Artificial Intelligence Is Changing How You Do Business
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been talked about and debated all over the world media. But there is one echoing conclusion- it is going to change how we do business.
According to a survey by Deloitte in the UK, 85% of the top executives plan to invest in AI technologies. 53% of them expect to invest over £10 million by 2020. All that these numbers tell us is that the world will be a different place in the next decade, and most of the top executives are already busy getting under the skin of how AI can help their businesses.
This technology is unlike previous technological disruptions that the typical current CXO has experienced in his / her career. AI will augment human decision making, unlike the previous industrial or IT revolutions which reduced manual labour or mechanical work. This therefore, opens up enormous efficiency gains and cost reductions for firms.
So, what is AI and how could it help your business?
The broadest definition of AI is that of a machine performing an activity that we deem human judgement / intelligence is necessary for. E.g. Recognising your friend Sam in a photograph or guessing what you are going to say next. This is precisely what Facebook does when you upload a new photo onto their website and what Google does as you start typing in the search bar.
This works for Facebook and Google, but how exactly can this technology be beneficial to your business? Let’s say you have had a customer walk-in to one of the branches at your bank. This technology powered with machine learning could help you identify who the customer is and direct them towards their appointment slots if they have one, or guess what the reason for their visit is, based on the data your bank holds about them and greet them appropriately. This is the sort of customer centricity that businesses want to create today and this is the kind of service that the digital native millennial customers expect from their banks, their grocers, or their energy providers.
Okay, but how does this help my business?
In a customer obsessed world adopting AI and machine learning is not just a strategic move. It is almost a survival strategy which could be turned into a competitive advantage. Besides, if your customer knows which counter to go to when they arrive at the bank branch as we talked about earlier, instead of one of your staff having to direct them, it makes your workforce efficient and leaner… which translates into higher customer satisfaction at lower costs!
Brilliant, so how do I get this technology working for me?
Good question, and there is no simple answer. Most firms are still in the process of figuring out what the right digital strategy is. Only about 42% of the respondents to Deloitte’s Digital Disruption Index believe that their firm has the right digital strategy. Your strategy for AI will fit into your overall digital strategy. Like all pieces of strategy work, there is no one right answer and it all depends on your appetite for innovation and change. Once you have a strategy and target organisational design in place, you can work with AI engineers and designers to specify the product that satisfies your needs.
With AI, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach, and therefore extra care should be taken during the planning and design phase. It is also important to recognise that in the case of AI; incremental improvements are the best way forward. This ensures that you are not spending your time and money on a project that doesn’t achieve the desired value. The industry is gravitating towards establishing value through a “Proof-of-Concept” or pilot run before full-fledged implementations. This helps both the parties build trust and gain confidence in each other’s abilities and aspirations, before committing to long periods of time and huge sums of money.
How can Pioneer Labs help?
We are a team of engineers with knowledge of your business and AI and machine learning capabilities. We can run short projects suited to your needs before full scale implementations. We would be eager to help and can help to design an engagement with you. The project would be entirely supported by our team and experts from both classical software engineering and Data science engineering backgrounds.