in many nations to attend to as well. Nursing robots can fit these healthcare positions well through bringing more efficiency to surgeon support, upkeep of the hospital, and measuring the patients’ vitals so that doctors can more quickly identify any issues.
Business Proposal for AI/Robotic Applications
With the Covid-19 pandemic the world healthcare systems have been severely tested and it has exposed a nurse shortage in society, a profession desperately needed to combat the pandemic. This nursing shortage has reached 5.9 million worldwide as noted by the World Health Organization (Chang et al., 2021). Though humanoid robots are in need of further development, in the near future they can certainly join nurse teams in hospitals worldwide for facilities that can afford this technology. Humanoid nurse robots should be implemented into hospitals for three sectors – regular nurse support, surgeon support, and housekeeping/bedside tasks. The regular nurse support will be in charge of normal duties such as checking patients’ vitals, triage, assessments of patients’ health situations, and processing of emergency room patients. Surgeon support robots would be working with surgical doctors, handing them tools and making the surgeon’s job easier. Lastly, there is the housekeeping robots who would be cleaning after patients, serving patients food, and attending to any other needs of the patients. The robots could be run by a separate company working with the hospital. With this proposal, robotics can be implemented into the healthcare setting.
Humanoid robots should be controlled by AI appropriate for their intended job or tasks. Recent advancements in technology have brought to the forefront intelligent machines, which are “deep learning systems, the most advanced form of machine learning” (Locsin et al., 2018). Intelligent machines and their deep learning systems are at the source of the recent breakthroughs in AI. Experts from the Journal of Nursing describe 5 dimensions of technologies relevant to healthcare which includes technology to re-formulate the ideal human being and technology as machine technologies (Locsin et al., 2018). It is this AI with the aforementioned dimensions that will fuel further development in healthcare robotics.
Robots will be in more demand in the coming years. Before the Covid-19 pandemic Stratistics Market Research Consulting expected the “global humanoid robot market would reach $13 billion by 2026” (Merkusheva, 2020). This was before the pandemic, and now the demand has certainly risen exponentially. AI and medical robots are not only expected to care for patients but also for research and development of vaccines including for Covid-19. AI has been optimized over the past two decades to detect antigens to develop vaccines (Sharma, 2022). A method called reversed vaccinology (RV) was introduced over 20 years ago which significantly reduced the time it takes to find antigens (Sharma, 2022). Various RV tools use machine learning and artificial intelligence (Sharma, 2022). Machine learning is among the most relied upon types of AI in vaccine research. It is based on the concept of developing innovative and intelligent machines based upon complex algorithms (Sharma, 2022). With these groundbreaking advances, the importance of AI in vaccine research and the medical field as a whole cannot be understated.
Care robots for the elderly is a large focus for robotics to be used in hospitals and care centers. At the forefront of this are the east Asian countries of Taiwan and South Korea. Through data research at a large hospital in Taiwan from 2019 to 2020, (just before the Covid-19 pandemic), it was found that “robot-enabled focus on task engagement is positively related to nurses’ overall job satisfaction and perceived health improvement” (Chang et al., 2021). Hospitals around the world are researching in robotics for this very same implementation. Simultaneously, countries such as South Korea, are looking into care robots for the elderly as this country is expected to become a “super-aged society by 2030” (Lee et al., 2018). Nurses in five hospitals across South Korea were interviewed on their views on the viability and their perspective on care robots (Lee et al., 2018). The results to these interviews were also positive. Most countries implementing AI and robotics into the hospital setting have a promising and well-received view on this technology. Many other developed countries have aging populations which will need these very same services that can be provided by care robots.
One might ask, where can we see working examples of robots in healthcare that are currently in action? Look no further than familiar automobile brands such as Toyota and Honda. Honda specifically developed an autonomous robot that welcomes customers and answers questions quickly (Locsin, et al, 2018). In 2017, Toyota developed a robot called T-HR3 that mimics the movements of its human operator like an avatar (Merkusheva, 2020). Automobile brands are clearly front runners in robotics development. Front desk hospital robots and triage nurse robots will use advanced algorithms to answer questions based on patients’ answers, just like chatbots which have been successfully adopted by many big name companies for years. A lot of this technology that will be used in robotics in the coming years is already on display, whether it be on computers, smartphones, or online/internet AI.
Issues with Proposal and Shortcomings of AI/Robotics
There are some issues with this proposal and robotics in general as it pertains to healthcare and any other field. Robotics is still in its fledgling stages with regular robot use still a few steps from being implemented. AI needs improvement for the intended tasks that robots will fill in for. Robotics is on the precipice of becoming a frequent presence in society and before this decade passes, it will have an increasing impact.
There are three further issues that stand out for the use of AI and robotics in business. These issues are robots’/AI’s lack of adaptability compared to humans, robots cannot understand human emotion fully (including being able to understand humans’ demeanor), and AI/robots can be susceptible to system errors or need maintenance for sustained periods. An example of robot’s lack of adaptability would be if a robot encounters a situation that is outside its programming or AI algorithm. If a manager implements a new set of rules and the robot continues with old protocol, it will be behind the company’s changes.
In regards to the second issue, an example of not understanding humans would be students’ perception of AI online teachers. The students felt they were not getting the connection and support they needed from AI teachers who seemed stiff and lacking encouragement (Hedgepeth, 2019). Humans often need to form a good relation to their teacher and have a social connection to better learn and retain information. A good interpersonal relationship may also be preferred for things like food service and customer service. Also, if someone speaks in slang, a robot may not understand.
