Is AI technology right for your business?

Uber might seem like a convenient alternative to a taxi service after a Saturday night out on the town, but there is so much more going on behind the scenes of the car-sharing service than the convenient tap of an icon. Uber Technology Inc. is at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, working at integrating AI into operations to test everything from checking your tolerance for a price hike to figuring out if your transportation is for pleasure or for business.

Soon, Uber’s AI will even be able to know whether you have had too much to drink before you get in the car based on your walking speed, number of typos and finger precision. They are also leading the way in self-driving car technology.

According to NFIB, a non-profit, member-led organization that advocates for small-business in the United States, 59% of their member organizations are already in the process of creating AI strategy, and by 2020, AI will be a top-five investment priority for businesses. AI is predicted to help business owners better serve customers by anticipating their needs, become more profitable by understanding their customers’ behaviours, and, through machine learning, better manage risk.

Data collection and analysis is key to any business’ success. Walmart, for example, uses HANA, a SAP cloud-platform, to monitor factory production rates and determine whether or not equipment needs servicing. According to a SAP-sponsored report, 10 organizations using HANA expect a 575% ROI in five years. Companies using DOMO, including Univision, eBay, and Mastercard can pull data from multiple platforms, including Facebook, Salesforce, Square, Shopify, and others to be able to produce targeted campaigns and gain insight on everything from their customer behaviours and sales to product inventory.

What does all this mean for your business? AI used to be considered something only big companies could invest in, but that is changing fast. Some SMEs are using AI to do the following:

1. Improve strategy pain-points.

AI has the capability to provide predictive information on which to base business objectives. Quick analysis of data can detail the outcomes of previous initiatives, let’s say, from your latest product launch, and determine the risk factors and possible failures for your next move.

2. Make marketing and sales decisions based on predictive analysis.

In 2012, Coca-Cola’s chief big data officer, Esat Sezer, said “Social media, mobile applications, cloud computing and e-commerce are combining to give companies like Coca-Cola an unprecedented toolset to change the way they approach IT. Behind all this, big data gives you the intelligence to cap it all off.” That analysis of big data and implementation of AI was behind their launch of Cherry Sprite. Adext AI is one platform used to help companies find their best audience or demographic for a new ad.

3. Help in IT security and fraud detection.

According to Tata Consultancy Services, the most common way businesses currently use AI is for IT security and detecting fraud. According to IT consultant, Gartner, “By 2020, at least 75% of security software tools will include predictive and prescriptive analytics based on heuristics, artificial intelligence capabilities or machine learning algorithms.” AI software currently used by companies for IT security are HANA and Cylance.

4. Elevate their customer service experience.

According to this Microsoft State of Global Customer Service report, “60% of consumers stopped doing business with a brand as a result of just one poor customer service experience.” AI platforms such asNanoRep and Cognito are helping companies introduce chatbot technology and improve emotional intelligence of customer service, as well as interact and connect with their customers through reliable online messaging platforms.

In Forbes article, “Preparing your business for the artificial intelligence revolution,” they highlight a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, stating that AI will make a $15.7 trillion contribution to the global economy by 2030. When AI can play such a major part in Uber’s providing something as simple as a ride home from a night out on the town, that is not a hard number to believe. AI is technology making great strides, and it does get a person thinking about what their business may (or may not) look like eleven years from now. It could be the difference between coming to a full stop or being unstoppable.


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