Before examining how AI technologies are impacting the business world, it’s important to define the term. “Artificial intelligence” is a broad term that refers to any type of computer software that engages in humanlike activities – including learning, planning, and problem-solving. Calling specific applications “artificial intelligence” is like calling a car a “vehicle” – it’s technically correct, but it doesn’t cover any of the specifics. To understand what type of AI is predominant in business, we have to dig deeper.
Here are a few of the areas that will see an immediate impact of AI:
1. Faster and more efficient talent recruitment – many businesses are already using AI to automate time-consuming, repetitive tasks, like creating invoices or sending out email sequences. With AI – specifically machine learning – those automation can become even more efficient thanks to the ability of machine learning algorithms to rapidly analyze a large amount of data, identify patterns, and predict outcomes.
Now, machine learning automation is assisting departments of Human Resources by automating the processes of screening resumes, contacting applicants, and scheduling interviews. The data machine learning draws upon is also saving time by screening applicants for positions that match their experience, knowledge, and needed skills for the job to which they are applying.
2. Informed decision-making – as AI becomes better at accurately analyzing and understanding large amounts of data, businesses have the chance to create more targeted and personalized campaigns that have a better chance of turning a profit. How might this work? As AI apps glean patterns and other insights from text, numbers, still images, and video, businesses can more accurately allocate the necessary budgets and resources to the areas that will benefit from it most.
Additionally, using AI implementations also offer the potential for automated decision-making; however, in these cases, it is crucial that companies offer transparency to customers and double-check judgments to make sure they are better than those choices that would have been made by staff members.
3. Simplified customer support – many companies have already implemented chatbots into the customer service they provide and it’s easy to see why. Chatbots can answer customer questions quickly, are available around the clock, and can escalate conversations to human jobs held by customer representatives when necessary. And customers are becoming much more comfortable with interacting with chatbots, with more than 40 percent of people preferring live chat over other contact methods because it allows them to avoid being placed on hold.
Further, more customers feel most satisfied during their buyer’s journey when using a live chat feature. Now, thanks to new features like sentiment analysis, AI can assist customer support by classifying tickets as “frustrated,” “neutral,” “excited,” and more.
4. Streamlining the supply chain – through the automation of manual processes, the supply chain is ripe for improvements made by AI systems that enable enhanced agility and accuracy. Some applications of AI across the supply chain include inventory-taking drones, driverless warehouse carts, and improved data analytics and anomaly-detection software. The future of the supply chain will certainly count on the adoption of natural language processing (NLP), robotic process automation (RPA), and deep learning algorithms.
5. Improved security – most cybersecurity breaches occur because of errors that are made due to the limitations of human capabilities. Therefore, it makes sense that AI can be used to make our computers and networks safer by filtering out malware, spam, and phishing emails before they even reach the human recipient.
Aside from providing a solid defense against hackers, AI also has the potential to impact privacy protection and crime prevention. For instance, in the world of law enforcement, AI lends itself to “predictive policing” by using concepts like game theory to predict when terrorists or other threats may attack a target.
6. Customer relations – as mentioned above, AI-backed software solutions that have sentiment analysis technology allow machines to accurately understand a customer’s tone of voice. As a result, businesses can answer concerns, complaints, and queries much more accurately, which also lends itself to customer retention by providing a pleasant customer experience. Many businesses are already using AI to support their customer experience strategies and build stronger engagement and consumer trust.
Some examples include using automated live chat software to give better, more dynamic answers more quickly; it’ll help you cut down on the man-hours needed to research solutions. It’ll also yield predictive insights, putting you in a position whereby you can automatically recommend similar items or services a customer may be interested in.
7. Reduced operational costs – one of the best side effects of implementing AI into your business is all the time it saves your staff, who can now focus on other tasks and take more time to fix mistakes. While investing in AI certainly has upfront costs, the long-term benefits of AI result in cost savings for companies. And as time continues, AI is projected to become more accessible and affordable for smaller companies.
Whether rosy or rocky, the future is coming quickly, and artificial intelligence will certainly be a part of it. As this technology develops, the world will see new startups, numerous business applications and consumer uses, the displacement of certain jobs and the creation of entirely new ones. Along with the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence has the potential to dramatically remake the economy, but its exact impact remains to be seen.