Artificial intelligence is at the top of news stories about business and technology constantly, and if you have been keeping up with the news, you know that some important breakthroughs are happening in the world of AI: from self-driving cars to accurate machine translation and image recognition. There is a constant deluge of new algorithms, techniques, and hardware in the world of AI. So, as a business owner, how can you deal with all these news stories? Should you even care about AI? Read on and find out!
The first thing you need to learn is the singular fact that the AI revolution is indeed happening. There are many indications of this fact: the number of papers in AI and its subfields has dramatically increased. The number of employees with AI expertise employed has more than quadrupled. The number of businesses that use AI and data science in their daily operations has massively increased. These are all clear indications that AI is exploding, and all the trendlines seem to indicate it isn’t going to stop any time soon.
You need to accept this fact and start planning accordingly. Business owners set on their way hellbent on not changing their opinions as more facts come in aren’t going to survive long!
AI, like every other technology, has its strengths and weaknesses. It is not a magic bullet that can fix all the issues you’re facing in your business, and you shouldn’t treat it as such. There are areas that AI excels in: predicting customer behavior, categorizing data and items, managing repetitive tasks with slight variations. AI is also really bad at doing some tasks: AI algorithms still can’t write a piece of fiction that’s readable. They are bad at operating in chaotic spaces where too many variables are at play. They are bad at handling certain areas that don’t lend themselves to automation easily.
You need to have a very good conceptual idea of what AI can do and what AI fails to do. That’s why you need to do extensive research to at least have a basic understanding of the theoretical framework AI works in. This will help you pinpoint areas of your business that are easier to improve with AI and areas of your business that don’t lend themselves to automation yet.
AI is a relatively new field, and there may be currently no impressive AI solutions to the most common problems in your fields right now. But, AI is also a fast-evolving field, and it is very likely that within the next decade or two, your sector will benefit immensely from AI. You don’t need to adopt AI algorithms right now to take some preparatory steps that ensure your business is ready whenever the breakthrough happens:
- Digitize business processes: go online. Use cloud technologies to improve compute performance. Build mobile apps to facilitate communication with clients. These are all possible ways you can digitize business processes.
- Collect data: AI algorithms work by having access to a large pull of data. If you collect extensive data right now, not only will it help your accounting and bookkeeping efforts, but it’ll help you adopt AI technologies faster in the future. It is a win-win solution.