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What Does AI Mean for My Business?

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Jason Bott
ByPor Jason Bott

Jason has been working as a consultant and project manager with enterprises of all sizes for over 20 years. His expertise lies in utilizing technology to solve problems that reduce costs and increase profits. He has been instrumental in implementing successful software projects for Shell, NOV, C&J, Nabors, Total, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Noble, American Tower, AIG, NASA, Nike as well as many smaller firms.

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When many of us hear the term AI (artificial intelligence), our minds immediately jump to images of R2-D2 and C-3PO. Indeed, AI was originally used in reference to any sort of technology with the ability to mimic human intelligence and its complex capabilities. And while AI has developed in this direction to no small extent, with robots and automatons of various kinds now available to perform different functions and fill different roles, AI has much more to offer within the business world.

Cost Reduction and Revenue Increase with AI

AI has long since been employed both to slash expenditure and to increase revenue. Obviously, automation has a great advantage in cutting out redundant personnel. For instance, robot workers can efficiently and endlessly perform tasks such as assembly, sorting, and packing for shipment, as in the case of Amazon, which uses thousands of robots in its massive warehouses. Not only does automation mean fewer dollars spent on human labor, but robots can do many tedious and repetitive tasks more effectively and for longer than any human, without the associated fatigue and other physical tolls.

Reduced Staffing Needs and Heightened Customer Satisfaction

In addition, AI has been shown as a viable replacement to human personnel in roles requiring customer interaction. Just think of all the self-checkout lanes you’ve seen in your local supermarket. And you can expect to see customer-oriented business, for instance, increasingly replacing sales staff with ordering apps or kiosks, and even employing robots to prepare your order for you, accurately custom-made to your specifications, whether it be food or merchandise. The ease of interaction with user-friendly AI interfaces, as well as the confidence that one’s order will be just right, mean that customers stay happy, which in turn translates into more dollars for your business.

Heightened Productivity

AI has great potential as an aid for boosting human productivity too, and is already used in that function in many businesses worldwide, from workflow analysis to friendly data input apps (think AirBnB’s search rubric) to demographic-based predictions for sales strategies. One almost ubiquitous example is voice-recognition software, like Apple’s Siri or Google’s voice-activated search app. Not only do these programs free up your hands to keep you safely online while engaged in other activities (say driving), but, just like people, they learn through observation and apply their knowledge to ensuing queries. And this technology will continue to make innumerable tasks easier, not just for individuals but for business as a whole, freeing up our focus for the big stuff that only human gray cells can handle – at least, so far.