(Crain’s Cleveland Business) From manufacturing hub to AI powerhouse, Cleveland is on the rise

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is no longer reserved for science fiction. It’s all around us, rapidly transforming the way Clevelanders live and work.

From the Cleveland Clinic to the Cavaliers, businesses across the city are leveraging AI to provide better products and enhanced services. The result? A city that was once best known as a Midwest manufacturing hub is now emerging as a case study on how artificial intelligence can transform industries and, ultimately, entire communities.

That’s why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s AI Commission headed to Cleveland last week to hear first-hand how businesses are using AI, how it’s positively impacting society, and what the government’s role should be to ensure we realize the many benefits of this nascent technology while mitigating its risks.

We chose Cleveland because it is a city on the rise — leading the way in deploying AI to address some of our toughest challenges, including improving health services and outcomes, promoting public health and safety, and expanding financial inclusion. Cleveland is also well poised to tackle the workforce challenges that will inevitably accompany this digital transformation.Improving health services and outcomes

AI is already revolutionizing the health care industry in Cleveland, and we are only beginning to scratch the surface of its vast potential. By automating tasks and analyzing trends in patient data, AI is helping doctors and nurses deliver better health care faster, and at a lower cost.

For example, neurologists and brain surgeons from the Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center are using AI and advanced medical imaging techniques to help locate the source of a patient’s seizures. Once the source is pinpointed, surgeons have a better chance of removing the tissue associated with seizures, which is helping many patients live seizure-free for years.

AI also is improving health care by fostering preventative medicine and new drug discovery. Two examples include IBM’s Watson’s ability to identify treatments for cancer patients, and Google Cloud’s Healthcare app that makes it easier for health organizations to collect, store and access data.

And we’ve only just begun. Recently, the Cleveland Clinic and IBM partnered to establish a new research center that will use AI to further understand viruses and pathogens. Such a powerful partnership has the potential to help us avoid another global pandemic.Promoting public health and safety

There are few things Clevelanders love more than sports, so the city was hit especially hard when forced to shutter sporting venues during the pandemic. However, AI played a key role in bringing fans back safely.

To assist in a safe and secure reopening of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the Cavaliers partnered with a software company to leverage the power of AI. The team deployed Armored Things’ crowd intelligence solutions to manage fan density at key entry and gathering points, enabling smarter decisions related to staffing, security and sanitation.Expanding financial inclusion

Millions of Americans lack access to financial products and services — they are unable to build credit, receive funds, deposit money or buy insurance. In fact, 42 million Americans are financially vulnerable, meaning they struggle with all or nearly all of their financial responsibilities.

But there’s hope. AI-based solutions could be a game-changer for expanding financial access to the most vulnerable segments of the population in Cleveland, throughout Ohio and across the country.

For example, many credit models in use today rely on traditional sources of data, including a borrower’s application and credit bureau information. These traditional datasets are limited and often fail to capture the full potential of an applicant, thereby unnecessarily excluding qualified individuals. By incorporating additional datasets, powered by artificial intelligence, such as deposit transactions, and utilities or rent payment information, creditors can better identify qualified candidates and foster greater financial inclusion.Future of work

For two centuries, technological innovations have been disrupting the ways in which we work — eliminating some jobs while creating new opportunities. AI is no exception and will continue to change the workforce landscape.

So how do we ensure the workforce is prepared for the jobs of tomorrow? This is one of the key challenges that the Chamber’s AI Commission is exploring as it tours the country hearing directly from business leaders, researchers, public servants and members of the public.

If deployed fairly with the right balance of reasonable regulations, AI has the potential to generate greater economic security for workers, higher productivity for companies and broader opportunity for all members of society. To realize this vast potential, it’ll take businesses, governments and cities like Cleveland all working together.