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This is How the Top 5 companies in the world are defining A.I.

An overview of how the most influential companies in the world are redefining (and applying) Artificial Intelligence in their business

By Jair RibeiroPublished 3 years ago 10 min read
This is How the Top 5 companies in the world are defining A.I.
Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines Artificial Intelligence or A.I. as “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” Intelligent beings are those who can adapt to changing circumstances.

The most forward-thinking companies are investing in Artificial Intelligence, as they already realized the importance of A.I. in business, and the impact A.I. will have, while it is becoming a key component of organizations’ strategies as digital disruption increases.

I am sharing here today an overview of the top 5 companies in the world according to Fortune 2020) and some examples of how these companies are using A.I. to empower their business.


Walmart has been in business since the 1960s, but the company is still developing ways to revolutionize retail operations and enhance customer service. Innovation and new retail technology are consistent with Walmart’s growth as the world’s second-largest online retailer.

After years of investment in its technology and stores, Walmart has unquestionably emerged as Amazon’s firm №2 in U.S. e-commerce, with sales up 37 percent last year.

Walmart, one of the largest physical retail chains globally, is planning to extend the testing of its shelf scanning robots to 50 additional stores, including some from its native land of Arkansas.

With artificial intelligence cameras, interactive displays, and a massive data center, this store suggests a retail future that looks like science fiction.

Machines considered to be the future of shelf scanning will travel around the aisles to check all factors, including pricing, misplaced items, and stock levels, to assess the store’s stock levels.

Not only would this save human personnel all the difficulty of checking these trivial details on their own, but it would also mean that they could focus on other more important details.

The machines will require technicians to be on-site to deal with the situation in a technological impairment. Still, the robots are currently fully autonomous to carry out their tasks.

These robots will use 3D imaging concepts to wander around the aisles, avoid obstacles, and make notes about the blockages in their path.

“We think it’s something our associates will be excited about. The technology has been built to improve associates’ jobs, to make their jobs more interesting, to help them alleviate some of the mundane tasks. A.I. can enhance their skill set in an ever-changing world.” — Mike Hanrahan, CEO of Walmart’s new Intelligent Retail Lab — or “IRL” for short.

Walmart is also trying to improve customer experience through ‘Scan and Go’ shopping, using sensors, computer vision technology, and machine learning.


Amazon’s 21 percent increase in revenue in 2019, to $281 billion, is the reason that Seattle catapulted the Fortune 500 to №2.

It is now ranked behind only its biggest rival and the largest retailer in the world: Walmart.

Apart from the obvious relevance of A.I. in Amazon Web Services, let us focus on using A.I. in Amazon as a retailer.

In Amazon, artificial intelligence and machine-learning technology are not confined to a single business segment. The technology is used everywhere, across teams that back Alexa’s suite of voice-activated devices, the Amazon Go stores, and the recommendation engine that causes “Frequently Bought Together” or “Customers Who Buy This Item Also Buyed” purchase recommendations to populate.

While deep learning and A.I. power a crucial part of Amazon’s business, Delivery is entirely dependent on a highly efficient warehouse operation.

Amazon’s A.I. capabilities provide recommendations to its customers. According to a report, Amazon’s recommendation engine is driving 35% of its total sales.

Amazon is continuously applying A.I. to understand better their customer search queries and the purpose of their search. When it comes to e-commerce companies recommending relevant products to their customers, they need to know what their customers are looking for and why.

Understanding the context may help retailers recommend additional items to their customers, and Amazon intends to do so by applying A.I.

Exxon Mobil

During a growing push to cut operating costs, big oil is looking for artificial intelligence to help with automation functions, predict equipment problems and increase oil and gas output.

ExxonMobil, the largest American publicly traded oil company, faced a challenge in 2019. CEO Darren Woods pinned the problem on low oil prices. The company earned $14.3 billion — a 31 percent drop in profits year-on-year — as debt levels rose by 24 percent; meanwhile, its investments have run into over-supplied markets throughout its supply chain.

ExxonMobil uses advanced data analytics, increased connectivity, and state-of-the-art computing to improve and revolutionize how the company works at every level.

From Internet of Things (IoT) projects that make our refineries more efficient to state-of-the-art digital tools that help support production and detect methane emissions from our operations, ExxonMobil is leveraging our global scale to turn data into unique insights that drive improved reliability and performance.

