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How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Business

smart robot

Artificial intelligence is increasingly making inroads into different areas of our lives. Many of the current and proposed uses for artificial intelligence are things that only a short time ago would have sounded right at home in speculative science fiction. As more and more of these seemingly magical uses of artificial intelligence come to be realized, there is also an increasing awareness developing of just how much we can achieve with truly intelligent machines and pieces of software.

The world of business is, in many ways, rooted in math and the ways that we respond to data. For some time now computers have allowed us to perform breathtakingly complex mathematical operations in just fractions of a second. The problem is that, currently, we have to tell our computers exactly what we want them to do with our data and for the most part the software we use is only capable of following instructions. Truly intelligent applications will not only be able to identify the best ways of interpreting data, they will be able to identify why certain methods are better than others. They will gradually become more sophisticated in their ability to interpret and appropriately analyze data.

Until our artificial intelligence is that good, though, there are still numerous roles that our current AIs are capable of performing that can be a real boon to any business.

Troubleshooting.

Perhaps the main use of AI within the context of businesses is currently as a means of improving technical support and troubleshooting. A fairly basic artificial intelligence can take a query from a user, for example ‘When I try to open the app I receive error message 0012 H’. By looking for keywords in the query and then analyzing surrounding words and phrases in order to give the query context, a bot with even a basic degree of artificial intelligence can search through its database and return the most suitable piece of advice. With more sophisticated AI algorithms this same bot could create its own database of user issues and identify patterns within the data that could identify new issues and even the connection between disparate issues, where such connections exist.

Social Media.

Although many business owners currently hire virtual assistants to curate content for a business’s social media profiles, it is likely that this is also something an AI bot will be able to do in the future. By analyzing the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ different posts receive, an AI program can begin to understand exactly what kind of updates are of the most interest and which will generate the most publicity by being shared.

Stock Management.

Not long ago, effectively managing a business’s inventory required frequent manual examinations and recording of stock levels. This process was time consuming as well as potentially inaccurate due to human error. Most businesses now employ some kind of AI to automatically order stock when levels are low. Now that most shops run items through an electronic till as part of each sale, it is much easier to keep accurate stock levels. The potential for AI in this arena is huge; from identifying buying trends that can be used to efficiently merchandise stock, to understanding and identifying patterns in when certain stock sells. Information of this kind can be very effectively deployed by a savvy manager.

The role of AI in our lives is always growing and within the next decade it seems likely that AI and virtual assistants will be making significant contributions to the world of business.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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