Your Guide to Artificial Intelligence: How AI Can Help Small Businesses

artificial intelligenceThe term “artificial intelligence” might prompt you to think about advanced robots in sci-fi movies and TV shows, like Data from “Star Trek” or the infamous HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey.” However, AI is no longer just a concept that exists in futuristic fiction. It’s becoming part of our day-to-day lives, and it’s already changing how we do business.

Small and midsize companies in particular stand to benefit from the capabilities of AI. If you’re the leader of a small or medium-sized business and wondering how you can use artificial intelligence to your advantage, here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know.

What is AI and how does it work?
AI is a tool that allows machines to learn based on their experiences, just like humans do, according to SAS Institute. AI research has been going on since the 1950s and started with symbolic methods and problem solving. Over the decades, the rise of big data and advances in computing have contributed to the popularity and progression of AI capabilities.

Some examples of AI include the personal assistants many of us now interact with on a daily basis, including Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

How is AI being used in the world today?
AI is currently in use across a wide range of industries. In addition to digital assistants, here are just some of the many ways we leverage AI, according to “The Wired Guide to Artificial Intelligence.”

  • Self-driving cars
  • Software that can diagnosis medical issues, such as diabetic retinopathy
  • Chatbots
  • Game playing computers (e.g., IBM’s Deep Blue)
  • Speech and image recognition programs

How can AI potentially help small businesses?
AI has a lot of potential to augment human capabilities and intelligence and help businesses achieve more than ever. Despite concerns that robots will replace us at our jobs, in reality, fewer than 5 percent of occupations could be fully automated, based on the current state of technology, according to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute.

Instead of doing our jobs for us, it can make our work easier, particularly for those who run small businesses and have limited time and resources to invest in human labor and tackle everything that needs to be done. Here are just a few areas where AI can give small businesses a boost.

HR and employee engagement: There are AI solutions out there like Rocketbot and Tangowork that let employees get HR info and give feedback/express concerns via internal chatbots, according to the Inc. article “4 Ways Artificial Intelligence (AI) Can Transform Your Small Business.”

Improved sales team performance: AI can enhance your sales efforts. There are AI solutions that transcribe sales calls and analyze the calls made by the most successful sales reps, examining factors such as the amount of time they spend talking versus listening, the Inc. article explains.

Better CX: AI can also improve customer service, which is a valuable benefit in an era when a growing number of businesses compete primarily based on customer experience (CX). Particularly for small businesses with a limited number of staff members, AI can help by sorting helpdesk tickets, answering common questions and more, according to the Forbes article “Five Ways AI Can Help Small Businesses.”

If you’d like to learn more about AI and/or other IT solutions that can help your business operate more efficiently and effectively, you can reach out to our team of tech experts by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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