No, the machines and AI haven’t taken over the world yet. There’s no robot rebellion, however, AI is here and has already stepped into our lives. From voice assistants to behavior algorithms and self-driving cars, the revolution has arrived and now, there’s no turning back.
As humans, we’ve always been fixated on making improvements, whether it’s in our own lives or work. Technology is one of the vehicles that drive our mutual need to improve, and AI and Machine learning technologies appear to be skyrocketing our growth, compared to the analog technology that was available only a decade-and-a-half ago.
In an era when companies like Amazon, Tesla, and Apple roll out their groundbreaking machine learning innovations, many businesses are not even aware of how artificial intelligence can be used to transform our current and future lives. How much of an effect does this technology have and what does that mean for the business world?
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
More than three decades ago, the PC revolution happened and brought computers and their capabilities to people’s homes and offices. 20 years ago, we witnessed the dot-com revolution, which helped people have access to information faster than ever before. 10 years ago the rise of smartphones and cloud computing put the Internet into people’s palms.
Today, and the years that will follow, we’ll enter a new era, the era of Artificial Intelligence. Techopedia defines Artificial Intelligence as:
“An area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.”
It is a machine/computer that is able to solve problems without help from human beings. The core abilities that AI can be programmed for are:
- Ability to manipulate and move objects
If you give enough information to the AI machine, it can act and react as humans do in any given situation. To run an entire system with AI, the technology needs to have access to objects, categories, and properties to implement the knowledge on the program.
What Drives the Emergence of AI?
According to Forbes, 2017 was a year of the meteoric rise of AI and Machine Learning (ML). Machine learning, in particular, plays a big role in the digital transformation of businesses due to the reduced data storage costs, as well as improved CPUs, and cloud computing that reduce the costs of computing power.
AI is making huge waves in the business world, with several factors that drive its progress:
- Capital: In 2018 alone, so far, the top 100 AI startups have raised $11.7 billion in capital. It’s understandable that everyone that develops AI technology will want a piece of the cake.
- Algorithms: Deep learning and pattern recognition are one of the driving forces that contribute to the adoption of AI.
- Hardware: Alphabet’s recently tensor processing unit (TPU), Qualcomm’s new neural processing unit (NPU), Nvidia’s deep learning chip, you name it. Chips that are develop got even better at enabling faster and more effective AI.
- Data: Machines learn from the large pools of data. The more data for AI machines and software, the better they become in analysis and making decisions.
- Apps: When Siri first arrived, it had its problems. Now, along with Microsoft Cortana and Amazon’s Echo integrate with our apps and make our lives easier in the process.
Building the Products of Tomorrow
By harnessing the potential of AI, businesses can build more innovative automation and assistance processes in product development and production procedures.
As a matter of fact, several industries and products have already changed the way we live in the past decade. Smartphones and programming trends created products such as Instagram and Uber. As we keep our eyes towards the future, it’s more than clear that something exciting lies ahead in AI and the entire unified device/AI user experience.
There are numerous factors that make future AI-focused products possible:
- Engineers today are capable of making better models of machine learning, so every year, machine learning algorithms become than before.
- Mobile technology and Internet of Things (IoT) multiply the existing data that is used to train AI and algorithms.
- CPUs are more powerful than a decade ago.
One of the leading and most innovative car manufacturers in the world, BMW, uses flexible assistant systems and robots in their factory in Leipzig which work on the production line together with humans. They also utilize AI for the driverless cars of the future. The brand wants to achieve the full Level 5 Vehicle Autonomy by 2021, with cars capable of driving on the road without any human assistance.
Intelligent Production Management
When the industrialization era began, production facilities and factories used machines which could only perform one task at a time. Since then, the industry has seen lots of breakthroughs, including the usage of AI to make production decisions in real-time.
Artificial Intelligence can analyze the IoT data from the interconnected equipment in order to predict the anticipated load through a specific type of deep learning network. Data is turned into insight, and insight is turned into an outcome.
