Studies and research has shown that artificial intelligence and machine learning is likely to be one of top five investment priorities, with an estimated 30 percent of CIOs vouching for them by the year 2020. Companies and professionals across the globe have realised the importance of AI, and are striving to get a tint of AI in their offerings.
The technological wave has brought newer products into the ecosystem, with AI being welcomed strong headedly in the business world. But is having an AI-based product an inevitable part of every business now? Would products that do not use AI or ML die a natural death?
Why Has AI Become An Integral Part Of The System?
Products of the future will be the ones that are able to utilise intelligence from data efficiently. Companies like Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, and others are all using AI to keep up their game. Whether it’s the recommendation engines built on ML, or creating voice interfaces and chatbots, AI has become a crucial part of conducting businesses. In today’s scenario, products which are using data intelligently are the ones who can stay ahead in the competition, leading their ways to be market leaders.
Conventional rule-based analytics functions on ‘if-then’ kind of algorithms, whereas AI draws intelligence in real-time, which mimics human perception and generates pattern-based learnings. Manish Singhal, founding partner at Pi Ventures, had said in an interview that if data was going to be the new oil, then AI and ML would be the hand pumps to take out that oil.
He had also said that in a constantly evolving AI-first world, companies that don’t use AI or ML in their products would “die a natural death”. Like it was the era of mobile phones or the era of clouds, the current scenario is all about the era of AI. It is the right product architecture, algorithms, data strategy and right competitive moat that might yield transformative results for businesses — and AI is the underlining aspect of it all.
A ‘No AI’ Approach May Just Make Businesses Redundant
Though there is a genuine sentiment that AI will transform industries, the actual applications of AI in most industries are yet to be fully discovered. With AI offering a range of dynamic advantages, it is high time that business leaders strategically think about how AI may or may not make a difference to their company. It is important to look into AI in terms of business use, so that when they look down the line in 15 years, they don’t see themselves left behind than their counterparts.
Experts believe that not resorting to any kind of AI-based products may make the company redundant, not leaving much room for growth and developments. Some of the reasons why infusing AI into product could be a good idea are as below:
AI Infuses Intelligent Applications: It is a high time that companies start using ML for areas like detecting anomalies, recommending products or predicting churn, as adopting AI in day-to-day functioning. It will not only make systems more intelligent but help them operate faster. With the rapid generation of new data, availability of massive computing power and the ease of using new ML platforms, adopting it will generate real time predictions and improve efficiency overtime.
Humans + AI Can Speed Up The Pace: AI-based products in companies can make several tasks automated. Although it might bring a thought of AI replacing human jobs, a combination of artificial intelligence and human intelligence can create best end-to-end customer experience. Machines and humans working in conjunction would increase efficiency manyfolds, while ensuring an excellent customer experience.
Marketing, E-Commerce And Others Would Get Smarter With AI: From retail to social media and ecommerce, AI based products are likely to prove a powerful tool for their overall functioning. With AI implementation, computer algorithms can find patterns in data, predict customer outcomes and identify patterns and much more to optimise the offerings. ML can also up-sell the right product to the right customer at the right time. Installing AI based methods to answer sales queries or complaints can save companies a lot of time and money. E-commerce for instance is analysing data based on user’s purchase history or online shopping behaviour using AI and ML.
AI Ensures A Quick And Personal Customer Service: Chatbots and other personal assistants form a large part of adoption by businesses, and they are being built in a sophisticated way to recognise human emotions such as anger, confusion, fear and joy. Most banks and customer facing companies are adopting AI and ML based products to assist customers. Chatbots excel at collecting customer data and use it to learn and offer better service each time.
Integrating A Chatbot Doesn’t Make You An AI Company
We have reached a point in time where we can hardly speak to a technology executive or developer without talking about AI, ML or bots. While this might seem like an interesting phase, many companies, including startups end up calling themselves AI company, which might not be the case exactly. Just integrating a part of AI product of machine learning based functioning, doesn’t make it AI company. These products could be for bringing benefits like faster processing of queries, bringing more customer to the website or simply keeping them up-to-date with newer developments. It can therefore be said that if not die, not adopting AI and ML to business might slower the pace of growth compared to others.
Having said that, While AI is becoming an important part of the businesses, the companies should not adopt it just for the sake of it. Before making it a part of your business, it is important to ask, “How can AI be used to meet business goals”, rather than asking “What can we do with AI”. AI should not become a ‘toy’ application and a part of the business just because others are doing it. AI takes a lot of time, training, tweaking and specialised skills, and may go nowhere, if one is unaware of its use.