Why more entrepreneurs are investing in understanding AI

Whether you’re wary of the disruption that Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings or you’re embracing it, there’s no avoiding the impact it’s expected to have on businesses in the coming years.

Not only has AI been proven to speed-up processes and streamline operations, but it also has great potential for customer experience, product development, sales, and business intelligence – improving the bottom line for companies both big and small.

In fact, PwC estimates that by 2030, artificial intelligence alone could add a total of $15.7-trillion to global GDP.

Below are just some of the ways AI could influence how we do business, now and in the future:

Finding the best job candidates

AI is making finding great talent easier and more efficient for HR departments and small business owners alike.

Screening and filtering through candidates can be a long and tedious task. But with dedicated software such as Avrio AI, something that usually takes people hours could take a matter of seconds. While this doesn’t negate the need for face-to-face interviews, it could be instrumental in saving time in the initial hiring stages.

Predicting consumer behaviour

One of the most exciting applications that AI brings to retail is its ability to anticipate how customers will behave.

Using the power of AI, companies like Xineoh are developing intuitive behaviour-predicting platforms that are likely to be increasingly widely used in years to come.

Predictive analytics harnesses a combination of machine learning and statistical modelling to predict future likelihoods based on past data. This helps retailers improve their conversion rate, set prices based on consumer expectations, and forecast demand to ensure they have the right amount of stock for each product.

A bespoke customer experience

From chatbots to customised advertising campaigns, we are still only scratching the surface of AI’s potential in marketing and sales.

More and more, companies are investing in software such as Bloomreach to help them encourage brand loyalty and improve UX online. This software is making the customer experience more personalised through AI. For example, one of the longer standing benefits of AI is its use in mailers.

With predictive analytics, marketers can easily segment their emails, making sure customers get only the offers and news that is most relevant to them.

On top of email, digitally-savvy marketers are also already using this type of tech to make their websites, videos, social media, and other content more tailored to the individual.

Intelligent cybersecurity

As cyberattacks become more prevalent, companies across the globe are investing more in cybersecurity infrastructure to help protect their data.

With machine learning algorithms, security experts can teach AI to assist in monitoring behaviour, detecting anomalies, responding to threats, and issuing alerts; tasks previously done solely, and arguably less effectively, by humans.

While the technology is still considered to be in its infancy in cybersecurity, and can’t always effectively address all issues, its sophistication is anticipated to grow as it becomes a vital part of the security toolkit.

Keeping ahead of the curve

These applications are just a glimpse of the disruption that AI is poised to deliver in the not too distant future. To capitalise on the value it could bring, business leaders first need the insight to appreciate its implications and the knowledge to apply it in their strategy.

While some are still hesitant about what AI means for the future, others are choosing to embrace it by growing their knowledge and taking part in courses such as the MIT School of Management Artificial Intelligence online programme, offered in collaboration with GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc.

The course’s faculty director and founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, Thomas Malone, says, “One misconception about AI that I think is very common is that the robots are going to take away all our jobs.

“We certainly believe that artificial intelligence will replace some of the things people do today, but the course will also talk about how artificial intelligence will make it possible for people and computers together to do things that were never done before, and in many cases there will be at least as many jobs created as are eliminated.”

As with any new technology, there will always be a period of adjustment as those making the decisions evaluate its prospects. And while it’s easy to get left behind in the disruption, an increasing number of proactive entrepreneurs and business leaders seem to be looking to the future by exploring the possibilities AI could hold.

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