The future is here, and the evidence is everywhere. Have you ever snapped a selfie in portrait mode? Ordered an Uber? Used autocorrect? Congratulations, you’ve used artificial intelligence (AI).
Once the stuff of science fiction, AI is already an essential part of our daily lives. This reality is only going to expand and accelerate in the future.
Business owners in particular need to pay attention because AI is already transforming business in groundbreaking ways.
Let’s look at four of the reasons why AI is the new business frontier and what this means for the world of business.
1. AI has applications in every industry
This universality is by design. AI was created to achieve several goals, namely to speed up decision making, minimize the impact of human fallibility, and to free up time for humans so that they can devote themselves to other things.
There isn’t an industry that wouldn’t benefit from this kind of streamlining and error-proofing.
Here are just a few of the ways that AI is already being applied in vastly different industries:
- Manufacturing: AI and machine learning are used in equipment monitoring technologies that track equipment health and optimize asset utilization.
- Healthcare: AI is being used to detect and diagnose illnesses such as cancer, assist and guide surgical procedures, and even automate administrative work.
- Education: AI provides support to teachers by generating customized assignments and exams and also by offering quick feedback and personalized recommendations to students.
2. AI saves vast amounts of time
Let’s drill down into the time-saving aspect of AI. AI collects and combs through data, providing insights that can then drive sound decision-making. In the past, these processes used to be painstaking and time-consuming (or they weren’t performed at all). Now, they can be done in a fraction of the time.
Consider the impact these time savings can have on a business’s bottom line.
Clinics no longer have administrative employees spending hours of their workday calling patients to remind them of appointments—automated text messages and phone calls do that.
Companies no longer have to fill offices with customer-service support staff who respond to customer inquiries—automated emails and chatbots do that.
In addition, AI isn’t beholden to a schedule the way people are. It can work around the clock with no breaks or off time. AI does this heavy lifting so that businesses can make better use of their staff, freeing them of tedious tasks, and offering them more flexible schedules. These are the kinds of perks that allow
a company to attract and retain top talent.
3. AI is more reliable and efficient than humans
No matter how much time, training, skill-building, and professional development a business pours into its employees, they will never be able to guarantee 100% perfect performance. Humans are not machines, and it is simply in our nature to make mistakes. We forget things, we enter data incorrectly, and we might say the wrong thing to a client. Most mistakes are harmless, but some can be catastrophic.
AI, however, functions as a machine, and its nature is to be consistent, considered, transparent, and ever-evolving. It completes tasks systematically and keeps current with changing times. It’s much faster to perform an update to an AI tool than it is to retrain an entire staff.
4. AI provides greater security and peace of mind
So far, we’ve covered how AI affects the business side of a company, from staffing to workflow. Let’s turn our attention to how AI impacts the customer or client experience.
Since so much of the business and commerce world has moved online, security has become one of the
major concerns for both businesses and their target audience. AI allows businesses to reassure their existing and prospective customers that their information is safe and protected.
This concern about security works both ways, since organizations need to guard against fraudulent users and protect the ecosystem of their business. In short, they need ways to confirm that their customers are who they say they are. AI is instrumental in developing fraud detection and improved customer security.
The future of business is already taking shape, and AI is at the center of it. AI and machine learning have the potential to make operations in virtually any industry faster, safer, more reliable, and more cost-effective. Organizations, employees, and customers all stand to benefit hugely as we move forward together into this future.