Hal 9000? Almost…
While artificial intelligence hasn’t yet reached the human-like capabilities projected in the mid-20th century, incremental progress has made it powerful in a range of fields. Businesses, in particular, can now tap into tremendous potential to do more with artificial and gain an edge on the competition. Here are a few of the most powerful AI applications available today.
Companies have long used statistics to analyse business, and A/B testing remains a valuable tool for determining the best course forward. However, modern analytical tools can do far more than tools of the past and notice trends no person or simple statistical algorithm could uncover. Analytical tools are also great for use in conjunction with people; visualization tools, for example, can reveal the types of patterns humans are great at recognizing. Companies of all sizes should also look into tools for analysing Big Data as the trends it can unveil can grant a company a significant edge on the competition.
Prompt and reliable support is the cornerstone of keeping current and potential customers happy, and AI can provide excellent options. The internet is great for delivering virtually limitless information to customers, but it’s not always great at finding the information customers want quickly.
AI-driven bots and interfaces that interact with customers to find what they’re looking for can give you an additional tool for helping customers without requiring you to hire more human operators. Interactive bots also provide valuable information. By finding out what customers are looking for, you can tweak your support resources to prioritize these factors.
The art of the up sale is a powerful business tool. Customers are often interested in making larger purchases, but they have to know what options are available. Recommendation engines leverage the power of AI to encourage customers to upgrade when making purchases, and even modest success can lead to significant gains over time. One only needs to look to video streaming to appreciate how powerful these tools can be. Who hasn’t felt compelled to watch an extra video or two based on a Netflix or YouTube recommendation?
Computers have long been able to perform calculations far faster than any human. However, the limitations of AI mean that there are certain tasks that require human intelligence. In recent years, AI programs have been better able to deal with more complex tasks by relying on more sophisticated analysis. AIs for adjusting pricing, for example, can help you offer lower prices while maximizing you margins, and accounting-based AI solutions mean you can spend less on human accountants. It’s important to monitor these programs, but businesses need to investigate AI to find out if it can lead to lower payroll expenses.
People often focus on the promise of powerful general artificial intelligence when considering AI, which isn’t likely to surface any time soon. However, this constitutes only a fraction of AI as a whole, and advances in other areas mean AI is a potentially valuable tool for businesses of all sizes. Learning about these tools isn’t just helpful for maximizing profit; it may soon be essential for continuing to compete.