The Truth About Artificial Intelligence & Its Role in Business

Most people don’t realise how common AI is and that they use it every day. In fact, when discussing its applications, many people get scared and automatically think of scenes from movies like “I, Robot” or “Terminator” — others get excited thinking of scenarios closer to The Jetsons. Neither are wrong, per se, but both are pretty far-fetched.

The Truth About AI

It’s not scary, I promise. It’s actually a pretty incredible technological revolution that we are witnessing. We’ve got a front-row seat to technology that becomes smarter by itself rather than relying on humans to continually program it. And no, I don’t mean smarter like take-over-the-world smarter. By smarter, I mean learning what it should be doing or could be doing better and then achieving that.

A few examples of commonly used AI tools are:

  • Spam filters: They continuously learn what messages to mark as spam based on machine-learning algorithms that take into account words in the message, where it’s sent from, who sent it, etc.
  • Mobile check deposits: Offered by most large banks, this technology relies on AI and machine learning to decipher and convert handwriting on a check into text.
  • Facebook: That nifty feature that identifies people in your pictures uses AI to power facial recognition software.
  • Voice to text: A standard feature on smartphones, speech-recognition systems that transcribe your words into text require … say it with me now … AI.

See? Not so scary.

How It Benefits Business

With how much AI benefits our daily lives, it should come as no surprise that it is also beneficial in the workplace. Heck, we already use some of the tools mentioned above to help us in the workplace. But how exactly does AI promote better business?

  • It allows staff to focus on what’s important. Rather than focusing on menial tasks that don’t add value to the organisation, employees can skip to the activities that do. For example, instead of manually organising and entering documents, an automated solution allows staff to focus on serving customers.
  • It creates greater efficiency. Thanks to its ability to learn over time and take over tedious tasks, greater efficiency is achieved.
  • It empowers customers. Self-service options are often powered by AI technology, emboldening customers to do things themselves — something that most customers prefer.

In the next five years, investment in AI and human-machine collaboration is estimated to boost revenues by 38% (Accenture). Will you be one of the companies profiting from it?

Samantha Heavner– Esker’s Creative Coordinator