How can AI transform business in 2018?

Artificial Intelligence has been hitting headlines a lot recently. AI is huge, game-changing technology and I can’t wait to see the further advancements we make in 2018...But how can AI really help us transform business this year?

“Rather than seeing AI as a replacement let’s see it as support”

Virtual Assistance – There has been an explosion of chatbots and virtual assistants as of late, and this is only expected to continue. Virtual assistants and chatbots are seen by some as the missing link in the customer service cycle and can save both time and money for businesses. Chat bots can be programmed with automated responses depending on what messages contained e.g if a customer messages a brand “my order has not arrived yet” the bot will send an automated response “you can track your package here…” There are several benefits to using a chatbot over a ‘human’; Time and money being the two key.

 "In the next five to 10 years, AI and specifically deep learning will enable robots to do some of the basic tedious and time-consuming tasks that we do each day," said Matt Murphy, CMO of the AI-powered real estate CRM company Chime. "For example, I can see a world where robots clean our houses, do our laundry and even walk our dogs."

Data – Data, data, data! That’s all we hear these days, right? There’s a reason for that. Data is considered by many as the ‘raw material’ of the digital world. However, it’s what we do with the tonnes of data we’re collecting that’s key. Artificial Intelligence can help mine the vast amount of data and discover the secrets that lie within. But can data really do that much for us? It certainly can. Recently, Google and NASA announced the discovery of a new planet in solar system achieved using data and machine learning.

Steampunk brain engine with cogs and gears

Systems Automation – There’s a growing trend towards the automation of routine, repetitive work, namely in factories and warehouses. A factory is churning out car parts when a sensor spots a defect. That data is fed to a computer which immediately pulls the defective part from the line and orders a replacement. That’s real-time problem solving that can save manufacturers huge amounts of money in repairs and lost business. However automation isn’t just limited to factories and warehouses. Automation can help all areas of business make improvements and become more efficient. Marketing (automated advertising campaigns to specific target customers), sales (automated CRM updates) and HR (payroll software, time in attendance etc) can all take advantage of automation and increase productivity.

"The obvious next domino to fall relates to taking a thing we do all the time that has well-defined rules — driving — and automating it...In a bit more time, 'Batmobile' cars for everyone will drop you off at your destination on a rainy day and drive themselves as far as you want in search of free parking." Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Nara Logics, Dr. Nathan Wilson

Empowering workers – I often read about how AI will ‘steal jobs’ and put people out of work. However, I see it as the opposite and believe AI can really empower employees. Smart businesses have realized that their employees, across teams, can make better decisions and scale expertise by making access to real-time data insights readily available for staff.

AI is an ever-growing, ever-changing space and I for one can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.