Through Internet of Things (IoT) projects that improve our refineries’ efficiency, Exxon Mobil is using a global scale to turn data into unique insights that support production and detect methane emissions, delivering reliability and performance.

To help tackle the modern energy challenges, the company established new collaborations with some of the leading digital organizations, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Intel, as the first step towards automated closed-loop processes, as artificial intelligence and machine learning are used to allow systems to recognize and respond to events without human intervention.

For example, starting a project to identify the potential payoff of new hydrocarbon fields by using IBM’s artificial intelligence to perform seismic mapping and additional tectonic and historical data research.t

An entire team comprising 20 different roles continued working alongside IBM data scientists, pulling together all the data into well-formed workflows for a small drill well-planning exercise. This was no small feat, considering data types can span geography, geology, geophysics, rock properties, and economic analysis.

In 2019, Exxon partnered with Microsoft to implement AI-powered programs in the Permian Basin in West Texas. Additionally, the oil giant recently implemented an A.I. program to draw insights from millions of sensors monitoring the global refineries.


Last year, Apple experienced a drop in both sales and ranking, falling to fourth place.

Manufacturing corporations’ ability to generate profits cushioned the fall. Apple made $55 billion.

But when it comes to A.I., Apple uses it in everything, everywhere in the company’s portfolio.

There are tons of new experiences that use machine learning. And to wrap things up, I will talk about things like voice-to-text translation, or on-device dictation, or even new features around health, like sleep and hand washing.

Modern smartphones’ cameras and prediction engines (like, say, apps) utilize many machine learning.

Apple’s Photos app can automatically sort pictures into pre-made galleries or accurately give you photos of a friend when their name is input into the app’s search field.

Machine learning helps augmented reality features be developed and implemented in Apple, with extensive use of machine learning in recent releases of its software and devices.

Machine learning is utilized to help the iPad’s software differentiate between an accidental tap of the palm while drawing with the Apple Pencil and a deliberate input.

A.I. also optimizes device battery life and charging to improve the time users can spend between charges and protect the battery’s long-term viability. It is used to recommend apps.

One thing every iPhone user will immediately perceive as artificial intelligence is Siri. Speech recognition is facilitated by machine learning, which also helps with the responses given by Siri.

In other cases, machine learning is invisible to most users. For instance, the iPhone will snap several photos when you tap the shutter button. An ML-trained algorithm analyses each image and composes a single result from the images’ best parts.

CVS Health

The drug store chain-slash-health care juggernaut jumped three spots on this year’s Fortune 500 — and raised $62 billion in revenue — because of its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, the insurance giant, in 2018.

In the same year, CVS Health embarked on a journey to personalize the customer and patient experience through machine learning on the Microsoft Azure Databricks platform, enabling the first machine learning model to be rolled out in an impressively fast marketplace within six months for billions of transactions using Apache Spark.

The platform provided critical business value, including testing and learning experimentation on customizing content to CVS customers best, using machine learning in a dynamic healthcare environment.

“The potential for Artificial Intelligence within Healthcare and Insurance is immense. Studies have shown that A.I. can augment the human intellect when diagnosing a disease faster and more accurately. Aetna uses data and advanced analytics to drive early intervention that can keep people healthier while reducing medical costs.” — Shiv Misra, Head of Medicare Retention Analytics at CVS Health

When asked what A.I. technologies CSV Health is looking forward to in the coming years, Shiv Misra mentioned the future of cognitive analytics. Large data sets can be perfectly combined, and advanced A.I. models allow machines to make human life substantially better.

In 2019, CVS elaborated on its digital transformation efforts and outlined four key priorities:

Developing centers of excellence for data and robotics

Moving to a hybrid cloud environment to lower costs and significantly reduce the time to build and deploy new capabilities

Streamlining the number of applications used across the enterprise

Deploying artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and robotics to optimize call center operations

Advanced data and analytics to leverage enhanced workforce-management tools for improved scheduling

CVS aspires to build a tech-enabled healthcare experience that combines artificial intelligence, virtual care services, and connected devices with brick-and-mortar clinics.

CVS Health has built up a massive customization environment designed not only to deliver personalized marketing offers based on past shopping behavior but also to remind patients when it is time to refill, to let them know when their prescription is ready for pick-up, and even to help patients identify any side effects they may experience.

