Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a wide-ranging branch of computer science focused on building smart machines capable of identifying patterns, characteristics, and relationships within data and use this information to generate a prediction – or form a judgement – and then automatically perform a task. The rapid rise in the popularity of developing and adopting artificial intelligence solutions can be attributed to several factors, particularly data inundation, the need to make faster and better data-driven decisions, and the importance of automation in order to enable businesses to scale. AI is considered one of the central pillars to digital transformation and is becoming increasingly integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives, from mobile phones to banking and even how we are marketed to as an audience.
Articles on artificial intelligence are often heavy on hype and technology jargon. In this article, we keep things simple and focus on 10 of the remarkable and defining benefits for how AI can help both people and businesses.
Smart Decision Making
Humans and AI are both processors, however, our processing skills have different strengths and capabilities. One area humans struggle with is managing vast and complex data sets, particularly when that data is quickly changing or expanding. This is the scenario most businesses face as their digitised processes create data that humans are unable to process. To fully leverage the value contained in this data, companies are turning to AI as it excels at detecting patterns and trends in vast data sets and performing highly repetitive tasks. This makes AI exceptionally useful for tasks such as forecasting, organising data into classes, identifying new relationships and anomalies within data. For example, retail stores can use AI to discover clothing trends through units sold or website traffic, allowing them to gather an understanding on what's best to advertise/sell.
Managing Repetitive Tasks
The management of humans performing fewer recurring tasks is another great benefit that AI offers. A great example of such a task includes scheduling meetings, which requires individual invitations and finding open slots on everyone's calendar. Collectively this may involve hours or days of a workforce over time. Tools like X.ai give employees an AI-powered personal assistant that perform tasks like scheduling, rescheduling, and cancelling meetings. The management of repetitive tasks using AI can execute roles within several departments such as HR, marketing, and IT without the need for manual effort, freeing up time and increasing efficiency.
Making Sense of Unstructured Data
There is an increase in complex data being generated through the internet. In order to make sense of this data, companies are now leveraging Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). With technology and ML combined, we begin to teach computers how to understand us. Using NLP techniques is becoming even more important to drive business decisions. The computer must decide what information is most valuable when looking at a pile of data. Understanding our choices, tone, and type of wording to use helps machines learn what we need. NLP can understand very quickly and provide clarity on what is inside each document, making these processes a lot more efficient for businesses. Institutional investment managers are transforming their operations by applying ML and intelligent process automations that process unstructured data and enable real-time insights without needing to wait for manual data search and entry.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Customer satisfaction is essential to business success and long-term growth, which is why many companies focus on how AI can improve customer experience. AI-powered solutions ensure quicker response times to queries and grievances through 24/7 services. Customers will be acknowledged in a timely manner by virtual assistants and chatbots, and they will be able to obtain basic information and be redirected to appropriate personnel. Many companies nowadays such as Amazon are using recommendation systems, enticing users with relevant suggestions based on the choices they make. This is a type of information filtering system, by drawing from data sets, algorithms can pinpoint accurate user preferences. The business benefits include an increase in sales thanks to personalised offers and more time spent by users on the platform.
Investing in personalisation is great for brands. According to research from McKinsey, brands that excel at personalisation deliver five to eight times the marketing ROI and boost their sales by more than 10% over companies that don’t personalise. Personalisation can be time-consuming and overwhelming, but it’s made a lot simpler through AI. Looking into a marketing perspective, UK-based fashion company Thread uses AI algorithms to discover patterns to tailor fashion recommendations to their customers. Under Armour is using AI on their Record app when collecting health information based on diet, activity, and sleep to make specific individual-based recommendations. The use of AI helps customers of Under Armour to receive personalised health recommendations they need.
Improvement in Monitoring
Monitoring is important in assessing the performance of institutions, projects and programmes set up by businesses and the government. It aims to improve current and future management of outputs, outcomes and impact. Climate change has always been a problem, but efforts this year suggest that AI is being used in saturated smart cities to tackle this global issue at hand. Monitoring is improving the quality of life in smart cities such as San Francisco, Singapore and Dubai. IoT sensors can collect key data on air quality and energy use that AI can interpret and act upon. Many countries are already utilising AI so that it can be deployed for city services while monitoring streets, roads, and highways. Advantages of an AI-based monitoring system for smart cities consist of an improved traffic flow, air quality and public safety initiatives. AI also represents a valuable tool in the healthcare industry, providing solutions to predict illnesses by collecting new data and identify patients at high risk using data-driven ML algorithms. This ensures better preparation for any future breakouts of illnesses/viruses if ML is continuously active and collecting new and valuable insights.
Increased Business Productivity
The adoption of AI can ensure a more interactive and energetic workforce and improving employee productivity, but how? With routine jobs such as bookkeepers and assembly line workers slowly being replaced by robotics, this can be seen as an opportunity for workers to focus on using their creativity and discover new areas of work. AI can create jobs, upskilling and shifting responsibilities to manage and analyse generated data. AI also improves employee engagement; with the emergence of tools such as NLP, ML, and biometrics, employers can gather a better understanding of their employees. When employees are engaged, they are more likely to invest in the work they do, leading to a higher quality of work produced.
Business Resilience and Continuity
Risk management heavily relies on the management of data, and companies are often left having to make critical decisions to ensure business continuity. Companies are continuously adopting AI applications such as predictive analytics when forecasting to ensure effective decision making whilst preparing for any future emergencies. AI is significant in predicting natural disasters, such as earthquakes, which always possesses a threat in countries such as Japan and China. AI tools are now developed enough to provide accurate analysis and prediction based on data. With the help of seismic data, it can provide a precise location of a potential earthquake. A warning is all a company may need within the area to ensure all employees are safe, and inventory is secured prior to an event.
Available 24x7 / Round-the-clock Availability
Humans need sleep, fresh air, and enjoyment outside of their workspace. AI on the other hand is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is particularly advantageous to helpline centres and educational institutes that are consistently receiving queries and issues which can be handled in an effective manner through AI. Chatbots acting as customer service agents can handle several conversations at once without the need of an actual human employee. Not only does this increased availability greatly benefit users, but it does so without compromising on the human needs of employees. For small and large businesses alike, chatbots are a breakthrough in terms of availability, engagement, and alleviation.
Minimising Human Errors
Humans can leverage AI applications and form a partnership to ensure better decision making. The workplace is home to several stressors, including career, social and financial. When inevitable mistakes are made, cybercriminals can often exploit human weaknesses through manipulation. Phishing techniques have evolved to more complex practices resulting in many companies adopting AI to work with employees and teach them. AI-driven tools and systems are unimpeded by emotion/manipulation; machine learning algorithms are most used to analyse legitimate and malicious emails that a human may not recognise. Other AI-based technologies such as Unsupervised Learning possess the ability to spot anomalies in emails through patterns and trends, eliminating cybersecurity threats. AI can teach humans as much as humans can teach AI to do things.
Countless businesses are now investing in AI. Jumping in on the AI revolution is key for business continuity, especially at this current moment of time where we see an abundance of AI benefits. If AI is something you are considering, at Brainpool we help our clients adopt AI to their business operations. We explore how AI can improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability through our network of data science experts. Drop us a message if you’re interested in applying AI into your services today.