Why AI APIs are on the rise

6 min read

APIs and AI are a match made in heaven. APIs are the necessary step to exploit many AIs. The flexibility of the API product approach can transform any AI API in a multitude of use-cases. From sentiment analysis to object detection, AI APIs are already everywhere, and a thriving market.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been described as the new electricity. It is leading the way in our digital revolution. While it may seem like AI has already made major advances, this is just the beginning. 

There are predictions of sentient AI where computers can make their own decisions. For now, we have narrow AI. This is where AI can perform single, pre-programmed tasks. A subset of AI is Machine Learning (ML). ML describes the way computers are able to learn and adapt through algorithms, statistical models, and data. It is a technique to achieve AI. 

Even with the current state of narrow AI, businesses are able to gain dramatic benefits. From predictive insights to operational efficiency, and customer support. 

As businesses feel the pressure to adopt AI and identify relevant use cases, they face the challenge of accessing AI implementation resources. They will face challenges around data, infrastructure, and skill shortages. The cost, complexity, and timeline may seem like too big of a hurdle to overcome. 

This is where APIs come in. APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are the simplest way to introduce AI into your business strategy. APIs bring together various AI and ML techniques to solve business use cases. Whether you need AI for facial recognition or language detection, you can find an API to meet your needs. Let’s take a look at how APIs solve your business's AI challenges and how to get started. 

When to use AI APIs  

APIs are the easiest way to get started with introducing AI to your business. They are a low-cost, low-effort approach. They are also the perfect introduction to understand all the ways AI can benefit your business. With an AI API, you can test out a single-use case and build from there. 

An API leverages a pre-trained endpoint. You don’t need to worry about providing your own data, infrastructure, or skills. It is also a cost-effective approach. Depending on the payment model you may only pay for the queries you make. Even a subscription or tiered model will likely be more cost-effective than hiring your own AI specialists and data. 

APIs will also solve the challenge of scaling. As your demand grows you can progressively increase your calls of the AI API.

Best of all, you don’t need to hire or train any specialist in-house AI expertise. Your in-house developers can implement the API with ease. We’ve previously written about how APIs solve the tech skills shortage. This is especially true when it comes to niche skill sets like AI experts. 

APIs work especially well for common AI use-cases. Let’s explore some use cases and APIs available. 

Some AI API use cases 

AI APIs are able to integrate different artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques. This allows businesses to gain deeper insights into their data.

There are endless applications for these AI and ML techniques so it can be hard to know where to begin. We know that using an AI API is the most effective way to introduce AI capability. The next question is which AI API do you start with? 

It’s important to identify a use case that will have an impact on your business. We recommend identifying a business metric you want to improve. Once you’ve identified the metric, find an AI application that will impact that metric. That way you can prove the value of AI and learn how best to introduce AI into your business. 

Below are three AI use-cases to explore.

Sentiment Analysis APIs

AI can do a lot more than cut costs and predict trends. Innovations in customer support can delight your customers and keep them engaged with your brand. Sentiment Analysis is one such innovation. 

With a Sentiment Analysis API, you can automatically detect the sentiment of a message. With simple categories like positive, negative, or neutral customer sentiment you can build deeper subcategorization to understand your customer's behaviour and responses. This can be used on anything from social media to reviews or competitor analysis. 

Speech and Voice Recognition APIs

The Speech and Voice Recognition market is expected to grow to $26.79 billion by 2025. This AI is being used across a range of industries from Automotive to Healthcare, Financial Services to Legal Practice, and even in Education. 

The biggest challenge with speech and voice recognition is the data needed for understanding, reliability, and accuracy. The variation across languages, accents, and command types can make it nearly impossible for businesses to create a pleasant customer experience. 

With Speech and Voice Recognition APIs businesses can quickly introduce automated and personalized customer interactions with a customer-friendly conversational experience. 

Object Detection APIs

With object detection, AI can use images and video to identify and locate objects. This data can then be used to optimize business operations such as inventory management, logistics, and maintenance. The ability for this accurate detection of objects relies on well-trained AI using thousands of annotated images. An API can provide the connection to a pre-trained endpoint in minutes. 

Object detection used for areas such as predictive maintenance has a huge impact on both cost reduction and improved quality. AI is able to detect abnormal behavior, identify defects, and highlight where maintenance is needed. An API will allow access to databases, integration with existing applications, and data sharing. This can all be done without any AI or ML expertise. 

How an API platform allows for customized AI solutions 

One limitation of using APIs to introduce AI is the lack of flexibility. APIs provide pre-trained AI which is what makes them a low-cost and simple solution. Even using a standardized API for AI will improve your overall business flexibility. With increased access and analysis of data, businesses can adapt much faster to industry, geopolitical, and environmental changes. 

There will still be cases, however, where a business wants a customized AI solution. In these cases using an API Portal will allow for additional customization. On Blobr, you can create private APIs for specific customers. The API provider and business can work together to define the endpoints they need. Blobr will give the additional benefits of scalable, secure, and globally available infrastructure. Plus there are built-in security features and dashboards on how the API is being used. 

One of our clients, Hyperspect designs AI solutions to grow sales for their customers. Among their Products: Prospect Data Cleaning, Sales Personalisation APIs. Thanks to their Public API Portal, anyone can have a look at their products (endpoints, monetization model, examples etc) and subscribe to them. Thanks to their API Portal, they are able to increase their API adoption and their clients’ satisfaction. 

Opportunities for AI APIs

The demand for AI is growing as it becomes imperative to business success. AI APIs can help businesses make more accurate predictions, gain insights, decrease operational spending, and delight customers with improved experiences. 

With AI technology the quantity of data available greatly improves the quality of insight. With an AI API, you’ll benefit from integrated access to data. This gives organizations access to the latest AI technology without the need to invest in their own R&D.

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