When we think of businesses using artificial intelligence (AI) systems, we often think of big, complex systems that will dramatically change how business is done. It’s not surprising, perhaps, that in a recent survey PWC survey that only 27 percent of businesses already have artificial intelligence implemented in multiple business units, while only 16 percent say plan to test the artificial intelligence waters this year and only 15 percent say they plan to deploy artificial intelligence in multiple areas. That is to say that adoption of artificial intelligence is, so far, going relatively slow, despite a projection that artificial intelligence will contribute more than $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
The good news, however, is that artificial intelligence implementation does not have to be complex nor does it have to incite massive change in how your firm does business. In fact, there are several light-weight systems that can be deployed relatively quickly and without massive disruption. Let’s take a look at a couple of options.
We talked extensively about chatbots previously, so no need to go into deep detail here. That said, chatbots are one of the easiest artificial intelligences to implement. The cool thing is that they can be deployed to a variety of businesses, not just ones with heavy customer service requirements. For example, a manufacturer could offer a chatbot to its customers to help with reordering basic components or products. So instead of going to the manufacturer’s website, hunting for the part putting it in the shopping cart, getting authorization for purchase, etc., the customer only needs to tell the chatbot what they’re looking for and how much, and the bot does the rest of the work. The great part about this is that it makes customers’ lives far easier while also freeing up sales team resources so they can pursue more important things.
Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services
While chatbots are a great place to start, the bigger category of artificial intelligence is what’s known as “cognitive services.” These are essentially plug-and-play artificial intelligence systems that can handle a variety of tasks, such image or facial recognition, speech recognition, translation, knowledge management support, and search (web and voice). Using image recognition, for example, manufacturers can identify potential flaws or defects in products as they come off the assembly line. What’s more, they can do this faster and more accurately than humans. This has the potential to speed up delivery times on orders, increase customer satisfaction by reducing returns, and improving the overall quality of output.
Process Automation & Optimization
This is probably the most disruptive use of artificial intelligence, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. The truth is that it can be done piecemeal, testing out what works and what doesn’t, and then expanding from there. Some processes where artificial intelligence can be quickly and easily deployed include billing, performance measurement, and order management and fulfillment, among others. Depending on the nature of your business and the processes you’re looking to improve, some of these artificial intelligences will require deploying sensors in an Internet of Things (IoT) environment. For example, you can track items in your supply chain with the goal of identifying process roadblocks and then optimize a process to either work around or resolve those challenges. Truly, the options here are only limited by your imagination.
If you’re interested in exploring how artificial intelligence can be deployed in your business, contact us. We’re happy to work with you to develop a strategic artificial intelligence program that fits both your budget and your timeline.