What Can AI do for my Business?
No doubt you have heard stories about how artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing extensive changes to a wide variety of industries. It’s one thing to learn about how this remarkable technology is changing someone else’s company and quite another to apply it to your own. Artificial intelligence may seem capable of doing just about anything, but you’ve got to research your needs carefully before investing in a solution. Here is an introduction on what AI might be able to do for your business.
Three Technology Types
AI generally refers to using computers and software to perform complex tasks usually thought to require human-like intelligence — such as image perception, voice recognition, decision making and problem-solving. Three primary types of technologies fall under AI:
- Machine learning. This involves an iterative process whereby machines improve their performance in a specific task over time with little or no programming or human intervention. It can, for example, improve your forecasting models for determining which products or services will be in high demand with customers.
- Natural language processing (NLP). This technique uses algorithms to analyze unstructured human language in documents, emails, texts, conversation or otherwise. Language translation apps are among the most common and dramatic examples of NLP. Communicating with business partners, customers and prospects in other countries — or simply people whose first languages are other than English — has become much easier as this type of software has improved.
- Robotic process automation (RPA). Using rules and structured inputs, RPA automates time-consuming repetitive manual tasks that do not require decision making. For instance, an RPA system can collect data from vendor invoices, enter it into a company’s accounting system, and generate an email confirming receipt and requesting additional information if needed. This functionality can help you better time vendor payments to optimize cash flow.
Chat Boxes, Data Sensors
Two of the most common on-ramps into AI for businesses are chatbots and data sensors. Chatbots are those AI-based instant messaging or voice-based systems that allow users to ask relatively simple questions and get instant answers. However, it’s important to implement a system that enables users to speedily connect to a human customer service rep if their questions or issues are complex or urgent.
Data sensors can be quite valuable when it comes to your offices or facilities. AI-enhanced building systems allow for real-time monitoring and adjustment of temperature, lighting and other controls. This data can drive predictive analytics that improves decisions about the maintenance and replacement of systems, lowering energy and repair costs.
Precisely how AI might help you run your business more efficiently and profitably depends on the size of your company and the nature of its work. We can help you perform a cost-benefit analysis of any technological upgrade you are considering.