Artificial intelligence in business – potential and applications
Artificial intelligence (AI) is, simply put, a simulation of human intelligence by machines (or more precisely, the algorithms that govern them). It once belonged to the sphere of science fiction, but today AI is used in business and everyday life, and the number of its applications is impressive. In today’s article, you will learn about the applications, benefits, challenges and potential of artificial intelligence in business. Read on!
What is artificial intelligence in business?
Artificial intelligence imitates human intelligence, i.e. like humans, it is able to understand, analyze and interpret incoming data. Artificial intelligence works with machine learning, i.e. algorithms that can learn based on the received data, bringing better and better results.
Thanks to this, AI is able to detect relationships between various information and formulate conclusions, supporting humans in acquiring knowledge and making decisions. Some simple decisions on standard matters can be made by artificial intelligence itself.
Just as humans have different senses with which they interpret the world, artificial intelligence has many forms – visual, linguistic and computational. Therefore, there are different AI domains, such as:
- Data science – i.e. analyzing data, examining repetitive patterns present in them and formulating conclusions;
- Speech recognition, i.e. recognizing human speech and translating it into text;
- NLP, i.e. natural language processing – the ability for machines to understand and generate language similar to that used by humans (chatbots and voicebots are used here – the latter use the above-mentioned speech recognition);
- Computer vision – ability to analyze and create visual data (images and videos);
- Robotics, i.e. management of robots used, for example, in industry or agriculture.
Advantages and challenges of AI in business
Why exactly does artificial intelligence in business seem so attractive, if in some aspects, such as creativity or empathy, it still does not match the complexity of the human mind? There are several reasons for this, directly related to how this technology works.
First, AI in business is able to process data and perform tasks much faster than a human could. Its computing power is very large and is constantly growing. Therefore, it can perform a large number of operations in a short time, also relieving humans in the most tedious and repetitive activities and leaving creative tasks for them.
Second, AI is able to detect certain repeatable patterns in large data sets that are not visible to the naked eye. For example, it is able to predict electoral trends based on demographic data, or climate change, having access to weather data from many years, or stock market trends, by examining the financial data of thousands of companies. This allows a person to make decisions that are actually based on data, not just limited considerations.
Artificial intelligence, having access to data on consumer behavior and preferences, is also able to precisely personalize their experiences and tailor the company’s offer to market needs, which translates into greater customer loyalty, satisfaction and profits.
It is also worth adding that AI guarantees data security, effectively responding to threats related to privacy and protection of sensitive data.
Artificial intelligence in business can support companies in creating innovations, searching for market trends and recommending areas of development, i.e. conducting preliminary research for people who will develop these innovations on its basis.
Last but not least, artificial intelligence is able to communicate with people in the way they speak everyday. You don’t need to know databases or programming to talk to a voicebot or chatbot, i.e. a virtual assistant that speaks to people in a natural language and answers their various questions based on its knowledge. Thanks to this, communication with the machine runs smoothly and everyone can benefit from digital intelligence – not only AI specialists.
Using AI in business also raises several challenges – primarily in ethical issues regarding the privacy of processed data and the ethicality of decisions made by artificial intelligence. Even though artificial intelligence is becoming more and more affordable, and, for example, voicebots and chatbots are available even to smaller companies, creating and operating large data analysis systems is still an expensive matter, and access to specialists on the market is limited. However, this will change quickly as more and more people decide to pursue a career in AI and more and more generally available solutions are created.
Areas of using AI in business
Time for practical applications! Let’s take a look at selected business areas where artificial intelligence can be used.
Chatbots and voicebots are increasingly used in this industry. They are virtual customer assistants, which, thanks to NLP, talk in natural language – in the same way as a human. They can solve any customer problems, answer frequently asked questions, arrange appointments, inform about the order status and so on. They allow you to significantly reduce the workload of the customer service office, working 24 hours a day without any breaks and handling all standard matters. A great advantage of chatbots and voicebots is the fact that they respond to the customer immediately, which helps people avoid frustration and maintain loyalty to the company. The advantage of voicebots is the channel in which they operate – as can be seen from Invoca data, for customers, telephone communication is the favorite way to contact companies – it is chosen by 68% of respondents. Voicebots are constantly developing and probably in some time they will be able to not only understand humans, but also their emotions transmitted through voice.
Marketing and sales
Marketing and sales are already an automated area, and artificial intelligence will allow you to reach the customer with a marketing message, product offer or other content even more precisely. It is also useful for optimizing prices, adjusting them to demand, competition and other factors. It will also allow you to optimize advertising campaigns by assessing their results and adapting further action strategies to them, as well as assessing leads in terms of their prospects for converting into active customers. Voicebots can play a big role in this area, being able to call the customer immediately after leaving contact, which increases the chance of conversion and allows you to save money thanks to automatic pre-qualification of leads.
Supply chain management
In the supply chain, AI can predict demand patterns based on available historical data, allowing you to optimize inventory and reduce costs. Similarly in the case of logistics, artificial intelligence can plan routes, manage fleet utilization and delivery efficiency. Thanks to this, resources in the supply chain are allocated in an optimal way.
In the human resources industry, we deal with a large number of candidate CVs containing unstructured text data – the algorithm will cope with their initial analysis based on keywords. Then you can take advantage of a HR voicebot, which calls all candidates, asking them preliminary questions in the recruitment process and arranging meetings with the recruiter – this is how CVs are selected to be further processed by people. After hiring employees, artificial intelligence is used to analyze feedback, which helps increase satisfaction and productivity.
When preparing for a trial, lawyers can take advantage of artificial intelligence, which will analyze historical documents and regulations, providing conclusions to develop the best strategy. AI can also be used to analyze and classify contracts and other documents such as invoices.
In the financial industry, artificial intelligence is used to make decisions about further investment strategy. With access to historical and current market data, you can make investment decisions in real time, optimizing your trading strategies. AI can also help find fraudulent transactions by detecting irregularities in documentation.
Although effective treatment requires the active work of an experienced doctor, artificial intelligence can help them make a diagnosis. By analyzing medical photos and patient data, it can quickly detect patterns that herald disease, so it can be prevented or treated. AI is also involved in the creation of new drugs by analyzing wide sets of medical data.
Industry and agriculture
In the industrial and agricultural sectors, artificial intelligence manages the operation of specialized machines involved in the production or harvesting of crops. Using computer vision, it can also detect plant diseases or product defects. AI supports so-called precision agriculture by closely monitoring data from various sources, such as satellites, drones, sensors and weather information sources, to optimize the management of animals, planting and harvesting. It also analyzes data from various sources to warn about potential threats from diseases and pests, allowing you to prepare for them.
Personalization is extremely important in the e-commerce industry, and thanks to AI data you can precisely reach each customer. AI also allows you to set dynamic prices based on current demand, inventory levels and competitor price lists. Voicebots play an important role in e-commerce and can call store customers, offering them personalized offers at the exact moment when they are looking for a given product. Thanks to voicebots you can also restore abandoned cart – the voicebot will call with a special offer to a person who has not yet decided to make a purchase.
These are just some of the many applications of AI in business – as you can see, there are quite a lot of them, although we have only touched on the topic. What they all have in common is that artificial intelligence, thanks to algorithms and its computing power, is the perfect complement to human creativity.
Artificial intelligence in business – summary
AI in business applications is no longer just a distant promise – it is a modern reality. Implementing artificial intelligence in business offers great advantages, from increased efficiency in performing tasks and making decisions based on data, to better customer experiences and easier access to innovation.