Artificial intelligence and your business: it’s time to think differently22 April 2016
By 2020, almost all major software companies will be using artificial intelligence in some of their products, predicts global consulting firm Deloitte. This means that most, if not all, of the leading finance, communication and manufacturing systems will contain elements that think for themselves.
Not only will these machines take over some of the jobs we do today—they’ll do them faster and more accurately. That’s not to say there won’t be the occasional glaring failure, but overall, computers beat humans when it comes to speed and efficiency.
What does artificial intelligence mean for your business?
Here are some of the ways that thinking machines could impact you and your organisation in the next few years:
Travel – apps like Google maps already plot the best route between your current location and your destination, updating for traffic conditions and wrong turns as you go – and these apps aren’t just limited to road travel. Once they start learning your travel preferences, they’ll be able to factor in a stop at your preferred coffee shop and even pre-order a beverage for you to pick up on arrival.
Office administration – digital personal assistants are about to become very clever indeed. One system currently being trialled automates the process of scheduling meetings by finding the ideal time and location for all the participants. How much time would be saved by intelligent digital filing systems that stored and retrieved data based on your needs, and could learn to anticipate enquiries?
Problem solving – intelligent computers already help some doctors by mining medical databases for relevant information on an illness and then recommending treatment options. The same approach could be applied to legal and accountancy work, automating the analysis of someone’s circumstances, considering the available options and recommending a course of action.
Facilities management – where they’re installed, sensors can detect how many people are in a room, whether it’s at the optimum temperature and humidity, and whether the coffee machine is running low on stock. Add in computer learning, and the building can be heated, lit and serviced based on its actual usage, meaning a host of resources are used more efficiently.
New opportunities – many of the jobs people do today and products people buy didn’t exist twenty years ago. Forward-thinking organisations will already be looking at how artificial intelligence will affect their workforce and their products in the next few years.
Different forms of artificial intelligence in business
There are three distinct areas where you can expect to see advances in artificial intelligence in the very near future:
Speech recognition – we’re already talking to our computers and other devices much more often, thanks to improvements in voice recognition. It offers the convenience of hands-free operation, along with being much more natural.
Natural language and image processing – computers in stock markets already read and process incoming news, in order to help make assessments about the value of companies. In order to think like us, computers need to ‘see’ text and pictures in the way we do, and huge advances have been made in these areas.
Machine learning – this is the heart of artificial intelligence—the ability for computers to learn and adapt on their own, without requiring programming in specific rules. Advances in this cognitive technology are allowing the digital analysis of huge volumes of data that are continually being updated. One company has developed a system that monitors call centre conversations to identify issues and trends, from which it then takes actions to improve workflow performance.
Plan ahead by talking to us about artificial intelligence
Companies that neglect the opportunities and challenges presented by intelligent computers could soon find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
As specialists in the latest IT tools and trends for businesses, part of our role is to keep our clients updated with current thinking.
If you would like to know more about how artificial intelligence could impact your systems and processes, give us a call on 0808 168 9135 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be pleased to have a no-obligation conversation with you.
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It’s an established fact that many businesses don’t survive the arrival of major new technologies, because they find it hard to adapt. Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise much of the work you do today; your choice with whether to move forward or hold back.