Artificial intelligence and its impact on seniors
by Lucia Dore
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to build solutions in different industries, including those companies in health care and banking has been hastened by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to numerous authorities on these subjects.
For seniors, the impact of AI in banking and financial services will be immense. Improvements in tracking anti-money laundering, financial crime, fraud and payment systems, are some areas in which they will benefit. Although many of the tools in banking and financial services requiring AI were being developed before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the world, it has hastened the development of AI tools.
Many of the tools requiring AI in banking are robotic process automation (RBA) and although the core mathematics remain the same, it is the way these processes are implemented that matters.
As AI is developed more for the banking industry, it will become easier for information to be passed to the requisite people so that they receive information that is more tailored to their needs and wants. Banks are also expected to become more like financial technology (fintech) companies- that is a company that uses technology to make financial services more efficient. Unlike “start-ups”, where there are many fintech companies, banks not only have a brand but a lot of data too. They can leverage these advantages.
Then there’s a lot of developments in healthcare, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the population ages, the focus has been on continued efficiency and higher productivity. The pandemic has also highlighted the problem of seniors living alone - social isolation. Since isolation often leads to an increased likelihood of depression, keeping people well at home has become a real challenge. AI can play a role here.
At the simplest level, AI chatbots at home can help patients keep on top of care plans. AI applications that remind seniors when to take medication, about doctors’ appointments, and even when to eat, can help in removing the anxiety and confusion that many of them face.
AI-powered social robots can also provide a level of companionship for lonely seniors as they often form a relationship with AI chatbots. Social robots can also help, especially as seniors in many societies have to self-isolate for longer than other age groups.
AI can also provide seniors with suggestions about healthier food choices and encourage them to build healthier habits.
Robots can also support seniors in managing illness by encouraging them to wear sensors on the body. For example, AI devices are evolving that can predict and prevent falls. If seniors are more comfortable, they can become more confident about living alone.
Sensors within the home can also determine when someone has fallen, or has encountered other accidents at home, and can notify emergency services for help. An alarm, linked to the headquarters, goes off. This can provide reassurance and build confidence.
The development of AI solutions has many benefits for the older person. Society needs to leverage that, even more so in a time of pandemic.
Photo: Carole Railton (copyright) . AI: Going forward at speed.