In a world where technology is changing rapidly, it can be hard for businesses to keep up with shifting consumer demands. Take how customers interact with businesses, for instance. According to a recent study by Drift, people now prefer real-time interaction as they make their purchases, meaning that just having an online storefront is no longer enough.
For startups looking to grow a loyal customer base, the immediate needs of users can be especially intimidating and even seem, at times, insurmountable. Entrepreneurs with small employee bases would have no way of being there for every customer and anticipating each person’s needs in real time.
If you’re training to be a concert violinist, you don’t want your technique to be merely “good enough.” A new computer system may soon be able to help, as it uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify a user’s bow technique, and could perhaps even tell them how to improve their performance.
Many corporate human resources departments are such technological backwaters that they still rely on Excel spreadsheets or even paper documents for many of their tasks or services.
But the vast majority of HR departments expect to make a quantum leap in their IT systems in just the next two years, with many of them embracing artificial intelligence to help with their functions, according to a new study from consulting firm Bain.
“HR departments are rapidly adopting new technologies,” Michael Heric, a partner with Bain’s Performance Improvement practice, said in the report.
The transformation which artificial intelligence and machine learning have introduced into the tech world is unparalleled. With the innovation of the likes of digital assistants and self-driving cars, what was once considered science fiction has now begun to materialize. For digital marketing, artificial intelligence offers an incredibly variegated assortment of opportunities. Ranging from process automation to consumer behavior analysis, to improved data gathering methods, marketing executives can now breathe more easily, as much of the work they have to do has become a lot more simplified. Here, we will consider ways in which artificial intelligence will help improve your marketing success and reduce your physical exertion.
Scenario: You’re a startup office. People in hoodies and graphic tees are throwing the term “AI” around like confetti. You nod and try to play along, managing to churn out a brief mention of Elon Musk and Tesla as you look up the definition of “artificial intelligence” on your phone. You try to translate it into plain English. No luck. Relatable?
Never fear: Our trusty guide is here, no prior knowledge required. Let’s talk about what it is — in layman’s terms — and how it could affect your life.
What AI is
AI is the advancement of computer systems to perform tasks usually limited to humans. Translation: Some things you used to have to do yourself — or call someone about, or visit a physical location for help with — can now be done by a computer.
Artificial intelligence has had its share of ups and downs recently. In what was widely seen as a key milestone for artificial intelligence (AI) researchers, one system beat a former world champion at a mind-bendingly intricate board game. But then, just a week later, a “chatbot” that was designed to learn from its interactions with humans on Twitter had a highly public racist meltdown on the social networking site.
How did this happen, and what does it mean for the dynamic field of AI?
Much like the evolution of systems design, IT-enabled process change ebbs and flows over time. We see this in history as each technology revolution brings with it a refactoring of business operations.
With the rise of client/server computing in the 1980s, and the introduction of database servers and visual development tools like PowerBuilder, “business process re-engineering” became all the craze during the 1990s.
By 1993, 60 percent of the Fortune 500 developed IT systems to automate mundane tasks like insurance claims processing or AP invoice/purchase order reconciliation, channeling the mandate of technology-led business transformation in Michael Hammer’s infamous 1990 HBR article, “Don’t Automate, Obliterate.”
Twenty-odd years later, we’re about to see another “flow” of transformation thanks to resurgent interest in artificial intelligence and the emergence of the AI-powered business application. What’s different this time around is the transformation will be driven bottom up by rank-and-file employees, making it potentially more disruptive than any “flow” of process change that came before. What are AI-powered apps, and what do they have to do with business process re-engineering?
There’s been a lot of fear about the future of artificial intelligence.
Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk worry that AI-powered computers might one day become uncontrollable super-intelligent demons. So does Bill Gates.
But Baidu chief scientist Andrew Ng—one of the world’s best-known AI researchers and a guy who’s building out what is likely one of the world’s largest applied AI projects—says we really ought to worry more about robot truck drivers than the Terminator.
In fact, he’s irritated by the discussion about scientists somehow building an apocalyptic super-intelligence. “I think it’s a distraction from the conversation about…serious issues,” Ng said at an AI conference in San Francisco last week.
So, when he or she passes by the kiosk, the digital signage, equipped with a freaky sort of Anonymous Video Analytics technology, zooms in on his or her face and instantly determines gender and age group to guess what products might exert some allure (hopefully it won’t scan your second chin and suggest half a South Beach Living Fiber Fit Bar … nothing else).