P&G is a company that runs more than 100 factories worldwide. They’ve successfully integrated AI and additional smart technologies into their manufacturing process. P&G’s Vice President Jim Fortner says:
“There’s nothing for us that could be more strategic to the company than to really drive better efficiencies and a better end-to-end operation in our supply chain”
Maximizing the production and the supply chain efficiently can be beneficial for every manufacturer, in every industry. As a matter of fact, the market for smart manufacturing tools is expected to reach $250 billion by the end of $299 billion by 2023.
Redefining the Trading Process
Today, financial service providers have access to many rich data sources. The data-centric hedge funds rely heavily on AI to develop more advanced trading models. The systems started to think like the marketplace and discover new trends on the go.
Because AI, in essence, replaces humans and their decision making and effectively decreases the human errors, as well as emotional reactions that can be devastating in the trading process. For example, Hong Kong’s Aidiya identifies and executes trends, by using multiple forms of AI.
With each new AI innovation, after analyzing market prices, macroeconomic and microeconomic data, AI engines make their own forecasts and are able to choose the best approach in a given situation.
Improving Customer Experience
We live in a world where every kind of information is available at our fingertips. This is why the expectations of customers today are higher. According to a research from PointSource, one of the greatest impacts that AI has is in the customer experience area, more specifically, in eCommerce, with 49% of consumers saying that they would buy online, and 38% that they would share the experience with their friends. 83% of the consumers that participated in the study said they’ll shop from a retailer that uses chatbots or other AI program.
Some of the ways that companies use Artificial Intelligence to improve the customer experience are:
- Chatbots: You can program chatbots to address every problem that your customers have and provide solutions. Smart chatbots can provide quick customer support. And because of the lack of emotions, their errors in judgment are reduced.
- 24/7/365: AI is much more efficient, and a lot cheaper than humans. This technology doesn’t take off days, doesn’t sleep, and doesn’t get sick. It’s there every hour of the day to respond to customers’ questions and problems.
- Virtual Assistance: Using AI to answer simple questions also falls under the VA category. For example, Spring, an online shopping platform is one of the first eCommerce companies that use Facebook AI Chatbot to answer questions and guide the users to their wanted product.
It’s time to acknowledge Artificial Intelligence as an investment in the customer journey and experience. With creative programming and application, AI will enhance engagement and improve the overall experience of your customers.
Transforming Business Models
As our devices are getting connected, businesses now have the chance to collect more data. This allows companies to figure out innovative ways of doing business. As a result, there’s a faster marketplace, leaner operations, and business becomes more proactive in the market.
Salesforce, Google, and Netflix all use AI to some extent. With the right mix of data and planning, artificial intelligence can manage workflows much more efficiently than humans do, and help people work better and faster. This will result in a better return on investment (ROI).
AI is not only changing how the industries work. It also has the power to impact safety procedures and other vital aspects of a company’s organizational activities. Businesses need to get on the bandwagon and build on the AI momentum to approach more groundbreaking structures and business models.
An Efficient Hiring Process
Each workforce has its own motivations, values, and style of work. Employees want to feel desired and they want to be motivated, so they look for companies that will provide them with all the tools that will make them more productive and responsive at the workplace. But how can AI play a role in the HR process?
Recruiting is one of the toughest tasks in business. Finding the right employees is vital for the company’s success, and hiring the wrong ones can cost a fortune. Some of the recent AI solutions such as X.ai can help recruiters to schedule interviews, and ClearFit can save time in finding and selecting the right candidate.
As a matter of fact, using AI to improve the hiring process is even better because humans can make errors and bad judgments when it comes to hiring an employee. AI is still on its way to tackle the empathy, personality, and other human traits that make an employee cultural fit, but one thing is for sure – it makes the hiring process much more efficient.
As the era of smart technology and AI develops around us, the possibilities for businesses are here to take their work to the next level. With the right technology and planning process, companies can deploy artificial intelligence to develop an intelligent infrastructure, improve security processes, enhance the customer’s experience, and completely transform the business model that they’re based on.
Businesses can work with AI and the work process can become more fluid and more adaptive to market changes. In conclusion, instead of taking over the entire world, AI is here to reshape industries and enhance our skills and capabilities.