Companies are having a much easier time collecting data with the aid of analytics tools that can be incorporated easily in most of the consumer-facing products and services. Experts estimate that by 2020, each individual with general 1.7 megabytes per second, which makes up to 146 gigabytes per day.
However, data collection is only a part of it, and the challenge lies in extracting meaningful intelligence out of them, and this is where development in the artificial intelligence (AI) field has started to change that.
The AI industry has been attracting much attention from investors and customers for a decade and more. Nonetheless, understanding what artificial intelligence is capable of doing can be a tricky affair if we aren’t familiar with the fundamentals of it.
In this article, we will look at what AI means for companies and how they can use it in 2020 to better their products and services.
The usage of AI has been increasing rapidly across sectors and industries, initiated by numerous startups from every corner of the world. According to a PwC report, AI-based startups saw a 72 percent increase in funding in 2018 than the preceding year. While investors have been pouring money so that they can add AI-based startups to the portfolio, not all of them can be the next unicorn, or even deliver promising results for that matter.
Investors are on the lookout for quality data which can go on to prove whether a startup can withstand the risk factor and deliver fruitful results with time. However, data for smaller startups in smaller markets can be hard to come by, and for this, investors often have to rely on the data analytics leaders in the market who are capable of providing data periodically.
Computers cannot process data like humans. They can only be programmed through logic and inputs that are determined to provide results. This process is also known as machine learning and finds much application in the AI domain.
The scope of AI is enormous. According to Ray Kurzweil, the American inventor, AI will reach human levels by around 2029.
“Follow that out further to, say, 2045, we will have multiplied the intelligence, the human biological machine intelligence of our civilization a billion-fold,” he had said.
With AI and machine learning, companies have the option to program software that can take care of the basic and repetitive tasks that are otherwise cumbersome to deal with. Tasks such as routing emails, sorting paperwork and documents, and even more intricate tasks such as predicting consumer behaviour and the market can now be accomplished with much ease.
Now that we have an understanding of how AI works at a fundamental level, let’s look at how it can be used to provide real-world benefits to users.
Real-time assistance is often not the ideal option for SMEs and startups since it requires extra workforce, which can be a tad bit expensive. However, this doesn’t change the fact that users in real-time might need help with navigating through an existing web app, buying items, or even perform other mundane tasks.
Lately, companies have found a way around the expense of having more on the workforce front and have deployed chatbots that can guide real-time users through most of their tasks, and even help them direct their queries to the right department.
Chatbots are easy to integrate into the website and are comparatively inexpensive in most cases. They do a job which is just as fine when compared to their human counterparts. Besides, they can even be updated with more information and task-processes when needed.
AI can be effectively used to use large sets of data, process them, and predict behaviour and future outcomes of businesses quite accurately. Here are some of the ways it can be used for small and big businesses.
Whatever be the primary focus of the company — distributing, direct sales, or manufacturing — AI can help them to automate a large part of these operations so that human tasks can be reduced. Often, tasks and processes that are not a part of the core and are much of routing can be picked by automation. Now, AI is also capable of coming up with new recipes and making music.
One of the factors to be noted here is that most of the businesses have basic operations that can be performed well with automation, such as replying to customer emails, sorting sales receipt and even helping fill the replenished inventory.
With AI all set to find new ways to help businesses grow and prosper, it will be interesting to see what the next decade brings for machine learning and artificial intelligence, and assuming an exponential growth in their metrics might not be surprising.
Jackie Lam is the Co-Founder and COO at Oddup.