by LaTonya Fourte’-Lyles | Featured Contributor
Artificial Intelligence or AI, is computer-based functionality that takes the place of logic normally performed by human beings such as speech, visual-perception, and reasoning. That’s a scary thought. Computers have taken over so many aspects of human productivity and interaction, it’s fearful to wonder just how far technology can continue to go. Well it’s here! AI is ready to be the next big thing to conquer the ease and simplicity of human needs.
There are plans to use AI for many different purposes. China is planning to use AI on nuclear submarines for battle purposes. AI predicted last year’s Superbowl, so that could potentially affect betting and lotteries. Tesla just revealed it’s driver-less 18-wheeler prototype in November. According to experts, every industry will be affected by AI. So, the question is, how do you prepare for a disruptive technology that could dramatically alter how your business operates?
Number One: Stay Informed
Research everything that you can find about your industry and AI. If you think the earlier examples are no big deal, because they have nothing to do with what you do, think again. The five areas that are projected to be most affect by AI are: Healthcare, Manufacturing, Transportation, Customer Service, and Finance. I am quite sure that no matter what your business is that one or more of these areas will have some affect. Therefore, being knowledgeable and understanding trends will be your best insight to making intuitive decisions regarding your business and technology.
Number Two: Don’t be Afraid of Change
Chances are your business may already be using AI in some form. As an example, when advertising on social media, the metrics for those campaigns are calculated through AI. Skype, Siri, Google, and Amazon’s Echo are all forms of AI, that you probably use every day.
The greatest strength of a small business is flexibility and being nimble. Use these strengths, to bolster your business. Data intelligence can be a friend to your business. Don’t be fearful of AI, embrace it, find ways to incorporate it into your business processes. AI can be used to determine demographics and assess your customer base and understand their needs. One such platform is Monkey Learn, a program that turns tweets, emails, documents, webpages into actionable data. Having this type of information can help you to determine product lines and service offerings to grow your revenue. These tools can build you a better business.
Number Three: Choose the right AI Tools
As your research you will find that there are several options out there that are very affordable in this space. As you begin to plunge into the rabbit hole of AI, you must understand what is best for your business. Don’t select tools because they are trendy and you saw it on a commercial. Only select what makes sense for your business and your current and future needs. The following are a few tools that may be value added and cost effective for any small business.
AI Tools for Small Businesses
IBM Watson (Personality Insights) – Predict personality characteristics, needs and values through written text. Understand your customers’ habits and preferences on an individual level, and at scale. Price Range: Free of charge for 1,000 API calls per month.
Salesforce Einstein – is a layer of artificial intelligence that delivers predictions and recommendations based on your unique business processes and customer data. Price Range: Price ranges begin at $75 per month or $25 per person per month.
Chatbots – are computer programs which conduct a conversation via auditory or textual methods, typically over the internet on a website. Price Range: As little as $15 per month.
Technology continues to be interesting and each day we begin to mimic the movies, with AI, and Robots, and self-driving cars. Yes, this changes how we do business and some services will no longer require human interaction. On the same note, with the invention of the combustible engine, we no longer use horse and buggy to get from one place to the other. What this means is that we will continue to evolve. Understand that these advancements are not going anywhere, so as stated before embrace it and use it to make your business better.
Baby you got this! Good bye for now, until next post.
LaTonya’s has a strong background in procurement. Currently she serves as a buyer for women-owned and other small businesses in the healthcare industry. LaTonya spent more than a decade in telecommunications, where she perfected her skills in Project Management, Training & Development, Process Documentation, and Change Management.