Lastly, concerning system errors and high maintenance, robots and AI can quickly become futile if a power grid shuts down or is close to its breaking point. The side effects of devices losing power can be severe. For example, when traffic lights at an intersection shut down it can cause a sudden buildup in traffic and confusion. Or even worse it could cause car accidents. Thus, when relying too heavily on AI and robots on a less developed power grid, a company can lose large quantities of its manpower or capacity depending on the type of company.
Today, these three issues have shown up across business implementing AI and robots but not so frequently, as AI and robots have not yet been fully adopted or taken over the more conventional and old fashion means of conducting business or providing services. We are in a transitional stage where robots and AI are steadily replacing the older forms of business configuration. Issues have emerged with AI transportation such as that used by the Tesla vehicle company. The auto driving has occasionally led to car accidents which initially brought some concern over viability of AI driving. There is also the negative response to AI food service as shown in recent studies (Nozawa et al. 2022).
Among the three issues, there is certainly a common theme. It has to do with AI and robots’ lack of common sense which is gained from having experiences in the world as a sentient, living being (Bartneck, et al. 2021). Because robots are not organisms, let alone humans, they cannot develop organic or interpersonal relationships with humans and learn how to deal with the unpredictable environment. Robots simply follow software or AI algorithms. Of course, with further advances, a high-tech AI driven robot could come close to organism level adaptability.
These three issues should not be able to corrupt business applications or business goals as long as a business does not over-use or over stretch AI/robot technology over its capabilities. AI and robots are better suited for less interpersonal tasks and excel with getting tasks done quickly and efficiently. Most businesses look upon technology in nearly all its forms positively, robotics especially. The healthcare and hospital fields have the highest demand and likely highest profits to be made from robotics and so will probably receive the latest technology before other businesses do. Thus, when looking for how far technology has come, hospitals will likely be among the best places to look.
There are ethical and moral concerns with healthcare robots, especially as their technology advances allowing for more autonomy and machine learning capabilities. Theorists pose the very relevant questions, will nurse robots be able to recognize their place or themselves as humans do? (Locsin, et al., 2018). If accidents happen, is the robot responsible or who takes the blame? (Locsin et al., 2018). The robot, the manufacturer, and the staff in charge of the robot could all be reasonably blamed. It is in these circumstances and situations where legal measures should be formed based on society’s decision on whether robots should be treated like humans or not. It is also up to the discretion of hospitals to know the limits of robotics given the current developments with the technology. The technology should not be overstretched into roles less suited to its capabilities.
Benefits with Proposal Overall
Robotics is truly a game changer for hospitals as it allows for nurses to focus on their main duties rather than clerical duties, transport, and other similar tasks. The most pronounced result of robotics into hospitals will be the alleviation of stress for human nurses and not being overworked because of the need to perform both clerical and nurse specific work. Triage work can be done more quickly and accurately with AI robots as well. Human nurses will thus be able to put better effort and expertise into the nurse specific tasks. Nurses can also double check AI to make sure they agree with the AI or if they think the technology missed something. AI and robots is not yet at the point where we can say with certainty that they can fully replace nurses. Robots are limited by the expertise of the person creating their AI and the limitations of robotics in its current state. Nonetheless, big strides have been already made as displayed in many examples above including vaccine research mimicking robots.
Robotics brings with it a hopeful future in healthcare with experiments already being conducted as mentioned prior, in places like Taiwan and South Korea. The benefits of robots in the medical setting are beyond count and so a solution on bringing them into hospitals is being researched meticulously. It is a growing field and demand for robots to be implemented into the medical and care field. Robots have already been tested and used by the notable automobile companies of Toyota and Honda which display the focus of robotics in Japanese brands. AI and robotics have the potential for optimized efficiency and seamlessness in any business or field. This is the under-researched path to vaccine research and better managing the increasingly aging and sick population globally.
The healthcare sector is the field in the most need of robots with patient care specialized AI. Humanoid robots would be more preferred as it can help build good relations with the patients. There is a stark shortage worldwide of nurses in a time of great need. With pandemics and an aging global population, robots with healthcare focused AI can turn this around. Robots will bring much needed efficiency, housekeeping, and triage work to hospitals.
Bartneck, C., Lütge, C., Wagner, A., & Welsh, S. (2021). An Introduction to Ethics in Robotics and AI (1st ed. 2021.). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-51110-4
Chang, H. et al. (2021). How Robots Help Nurses Focus on Professional Task Engagement and Reduce Nurses’ Turnover Intention. Retrieved from https://sigmapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jnu.12629
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Heethuis, N. (2022). Four Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming E-Commerce. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2022/02/15/four-ways-artificial-intelligence-is-transforming-e-commerce/?sh=65eb234c797b
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Nozawa, C. et al. (2022). Consumer responses to the use of artificial intelligence in luxury and non-luxury restaurants. Food Quality and Preference. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0950329321003189
Sharma, A., Virmani, T., Pathak, V., Sharma, A., Pathak, K., Kumar, G., & Pathak, D. (2022). Artificial intelligence-based data-driven strategy to accelerate research, development, and clinical trials of COVID vaccine. BioMed Research International, 2022https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/7205241
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