Now is time for businesses to get smarter by integrating machine learning, deep learning algorithms, natural language processing, and more into existing products and services.

Even in the example of technologies like Alexa or similar IoT (internet of things) inventions that aim to predict our behavior by analyzing our past and present decisions, the machine can’t learn unless humans first give it a set of instructions. At this point, there isn’t a mainstream consumer machine that’s close to achieving full sentience.

But we’re moving there quickly. Artificial intelligence is likely to evolve at a more rapid pace than any other type of technological advance in human history as we’ve fully immersed ourselves in the swirl of data. Robots are already better than humans at image and speech pattern recognition because they’ve been fed more data points than the human brain has the capacity to take in.

For businesses, practical AI applications can manifest in all sorts of ways, depending on organizational needs and the business intelligence (BI) insights derived from the data you collect. Enterprises can employ AI for everything from mining social data to driving engagement in customer relationship management (CRM) to optimizing logistics and efficiency when it comes to tracking and managing assets.

Right now, AI is being driven by all the recent progress in ML. There’s no one single breakthrough you can point to, but the business value we can extract from ML now is off the charts. From the enterprise point of view, what’s happening right now could disrupt some core corporate business processes around coordination and control: scheduling, resource allocation, reporting, etc. These are very time-consuming tasks. Other opportunities on the enterprise side require more creativity and social intelligence that’s not addressed by current technology.

The accelerator offers startups a wide array of resources through its partnerships with organizations such as Stanford University and corporations in the AI space. Tang recommends some of the remote workshops and online courses offered by organizations such as Udacity as easy ways to get started with AI and to increase your knowledge of areas such as ML and predictive analytics within your organization.

The financial industry is just one area in which AI and machine learning is becoming integral. Various AI approaches are being deployed to make quicker, unbiased investment decisions, approve loans, assess risk, manage portfolios via “robo-advisors,” detect fraud, and conduct algorithmic trades.
From customer service jobs to delivery driver positions, careers that were once the domain of human beings are being re-evaluated constantly. But this doesn’t necessarily mean we will all be replaced with robots.

Part of that preparation might be around shifting the conversation from “being replaced” to trying something completely new. With technology like this, there are guaranteed to be unique jobs created and roles that we’ve never seen before. It can only benefit your business and your people to be as educated as possible with regards to understanding AI and machine learning and how they can be utilized to improve operations, marketing, sales, and the overall customer experience.

If you think AI doesn’t apply to your line of business, think again. Every industry is being impacted, and today’s subtle user experience tweak could be tomorrow’s full-blown robotic interface. The pace of business is always quickening, and with AI the need to pay attention has never been higher.

AI for Smart Business

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