How the A.I. and business worlds have merged

Artificial intelligence (AI) and business used to be two separate areas. Now, business is not the same without artificial intelligence. Though there can never be a replacement for authentic human connection, businesses are tailoring their machine learning methods to be as “human” and relevant as possible. Here are three ways in which artificial intelligence has entered businesses, as it is there to stay.

  1. Virtual Intelligence

Virtual intelligence is often the first thing that comes to mind in regards to artificial intelligence. We got a taste of what this could lead to with the most well-known example, Siri. Siri provides daily virtual intelligence to consumers that depend on its assistance to find out where the nearest coffee shop is or fast-facts.

A customer-service chat box via Internet or support via phone are also examples of how businesses are leveraging the support of artificial intelligence in everyday mandatory business activity. Take a typical support call that a business receives numerous times daily: the question of price, a topic that is thoroughly discussed on the company’s pricing page on its website. Instead of taking the valuable time of the human resources to answer this simple question, artificial intelligence can be utilized to simply direct the caller to the price page or inform him/her that the information can be found on the company’s pricing page.

The use of chatbots or automated support is, however, causing some issues for companies. Customers expect a certain quality of customer service, something that a machine is just not able to deliver. It can be frustrating to call in with a serious question and deal with a frustrating bot and not get a real person on the other end of your inquiry. On the other hand, human customer service can focus on the more serious issues while people are encouraged to find out information themselves instead of calling into support for a question that they could easily find out the answer to by utilizing the resources readily available to them.

Businesses now are simply working to find the right balance between implementing virtual intelligence but not losing the personal touch that only human-to-human interaction can provide.

  1. Social Media Analytics

Social media analytics is crucial for businesses to understand what the public is saying about them, as well as how to react. It addresses the need to sort through large sets of user-generated information and then produce high-level knowledge. Before modern systems were used for social media analytics, it was up to humans. Then as technology evolved, systems were created to manage and analyze the data in a more time-efficient manner.

Artificial intelligence now makes social media analytics more efficient and accurate. It is able to sift through user-generated information and understand the sentiment of the people, as well as their mood and whether a reaction is positive or negative. Then, it can take this understanding and create knowledge from it. In the end, it generates insights and helps businesses produce well-informed decisions. For example, AI can help with personalized product suggestions in accordance with previous responses and engagements. If a customer responds well to one product, similar products can be suggested. Instead of a general system that could organize and analyze data to produce results, artificial intelligence can learn. This means that as responses occur across social media, it can learn and improve how it ages the new information and how it responds.

  1. Automation of Manual Processes

The business world, just like the world in general, has seen a major shift in how manual processes are addressed and performed. What once required hands-on work saw a shift to assisted-work by the use of machinery, even at home! For example, cooking or cleaning was made easier by the use of home appliances, and systems were implemented to make everyday tasks easier. Businesses benefited from machines that could, for example, package products quicker than human hands could. Another example is of automation is 3d printing technologies. Earlier all manufacturing thing was being done through either manually or traditional machines. Now you can give instructions to a 3d printer from the computer and it will do all the task by itself. It not only makes the job easier but also makes the whole process a lot faster. In the recent remarkable achievement, a 3d printer in China was able to build an entire house within only 10 days. That’s freaking jaw-dropping!!

Now, because of artificial intelligence, there is an extreme shift in how businesses can complete manual processes, both more efficiently and effectively. For example, at a law firm that would seemingly need all hands on deck can use artificial intelligence to complete legal discovery, instead of junior lawyers.

What next?

These are three of the many ways that AI is currently present in businesses, but a question we must ask is what the future will bring next? We already have AI existing in our cars, homes, and pockets… but what will the next developments be for businesses? The structure of employment for businesses is expected to change such actual human resources will maximize their potential, as machine learning picks up the rest. This will affect both the workplace culture as well as the job market in general. The possibilities, however, seem to be endless when it comes to the combination of artificial intelligence and business. After all, the idea of a self-driving car thirty years seemed completely out of this world, and now it is a reality.

Analyst firm Garner predictions fall into three groups: ‘Machines are taking a more active role in enhancing human endeavors’; ‘Digitalized things are making assisted economic decisions’; and ‘Renovating the customer experience is a digital priority.’ By 2018 specifically, Gartner predicted, “digital businesses will require 50% fewer business process workers and 500% more key digital business jobs, compared with traditional models.”

Whatever it may be that artificial intelligence leads to, it is necessary that the future of it relays into more “human” machine learning. We are sure to see some interesting shifts, but the need for human connection amongst businesses and their customers will remain intact.

Robin Khokhar

I do web development and SEO. But when I get time, I do write and share tips and tricks about marketing and technology.

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