ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN BUSINESSES
Our intelligence is what makes us human, and AI is an extension of that quality.”
These words by Yann LeCun Professor, New York University, correctly describe the inevitable link between AI and humans.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term which was coined by John McCarthy in 1956, but it took a lot more time for the term to become as widespread as it is in today’s times. We may all have heard about the various applications of AI like chatbots, self driving cars or robots that mimic human behavior. Not only we heard about them, we are surrounded by AI enabled devices in our daily life, be it smartphones, facial recognition systems or even voice-assistants like Alexa or Siri. But, to begin with what really is Artificial Intelligence?
In simple words, Artificial intelligence is a modern-day high-tech technology that makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. It enables systems or devices to be enriched with intellectual abilities of humans such as ability to reason, learn, analyse or interpret. AI enabled devices continuously learn from human behavior and they keep on improving their output over time.
Not just in personal life, application of AI has huge benefits in store for businesses as well.
As per a research from Tractice, there is going to be an rise from 9.5 billion U.S dollar in 2018 to 118.6 billion U.S dollars in 2025 in the revenues coming from AI.
Let us look at some of the potential benefits generated by AI enable device.
Benefits of AI
Improved Customer Experience – Customer is of utmost importance for any business and a good customer service experience increases the probability of customer retention. Today most of the interactions with customers occur via email, online chat, telephone calls, social media conversations, etc. All these require human intervention but with the help of AI, companies can automate these interactions and overcome those problems which might arise due to human shortcomings. A single AI enabled system can handle a large number of customers at the same time, save costs and put in place a uniform communication platform. AI can help develop accurate real time responses. Also, with the help of deep learning it can identify emergency situations and quickly escalate the issue to the concerned individual.
Personalized Marketing – Personalized Marketing is the need of the hour. Past experiences of marketers have shown that personalization has really helped improve in acquiring customers. We all have experienced the same in one way or another. Have you ever noticed that when you view a product online, later all your social network profiles are filled with the advertisements of that product? This is nothing but Personalised Marketing. ML algorithms can continuously analyse online behavior patterns and effectively track user behavior to provide personalized product offers and target the appropriate audience and deliver required results.
Predicting Outcomes- Prediction in AI can be two ways. In one case, it means predicting likelihood of a particular future event on the basis of historical data and in the other case, it involves assessing the event that already occurred to be genuine or not, like fraud detection. To perform prediction, Ai breaks up a problem, interprets it and finds the right data. Then it evaluates many machine learning algorithms to find the one which is best suited for your problem and delivers the output within minutes. It provides meaningful insight about customer, brand or assets. This way companies can protect themselves from potential threats and save on costs.
Increase Output and efficiency – AI can help automate mundane tasks enabling the workforce to focus on other activities and develop new and enhanced methods which ultimately help to increase outputs and lead towards development. AI can also predict future equipment failures and can lead to reduction in annual maintenance costs and inspection costs. Many operations of supply chain like procurement, strategic sourcing and cost management can also be done via AI. This way it helps reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Reduce Error – Humans are prone to making errors but Artificial Intelligence can reduce the extent of it. Since, it doesn’t have opinions or emotions, it makes decisions only on the basis of available data without taking into account assumptions. AI is also free from any bias or prejudices. This means that if there are any bias in our AI enabled applications, it is not because of the system but because of human error while feeding data in the AI system. This capability of preventing bias is highly beneficial in hiring processes and enables organizations to create an inclusive and diverse working culture.
Artificial Intelligence across Industries
Many industries have started implementing Artificial Intelligence across verticals. Let us look at some of the industries and how they are using AI.
Healthcare – With the complexity and rise in data in healthcare, AI will surely establish its domination in this field. Using the patient’s data and other sources such as clinical research, AI can help medical professionals build a personalized treatment path for everyone. Devices like fitness bands with sensors enable users to track their health. AI can also help in diagnosis and treatment recommendation, detecting tumors and create more precise pathology images. AI enabled devices like smart glasses for visually disabled, prosthetic body parts or hearing aids can also help people with disabilities and be a boon to the society.
Finance & Banking - Artificial Intelligence enhances the speed, accuracy and effectiveness of human efforts. In Banking & Finance industry, AI techniques can be used to detect fraudulent transactions, create a quick and accurate credit score, enable smooth customer identification and authentication, automate processes like KYC and AML and offer great cost savings. There are some programs which suggest users the right time to buy and sell shares. This helps amateur traders and save them from risks. Many a times, banks come across situations where customers are not able to pay their debts. This can lead to huge losses. AI can help prevent this situation by digging deep with customer’s transnational history and delivering a prediction about customers’ propensity to pay back.
Image Source: Fortunebusinessinsight.com
Retail - In Retail and E-commerce sector, AI provides many benefits due to its application in handling large amount of customer information, stock and inventory operations, and sales forecasting and predictions. AI in retail can be used to predict search behavior. It gives the detailed analysis of wants and needs of customers. Because of AI, a retailer knows who wants what, when and where. We all have witnessed this at one point. Many eCommerce sites also provide us with discounts or recommendations based on our past purchases. If we use artificial neural networks for the purpose of modelling of price expectations in various locations may assist retailers in the area of geo-targeted sales. With the help of virtual try rooms we are able to actually try clothes or glasses before buying them. This absolutely makes online shopping a wonderful experience.
Education – Do you regret not being able to learn a new course because of your strict schedule? Well, Artificial Intelligence has come to your rescue. It has changed the way people learn. From a traditional classroom setup, we have moved to anytime anywhere learning with the help of virtual classrooms. All of us a different pace of learning, and AI understands it. AI adapts teaching methods and materials to the needs of individuals and transforms how learners find and interact with information. This will surely improve the education outcomes and make accessibility truly transformational. Not just for students, but AI has also helped institutions by enabling the automation of administrative tasks and minimize the time required to complete difficult tasks so that the educators can spend more time with students.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY(IT) – Since IT sector is all about computers, software, applications, the role of Artificial Intelligence in this sector is of particular importance. AI definitely had a positive impact in the working of IT sector. In the current era, data security is very important and with the help of AI we can detect potential threats and data breaches and take the necessary precautions to prevent them. AI also helps developers to improve the structure of code with the help of various algorithms and provide useful suggestions. Many back-end processes like regular backups can also be automated and performed efficiently without any human intervention. Many tools can also help detect bugs and improve the code quality.
While, there is no doubt that AI has an enticing number of application areas, paving the way for a remarkable AI-led future, but at the same time, it would be stupidity to ignore the challenges associated with AI. The above graphic shows that AI is a complex web and there are few obstacles that need to be overcome for a transition to AI.
As Artificial Intelligence continues to evolve, one cannot imagine a world without it. While there’s no way to know to define the extent of advancement of AI technology, it does seem obvious that it will become an integral part of our lives. It will surely impact the way we live, the way we work, the way we interact with each other and the way we experience the world. So, its better that we embrace the challenges and counter them for a smooth AI enabled future.
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Sakshi Bansal is a budding manager with strong technical background. She aspire to combine her technical and management skills to solve modern-day business problems for continual growth. She also like to share her perspective on the current industry trends, best practices, and business perspective.