Artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of things are 3 crucial elements today when emerging technologies are taking over the business industry. Even though using AI sounds like it’s the main plot of a Sci-Fi movie, it’s been influencing your life without you even knowing it. For example, every time you send a query to Google, you are directly benefiting from artificial intelligence as Google uses machine learning to come up with the most detailed and accurate responses.
AI’s way into the business world
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is progressing at the speed of light, shaking virtually every industry. In last year alone, it attracted more than $12 billion of VC investment, and according to recent research, the AI market is to grow at a CAGR of 36.62% reaching $190.61 billion by 2025!
Another research that sparks our interest is the Accenture Research study that shows through numbers the impact of AI on 12 developed economies, within 16 industries. Its results are confirming that AI has the potential to boost rates of profitability by an average of 38% and could lead to an economic boost of US$14 trillion in additional gross value added (GVA) by 2035.
Just to illustrate this outcome, last year Forbes predicted that at least 30% of businesses will be using artificial intelligence by the end of 2018. This number is increasing significantly and rapidly in the current year.
What is the secret behind the powerful force of AI?
First of all, machine learning is primarily used to process large amounts of data quickly. Second of all, the algorithms this technology is based on, appear to “learn” over time, getting better at what they do the more often they do it.
On top of that, unlike humans (who are limited by their basic and other needs, who need breaks and vacations) artificial intelligence works around the clock with consistent results.
It certainly does not mean that humans are excluded more and more each time. On the contrary, with the help of AI, employees will have more energy and time to focus on serious tasks that require thinking and creativity.
Findings from WorkMarket’s 2020 In(Sight) Report: What AI and Automation Really Mean for Work reveal that employees (and employers even more) could save annually up to 360 hours by the input of automation through artificial intelligence.
Organizations are not the only ones profiting from AI technology. Consumers as well found a way to prosper from it. Recent consumer research shows that many customers very much appreciate the number of technology perks that would be impossible without the AI. However, not many came to know that most of these features are being AI-driven. For instance, credit card fraud detection, email spam filters, automatic reminders, or predictive traffic alerts are all AI use cases. Or that more than half of customers are being assisted by an AI-powered voice-activated personal assistant.
The use of AI technology is showing to be an effective solution for steady business profitability decline that is now shaping multiple industries. As a matter of facts, this trend is threatening to erode not only current but future investment, innovation, and shareholder value as well.
So, if you’re keen on learning how to avoid your organization’s profitability and productivity decline – you need to make your business processes faster, more accurate and infinite.
Here you can find 10 ways AI can help your business:
- Starting with all those simple tasks
For all of you beginners, let’s start one step at the time. In case you are still not boarded on the voyage to the future and you are still not using simple task applications, this is where you begin your transformation. Depending on your organization’s size, find an application that suits you in handling simple administrative tasks in order to free up time for your employees. AI-powered personal assistants will perform administrative tasks like scheduling, rescheduling, or canceling meetings, so you can eliminate repetitive chores and let your employees use their mind more effectively and creatively. Also, with AI help, you can write better emails, make killer presentations, or track time… Also, nearly everything in the office, from scanners to windows, can be upgraded to a smarter and automated option. Data and document storage is a star shining brightly among all these automation replacements.
- Handling marketing and advertising
For this department, the AI is a crucial and powerful ally because of its capacity to analyze data in order to come up with accurate buyer personas. Simply put, this technology will help your product get more than one step closer to someone who needs it and will actually buy it.
In the future, AI will be in charge for matching buyer interests to the product – up to the last detail, so you can stop wasting your time (and money) and start targeting potential clients only.
One of AI’s potential in this field is definitely the Facebook ad network. Here the artificial intelligence is decreasing the amount of time used for analyzing data and A/B testing among other issues.
Other AI possibility aspects are creating more efficient, we can even say “laser-targeted” marketing campaigns. Many AI-powered analytics tools are using massive amounts of data to derive valuable and scarily accurate insights into customers’ behavior. Having the knowledge of existing patterns and trends, personalized messages across different user segments are sent and, what is more important, received without ending its life cycle as spam.
For example, one shiny example of personalization done right is most definitely Netflix. Its recommendation engine is set to deliver highly personalized content, thanks to the ML-backed algorithms.
- Choosing and keeping the right people
We are living in a very competitive world where acquiring new talents and managing the existing ones in the office is never an easy job. The AI is making this process simple and better, with less money spent on training for new and current employees.
AI has made recruiting candidates more efficient for both small businessmen and HR departments at established organizations through the use of the artificial intelligence software with a huge amount of employee and candidate quality data and advanced algorithms (something that differentiates it from the ordinary ones). Numerous programs of this kind are saving a time spent on screening and researching prospective candidates or assembling the perfect team within your company. The best part is that it can be done in a matter of seconds!
This mechanism is increasing productivity for recruiters while delivering a more comfortable experience for the candidate. Another use of AI in an HR department implies piloting Virtual Reality (VR) to train employees. MasterCard is using it to help employees improve their soft skills as well as train them on what to do in a crisis situation, such as an active shooter in the workplace or a building fire.
- Better customer care
A predictive feature of the AI can be used by organizations to better understand all the changing needs of their clients. With those insight, it’s possible to make every necessary adjustment in advance. You can now collect and store clients’ info, which the AI database analyze further in order to forecast customer behavior. This leads to tailored service, in line with client preferences.
