You’ve no doubt read articles or heard stories about how artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing sweeping change to a wide variety of industries. But 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. Here’s a primer on how you can apply AI for business.
AI generally refers to using computers to perform complex tasks usually thought to require human intelligence. A few examples include image perception, voice recognition, decision making and problem solving. Three primary types of technologies fall under the AI umbrella:
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.
This 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.
Using rules and structured inputs, RPA automates time-consuming repetitive manual tasks that don’t 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.
A couple of the most common on-ramps into AI for businesses are chat-bots and data sensors. Chat-bots are those AI-based instant messaging or voice-based systems that allow users to ask relatively simple questions and get instant answers.
Today’s customers expect to find information quickly and chat-bots can provide this speed. 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 generally don’t have anything to do with customers, but they 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 improve decisions about the maintenance and replacement of systems, lowering energy and repair costs.
Precisely how applying artificial intelligence investment management to your business might help run it more efficiently and profitably depends. To determine AI’s positive effect to your business you must look at the size of your company and the nature of its work. You don’t want to throw dollars at an AI solution just to keep up with the competition. Then again, this technology may offer enticing ways to sharpen your competitive edge. Our CPA firm can help you perform a cost-benefit analysis of any technological upgrade you’re considering.