Even just a decade ago, artificial intelligence (AI) was merely science fiction. Today, it’s a rapidly growing force in the technology sector, and it’s changing business operations beyond measure. Many leading tech companies, as well as countless innovative startups, are now integrating AI into their software to streamline operations and help users make sense of the enormous amount of data being captured from digital workflows.
AI has many practical applications in business. Most important, it provides a way to analyze data sets that are far too large for people to make sense of. AI algorithms can now translate huge amounts of raw information into actionable insights that help drive smart decision-making and predict future outcomes. The amount of business value derived from AI only continues to grow.
Getting familiar with artificial intelligence
Thanks to decades of TV tropes, many people still associate artificial intelligence with robots that think and act like humans. Even among technology enthusiasts, there remains wide misunderstanding as to what precisely AI is. Most confusion arises from the many different terms — the most common ones being artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning.
- Artificial intelligence is the broadest of the three terms. AI is an all-encompassing concept that revolves around incorporating human intelligence into machine algorithms. It consists of everything from smart data analytics software to the common tropes of science fiction, like self-driving cars and talking spaceships.
- Machine learning (ML) is a subset of AI. ML is about giving a machine the ability to learn and improve.
- Deep learning (DL) is a subset of ML. DL is about using patterns to classify and understand information much like the human brain does.
Identifying the problems you want to solve
AI might be one of the most hyped buzzwords of our time, and without having a plan to realize its place and purpose in your business, it will never be more than that. Once you’re up to speed with the basics of AI and what it does, the next step is to start exploring its implications for your business. AI is largely about deriving maximum value out of increasingly enormous business data sets, but that in itself is an extremely broad goal.
Sage advice holds that if any business process can be automated, then it should be. Including AI in the process enables continuous improvement as well. For example, sales and marketing teams can use AI-powered software to detect recurring patterns and provide information to help them tailor their communications to better match the needs of their target audiences. The finance team can use AI to forecast future profits and losses. Cybersecurity and compliance teams can use machine learning to proactively detect unknown threats. These are just a few of the exciting implications of AI in the workplace.
Setting up your first projects with expert guidance
Once you’ve established your goals, it’s time to develop and implement a concrete plan to integrate artificial intelligence into your operations. To ensure a seamless transition to AI-powered software and, even more importantly, to make sure you’re getting real value out of your project, you’ll likely want to seek out expert guidance and start with a small project. Don’t be tempted to follow the hype — in the end, AI is still a relatively new technology and one that will change and likely improve.
It’s best to start with a small team of both internal and external experts working on a small pilot project over a few months. And stick to a singular goal with your first project so your team can stay focused while preparing themselves for a more elaborate project later on.
Online Computers provides project management and training services to businesses seeking to innovate quickly in a time of constant change. Call us today to get started.
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