Artificial intelligence (AI) remains one of the most popular emerging technologies in the world today. Gartner notes that between 2018 and 2019, the number of companies deploying AI in their business operations showed an increase from 4% to 14%. The popularity of the technology isn’t merely due to how often it shows up in reports in both mainstream and non-traditional media. AI can have several far-reaching effects on business and can even change how companies approach and solve problems.
Widespread Adoption of AI on the Rise
Ever since Alan Turing came up with the idea for his famous Turing Test in the early 50s, humans have been fascinated with the concept of artificial intelligence. While today’s chatbots haven’t passed the Turing Test, they are instrumental in several business settings. Forbes has discovered that as much as 62% of consumers enjoy using chatbots to interact with a business. However, not only retail stores have been leveraging the power of artificial intelligence.
AI is such a flexible technology that it can be incorporated into any department seamlessly. Digital marketing and other tech-based industries have embraced the power of AI to help with consumer experience and the generation of insights from collected data. Other traditionally tech-phobic sectors, such as insurance, have also invested in this emerging technology in the hopes that it will help them keep pace with an ever-evolving technological world. Industries ranging from automotive manufacturers to medicine have already experienced the changes that AI can bring about.
The Business Perspective on AI
Most executives in small and medium businesses approach AI with a bit of trepidation. Technology trends can change rapidly, and investing too much money in a tech that might end up dead could spell disaster for these companies. Larger businesses can risk funds and time on the development of AI systems, and many have already seen returns on their investment. As more companies adopt Ai as a business solution, it leads to a domino effect. Businesses that have already implemented AI solutions drive those that haven’t to innovate or be left behind. A vast majority of CEOs (as much as 84% of them, according to the World Economic Forum) think that AI will change the way companies do business in the future. Despite this, most CEOs also agree that AI insights ought not to be trusted unless they can be logically explained.
With all the hype surrounding what AI can do, it is easy for companies to get caught up. AI has led to some significant transformations in the business landscape already.
1. Insight Generation through Big Data
Big Data insights help to guide businesses to new leads. However, with the sheer size of the data sets, a traditional user can’t garner any knowledge from these unconnected data points. Data scientists leverage artificial intelligence to help process these massive lakes of data to help businesses understand what their strengths and weaknesses are. Additionally, they might learn what their customers are focused on, and even how they can improve their business model to be more profitable. Harvard Business Review mentions that cognitive insight uses a specialized form of artificial intelligence known as machine learning and tends to be more data-oriented than traditional analytics approaches.
2. Increased Customer Response
AI has allowed businesses to personalize their interactions with customers. As a result, the customer develops a connection to the company. IBM reports that customer experience is going through a renaissance as more businesses realize how important keeping their customers happy is. They are turning to AI to help them do so. With the increased rate of determining insight from customer interaction, businesses can tailor experiences and use them to retain customers instead of having to convert new ones. The result is a more substantial bottom line for the business.
3. Automation Reduces Business Expenses
AI has been instrumental in several business implementations in improving the company’s efficiency through automation. The term Robotic Process Automation (RPA) refers to the use of AI to automate digital and physical business tasks. The most significant concern business has when implementing RPA is that it may impact jobs. However, a Harvard Business Review report mentions that the impact on human resources would be minor compared to the benefits to the business. RPA helps companies maintain their productivity since AI is suited to repetitive tasks. In contrast, humans tend to lose focus when given the same responsibilities.
4. Increased Data Security
Another specialization of AI can be useful to help detect situations of fraud or cyber threats to a company’s IT infrastructure. Businesses can use Deep Learning to improve their AI systems to spot anomalies, which may lead to the discovery of malicious intent by users for fraudsters. The world of cybersecurity is a constant arms-race to stay one step ahead of malicious users. Artificial intelligence gives IT teams an edge when it comes to detecting intrusions and dealing with them. It may be impossible for a typical IT team to be aware of the network at all times, but it’s much easier for an AI to keep an eye on things and take necessary precautions if it finds something suspicious. This website has more details on how analytics can help deal with these issues.
5. Better Recruitment Procedures
While AI might not be able to conduct a proper in-person interview just yet, it has been instrumental in helping HR departments narrow down prospective hires. Finding the right employee reduces turnover and helps the business get the most out of their investment in training and resources. AI can delve through resumes and select the most qualified person based on experience and education for a fit. Additionally, given enough data, AI can also determine how long the employee is likely to stay with the business. This methodology makes for a more cost-effective employee search. SHRM mentions that over 40% of American companies already use AI-powered chatbots to engage with candidates before a face-to-face meeting, showing another facet of the technology that can help businesses find the right person for their job.
The Future of AI in Business
So many technologies start with so much promise but end up being just a flash in the pan. AI doesn’t seem like it will follow this trend. Artificial intelligence offers a lot of benefits to a company willing to implement it. It’s a risk, but the rewards that it has already demonstrated make the technology a proper candidate for adoption. AI is poised to become such an essential part of businesses going into the future that failure to adopt it early could doom a company’s chances to compete.