For example, CVS’s Transform Diabetes Care program uses advanced data analytics with clinical, brick-and-mortar, and digital assets to synthesize and analyze massive amounts of pharmacy and biometric data to deliver personalized medical treatments to diabetics, with half of the participants with uncontrolled diabetes regaining control.

Those experiences could be a virtual doctor visit, using an AI-powered chatbot, or sending health data to a physician through a connected device.


Companies are increasingly relying on Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to improve efficiency and productivity. In other words, A.I. is already having an impact on the industry.

Technology’s effects on society cannot be ignored. According to PwC, companies that invest in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) could inject around $15.7 trillion into the global economy by 2030. Some $6.6 trillion reflect productivity gains related to total robotization of services.

As soon as companies see the ramifications of A.I. changes, they will be better equipped to gain benefits and, perhaps, deal with problems. Are you ready? Are you working on A.I. already?

Read more about it and references.

  • artificial intelligence | Definition, Examples, and …. https://www.britannica.com/technology/artificial-intelligence
  • Walmart Inc. (WMT) Company Profile, News, Rankings …. https://fortune.com/company/walmart/
  • Fortune 500 — https://fortune.com/fortune500/
  • Walmart’s New Intelligent Retail Lab Shows a Glimpse into the Future of Retail, IRL — https://corporate.walmart.com/newsroom/2019/04/25/walmarts-new-intelligent-retail-lab-shows-a-glimpse-into-the-future-of-retail-irl
  • Machine Learning in Big Box Retail — Walmart, Target, and …. https://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/machine-learning-big-box-retail/
  • How Amazon Leverages Artificial Intelligence to Optimize Delivery — https://feedvisor.com/resources/amazon-shipping-fba/how-amazon-leverages-artificial-intelligence-to-optimize-delivery/
  • How Amazon Is Using A.I. To Better Understand Customer Search Queries — https://analyticsindiamag.com/how-amazon-is-using-ai-to-better-understand-customer-search-queries/
  • Applying digital technologies to drive energy innovation — https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/Energy-and-innovation/Digital-technologies
  • Extracting the lifeblood of A.I. at ExxonMobil — https://www.ibm.com/blogs/journey-to-ai/2019/09/extracting-the-lifeblood-of-ai-at-exxonmobil/
  • Oil and Gas Companies Turn to A.I. to Cut Costs — https://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-and-gas-companies-turn-to-ai-to-cut-costs-11571018460
  • Apple using machine learning for almost everything, and privacy-first approach actually better — https://9to5mac.com/2020/08/06/apple-using-machine-learning/
  • Here’s why Apple believes it’s an A.I. leader — and why it says critics have it all wrong - https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/08/apple-explains-how-it-uses-machine-learning-across-ios-and-soon-macos/
  • A.I., Health Insurance, And Data Harmonization: Interview With Shiv Misra, CVS Health — https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2020/10/24/ai-health-insurance-and-data-harmonization-interview-with-shiv-misra-cvs-health/?sh=19986c7526d3
  • CVS Health exec: Retail giant wants to create a Netflix-like healthcare experience — https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/tech/cvs-health-s-digital-executive-we-want-to-create-a-healthcare-experience-as-easy-to-use-and
  • How Azure and Databricks Enabled a Personalized Experience for Customers and Patients at CVS Health — https://databricks.com/session_na20/how-azure-and-databricks-enabled-a-personalized-experience-for-customers-and-patients-at-cvs-health
  • Is CVS Health becoming the Netflix of Healthcare in the Age of Pandemics and Disruption? — https://www.aidataanalytics.network/data-monetization/articles/is-cvs-health-becoming-the-netflix-of-healthcare-in-the-age-of-pandemics-and-disruption
  • PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study: Exploiting the A.I. Revolution — https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/data-and-analytics/publications/artificial-intelligence-study.html

One more thing…

If you want to read more about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science and other amazing topics, visit my profile on Medium.com, where you will find a lot of interesting articles:

This article was originally published by myself on Medium.com

artificial intelligence

About the Creator

Jair Ribeiro

A passionate and enthusiastic Artificial Intelligence Evangelist who writes about people's experiences with technology and innovation.

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