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AI: the basics to boost your business

If you use Facebook or YouTube and have seen adverts from web pages you have recently looked at then you have had an experience with artificial intelligence (AI). If you have looked at a recommendation made on a watch-on-demand platform then you have experienced AI. Slowly, AI is being adopted into our lives and if we want to survive as a business we need to learn about AI.

What is AI?

AI is a branch of computer science where a machine or programme is capable of doing tasks that generally require human intelligence. Within this branch is machine learning and deep learning. AI also uses computer vision, natural language processing, robots, knowledge base, expert systems etc to create computer systems. One key feature of AI is that is autonomous and adaptive as it collects more data for the operation that it performs.

How can AI benefit small businesses?

With the amount of data available to a small business, you may be overwhelmed with trying to make sense of it, and then implementing the deductions from the analysis. AI can help small businesses become more efficient in the following areas of business:

Gaining insight through data analysis

By analysing large datasets, AI can pick up patterns or make predictions about your product or brand. With the use of natural language processes, AI can analyse social media posts and tell you what your customers think of your product and what changes they would like to see. This in turn helps you to work on improving your brand and delighting your customers with the new improvements that they want to see in your product.

Automating business processes

There are many repetitive tasks in a business that a machine could happily do. By reviewing the processes in your company, you can see which ones will work well with AI. One process you may be using is email sorting in your mailbox. By labelling and moving emails in your inbox and making rules, you are teaching your mailbox how to deal with emails. You could even automate responses if you see certain words in your email.

Engaging with customers and employees

Many of the employees who are entering the workplace have been using technology for a long time and are used to AI. They, therefore, expect to be able to use these skills in their workplace. AI can also take the mundane tasks off of your employee’s plate and give them the opportunity to focus on areas which help to build your business. They can also take the insights gathered by AI to make more accurate predictions for the business.

For customers, you could use a chatbot to answer frequently asked questions or to guide your customer down the sales funnel. If the customers’ questions become too difficult for the chatbot to answer, they can then be directed to an employee.

One block against embracing AI is the fear of what machines can actually do. Though there are some discussions of AI becoming sentient, many believe that this is still a long time off.

You can learn more about AI here:

The elements of AI: this is a free course on AI that hopes to demystify it.

WildME: Machine learning and conservation join hands.

Valhoi.ai: This platform has success stories that show how AI can be used in different industries.

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