Chatbox is one AI tool used to answer customer queries 24 hours a day seven days a week. They are made in a way to understand customers’ queries and provide accurate answers — much faster than a human would do. This makes the whole process of communication more streamlined and efficient, giving the customer undivided attention regardless of the point they are in their buying journey.
Gartner made a prediction in 2011 that more than 85% of customer service interactions will not involve humans by 2020! We are almost there and their prediction is not far from the truth.
- AI helps minimize errors
Errare humanum est!
People make mistakes. It’s well known how damaging errors can be and in what way they can ruin an organization’s finances and reputation. Being human, we are sometimes easily distracted by physical and emotional situations, causing irreparable damage at times.
Using AI for work creates an enabling environment for quality management, executing tasks by strictly following specified guidelines and jumping over inaccuracies caused by human errors in the interactions between people and complex systems.
However, this is not the case of machines being fully superior to people. In fact, there is no intelligence in AI, there is only knowledge – data and rules – and there is recognition – so, we are talking here about the augmented intelligence of the human!
“The machine invents nothing, what it can produce comes from the data that we have entered into it, and from that data only”, said Luc Julia, co-inventor of Siri.
So, how is AI helping us make fewer mistakes? AI synchronizes the process chain, preventing blocks often experienced in manual processes.
- Enhance your security
The online threats keep changing rapidly within a business sector and we simply can’t stay ahead of things. So-called cyber-attacks are getting more massive by the day, while security breaches have resulted in the loss of crucial data. AI proved itself to be a dependable weapon for these issues.
The application of generative adversarial networks and deep learning can be harnessed to detect malware and find the needed solutions on time.
Fraudulent transactions are another form of security concerns that can seriously damage your business. Luckily for us, frauds and crimes usually can be detected through pattern recognition. This is where the machine learning tools jump in to save the day – cyber threats dependent on recognizing pattern anomalies and AI-based applications can help with that, detect false alarms.
In combination with cloud technology, AI also increases general company security – by spotting online threats or any other within the servers. This technology is set to immediately warn security personnel before the breach even happens, or while it is happening.
- Easing inventory and supply chain management
Inventory management has been made far simpler with the help of the AI. Automating refilling and re-checking requests and optimizing the supply chain can be put in charge to AI tools (most of all predictive analytics and remote sensors used by distributors) that can detect, note and even predict any movements in these arias.
By optimizing every stage of inventory management and supply chains – sales have the potential to rise, just like did in the case of Walmart. This retail giant consults the weather to choose what food is selling better! Predictions powered an 18 percent increase in sales by making following selling goods adjustments: more steaks in stock when it’s warm, dry, cloudy or windy, burgers when it’s hot and less windy, salads when the temperatures are high and berries when it’s sunny.
Online fashion retails use image recognition apps on smartphones to check precisely which item arrived in a shipment (things checked this way are the shade of a color or garment’s length, for example).
All this information allows companies or manufacturers to decide on their shipping, replenishment order and revenue.
- Increasing profitability
AI is becoming a commercial reality. Its multiple technologies can be combined in different ways to allow smart machines to extend human capabilities by sensing, comprehending, acting and learning—allowing people to achieve much more.
Three crucial elements in this fresh phenomena are a massive increase in data, soaring computational power at decreasing costs and breakthroughs in technology.
It is reversing the trend of falling profit growth in three ways: by optimizing processes with intelligent automation systems, by augmenting human labor and physical capital, and by propelling new innovations.
However, this doesn’t come cheap. It takes a lot of investments, innovations and human capital development to get to the goal of increasing productivity and profits.
AI is definitely changing the nature of business and it is doing so by creating new relationships between people and machines. The results are intelligent automation (enhancing the production chain with improvements to supply chain management or streamlining the sales process), labor and capital augmentation (workers can delegate low value-added tasks to AI and be more productive in their main tasks), and innovation diffusion (by accelerating the development of new products).
- Enabling perception
When looking at an image, human eyes need just a few milliseconds to understand what is going on and process that information in the mind. Machines can do the same but, as you guess, much, much faster. And of key advantages is that they don’t get tired like our eyes.
This kind of AI ability helped develop numerous useful applications: such as reading radiology scans or automatically inspecting equipment in factories to automatically detecting buildings in satellite imagery.
Amazon’s Recognition technology adds image and video analysis to applications. Users can upload files into the Recognition application programming interface, and the service examines the content’s attributes, just to provide accurate analysis to the user.
Computer vision is one of the newest areas of applied AI, but it already “threatens” to meaningfully augment human capabilities. In time, it will be able to process a much larger amount of image and sound data with a higher level of accuracy.
- AI refines predictions about the future
Predicting the future has long been the holy grail of data science and artificial intelligence. So far, AI relays on finding patterns in data, in order to improve performance relative to previous techniques. Accurately predicting the future still remains the main challenge. However, at least today we have some opportunities for refinement.
AI and what lays ahead
Never lose sight of the fact that all AI systems are designed by humans and are only as good as the data fed into them.
This is just to remind you not to fall into the trap of thinking that machines will take over. Don’t let this skepticism (or fear maybe) stop you from creating an open AI culture to cultivate trust, openness, and transparency that supports the relationship between us, humans and machines. That is if you want to stay on the market tomorrow.