Use AI to work smarter and make life easier
When we discuss the way artificial intelligence (AI) could transform the world around us, there is a tendency to speak in broad strokes about far-flung visions of the future. In doing so, however, we risk overlooking the real impact it is already having on our everyday lives.
There’s no denying it – AI is firmly established as a game-changer across the private sector, with businesses from all sectors now scrambling to integrate AI-powered solutions into their daily operations. Microsoft’s Accelerating competitive advantage with AI report found that AI is at the heart of the digital transformation currently reshaping businesses across the UK, with over half of organisations already using the technology to some degree.
The question is: why? What is it about artificial intelligence that has sparked the interest of business leaders around the world? The answer lies in AI’s ability provide seemingly simple solutions to complex practical problems. At its core, AI simply enables people to make their lives easier.
Put simply, AI is left to do the grunt work (which would otherwise eat up precious time and resources), with professionals using the output to make better decisions, faster
In a climate where businesses are seeking a competitive advantage over their peers, there is no better time to explore how AI could empower your business to be the best that it can be. So, for those who have little experience with the technology, below I will outline the multitude of benefits on offer, and how organisations can go about reaping the rewards.
AI and humankind: the perfect partnership
Once a notion reserved for sci-fi novels, the partnership between humans and machines is becoming increasingly commonplace. By playing off each others’ strengths, this alliance enables businesses to drive huge efficiency gains. Indeed, AI is being used to augment human skills across almost all sectors, upending the fear that human professionals will eventually become redundant. Rather, this technology allows people to work smarter, and ultimately free up time to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Let’s consider how this works in practice. AI’s talent lies in automation: it has an unrivalled ability to analyse data and present outputs based on patterns found within. In doing so, it is able to quickly crunch the numbers and offer options for decision makers to choose from. Say a legal professional is determining how to go about approaching a case; trained AI algorithms would be able to compare the particular details with past cases, noting their outcomes, and offer an indication of the best route to take – one which would offer the best chances of success. Importantly, the lawyer remains the final decision maker, and will be able to make an informed decision by utilising their own personal knowledge and experience.
Put simply, AI is left to do the grunt work (which would otherwise eat up precious time and resources), with professionals using the output to make better decisions, faster.
How to implement AI into your business
My first word of advice is this: there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. Every business will have different gaps that can be filled by AI solutions, but these gaps need to be uncovered on a case-by-case basis.
To leverage AI as a commercial tool, it’s important to establish where in the business it could be implemented to drive real value. If done correctly, there are significant gains to be made – the aforementioned Microsoft report revealed that organisations already using AI are performing an average of 11.5% better than those who are not.
For instance, if you work with a large domain of data, you might need a helping hand in data management. Or, if you are keen to scale back the amount of resources you dedicate to fielding inquiries from customers, you might think about utilising AI in the form of virtual assistants to not only speed up business, but also improve customer satisfaction. HR departments, meanwhile, might be more interested in the ability to onboard the right talent through intelligent recruitment software. Those involved in producing and selling goods might instead be keen to explore how AI-enabled supply chain management can give them a better handling of their own inventory.
The overarching point is that business leaders and HR teams should be considering AI as a powerful solution to current challenges; there are very few domains in which it cannot be used to deliver competitive results.
But be prepared for the process of integrating such software into your business to take time. To get the most out of the technology, it’s important to construct a plan for both the inception as well as the development of AI along with your company growth. If your business scales quickly, for instance, you might find that you will need to seek out solutions that are better able to support more employees and functions. At the same time, it’s important that the AI solutions used are made to fit; what works well for one business will not necessarily work for another. Ideally, businesses would do well to seek out custom built AI solutions for their particular needs.
If in doubt, get help from the experts. There are plenty of agencies on hand to support companies who are new to the technology. Some of these will be able to guide the process from start to finish; from assessing current limitations within the business to advising on – or even designing from scratch – AI products that could offer a solution. With the technology in place, they can then offer guidance to employees on how best to utilise the systems so that they can enjoy both greater efficiency and a respite from time-consuming or else laborious routines. After all, to become truly competitive, businesses must empower workers at all levels to use the technology.
In reality, there are very few sectors (if any) that will not reap the benefits of artificial intelligence; indeed, many already are. As this technology develops, I encourage businesses – from fledgling startups to large corporates – to take the time to explore how they can make AI work for, and with, themselves.
Nikolas Kairinos (pictured below) is the chief executive officer and founder of Fountech.ai, which drives innovation in the AI sector, helping consumers, businesses and governments understand how this technology is making the world a better place
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