How Will AI Transform Business As We Know It?
AI is coming on leaps and bounds in our society, it’s been dominating news headlines as of late because of these advancements. But what does this mean for businesses?
Businesses are already using AI to some extent. Research by ‘Harvard Business Review’ stated that 44% of businesses were using AI for ‘detecting and deterring’ security intrusions. AI is also being used in marketing too. 19% of businesses were using AI to anticipate future customer purchases and presenting offers accordingly and there’s no doubt that this number will continue to grow as companies realise the potential of this technology. What are the big wins because of these advancements?
It could increase the efficiency in a business significantly because computers don't need breaks; they could work 24/7. AI can also translate into many languages, breaking the language barrier in the work place and helping us communicate with colleagues across the globe. It can also help improve quality of life, from advancements in healthcare (checking if people are more susceptible to diseases, giving them information that could prolong their life) to work in outer space. It also frees up more time for us, meaning they can spend it with their families or travelling the world. Some have even gone as far as to predict that in the not so distant future we will be sending AI robots to work and make money for us!
AI can also help increase productivity and ease the workload. A predominant example being a ‘virtual assistant’. This would limit the risk of human error, as well as be more efficient. In the long term, this would be a lot more cost effective. You only pay for the software (and any necessary upgrades/fixes). It wouldn't be on an hourly rate like we are. AI could also be used for generating insights into, for example, customer behaviour & website trends. Again, a computer could do this quicker than any human, and overall, save time and money.
However, there are some fears surrounding AI. Firstly, misuse. If in the wrong hands it could become problematic. Security measures should be put in place and Google are investing a lot of money into their ‘Red Button’; a huge security measure that will prevent AI from taking over. This also helps aleviate another common fear; lack of control over the machines. A lot of this is down to the medias portrayal of AI. On top of this, businesses fear that there could be a severe lack of jobs. Forbes reported that a study from Oxford University estimated nearly 50% of jobs could go obsolete in the next 20 years due to automation and deep learning advancements. However, there will always be a need for humans to create, monitor and potentially update both the physical parts of AI and the software.
Google are one of the pioneers of AI, and have created ‘Gradient Ventures’, an AI focused venture fund. Their fund focuses on “helping founders navigate the challenges in developing AI-based products, from leveraging training datasets to helping companies take advantage of the latest techniques so that great ideas can come to life.”
Do the pros outweigh the cons? Or will AI do more harm than good for business?
Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!