In recent times, one catches a lot of innovations being made in the field of Artificial Intelligence. AI interestingly is not a recent term, but has its origin, from as long ago as the 1950’s. However, it was only during 1980-2000 that Machine Learning under, the umbrella of AI started gaining significance. The most exciting breakthrough in AI development started in the 2010’s, known as Deep Learning, which got the world excited with the capabilities it promises. Today’s AI is a combination of machine learning and deep learning techniques.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not what most people perceive, it’s not some Sci-fi movie where the world is fighting robots and machines. It's more real and present in our daily lives than ever before. Most businesses are integrating it into their routine yet essential procedures. IT companies are assigning huge budgets towards the development of the components of AI, like, machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, robotics and advanced analytics.
According to a recent survey on ‘Top 10 strategic technology trends in 2017’, AI is at the top of the list. And it is not only companies in Information Technology that can benefit from AI, but several industries and its functions can too. It will be very naïve for companies and industries to ignore the developmental advantages that AI can offer, and not consent their use due to financial or other reasons.
Let’s learn from an example, in the early 90’s to 2000, there was a boom in eCommerce companies that sprung up in the market. However, retail giants ignored the threat only to start investing heavily on portals later in the day and incur losses. Playing catch up rarely produces happy results. In AI there is a sporadic opportunity today, for small and large organisations to make it a part of their business before they get left behind.
Which industries can benefit from AI?
Companies across are using AI to stay competitive in business and to increase productivity, consequently enhancing customer experience.
According to an article from Harvard Business Review, most businesses are using the AI technology in the fields of Information Technology (fixing technical glitches, automation, compliance and security), Marketing & Online Marketing (media purchasing, promotions, analytics) Financial Accounting (Financial trading etc.), Customer Service (managing escalations, automating call distribution, customer interaction).
According to the same HBR article, AI will be impacted most of the back office manual, repetitive work functions in the departments of HR, IT, Finance by 2020. Making employees available for more complex tasks, than dealing with password resets or answering HR policy related queries.
For industries such as Manufacturing, Robotics will play a huge role in eliminating human intervention in restrictive, mundane, repetitive tasks, bringing down the margin of error, it will then be more effective than humans.
Customer Support, specifically in Brands, Retailers, and Telecom, and Employee Support which focuses within an organisation, are two areas to benefit from AI intervention the most.
Processes which could benefit are Data Entry Work Process Automation, Development of Machine Learning to handle repetitive work, and Creating Intelligent Digital Agents to resolve customer queries through web chat.
Hence, without a doubt, AI is here to make our lives simple and exciting provided, we are logically in its application. It is making major changes in the way we deal with our clients and internal external customers, by getting immediate access to information and tapping employee talent for better and more productive use.