What is Artificial Intelligence?
Before venturing into how AI technologies are affecting the business world, it is necessary to define the term. The term “artificial intelligence” refers to any type of computer software that performs human-like activities such as learning, planning, and problem-solving. Calling specific applications “artificial intelligence” is akin to referring to a car as a “vehicle” – technically correct, but it doesn’t cover technically correct, but it doesn’t cover any of the details.
AI and business today
Rather than serving as a replacement for human intelligence and ingenuity, artificial intelligence is generally seen as a supporting tool. Humans can use AI to game out possible consequences and streamline the decision-making process. “Artificial intelligence is the software’s second coming,” said Amir Husain, founder and CEO of machine-learning firm SparkCognition. “It’s a type of software that makes decisions on its own and can act in situations that the programmers did not anticipate.” In comparison to traditional software, artificial intelligence has a greater range of decision-making ability.” These characteristics make AI extremely valuable in a variety of industries, whether it’s simply assisting visitors and employees in efficiently navigating a corporate campus, or performing a task as complex as monitoring a wind turbine to predict when it will require repairs.
Image Courtesy of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for Manufacturing: driving efficiency further. (2020, April 3). The Manufacturer. Retrieved October 22, 2022, from https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/robotic-process-automation-rpa-for-manufacturing/
Common uses of AI
Digital personal assistants
Internet and data research
AI bots can be used as personal assistants to help manage your emails, maintain your calendar and even provide recommendations for streamlining processes. You can also program these AI assistants to answer questions for customers who call or chat online. These are all small tasks that make a huge difference by providing you extra time to focus on implementing strategies to grow the business.
Artificial intelligence analyzes massive amounts of data to identify patterns in people’s search behaviors and provide them with more relevant information about their situation. Users will have a more customizable experience as they use their devices more and as AI technology advances. This is great news for small businesses because it will make it easier to target a very specific audience.
According to Husain, artificial intelligence is an indispensable ally when it comes to detecting flaws in computer network defenses. AI systems, believe it or not, can detect a cyberattack as well as other cyberthreats by monitoring patterns in data input. When it detects a threat, it can search your data for the source and help prevent future threats. That extra set of eyes, as diligent and consistent as AI, will be invaluable in preserving your infrastructure.
AI and the Future of Workplace
As AI becomes more integrated into the workforce, it is unlikely that all human jobs will be eliminated. Rather, many experts predict that the workforce will become more specialized. These roles will necessitate more of what automation cannot (yet) provide, such as creativity, problem-solving, and qualitative skills. Essentially, there will always be a need for people in the workforce, but their roles may change as technology advances. Specific skill sets will be in higher demand, and many of these jobs will require a more advanced, technical skill set.
AI and Its Future
Stuart Russell, an AI expert, joked (or not) about his “formal agreement with journalists that I won’t talk to them unless they agree not to put a Terminator robot in the article.” His quip revealed a clear disdain for Hollywood depictions of far-future AI, which tend toward the overwrought and apocalyptic. What Russell called “human-level AI,” also known as artificial general intelligence, has long been the stuff of science fiction. However, the chances of it being realized anytime soon, if at all, are slim. “Most AGI researchers expect AGI within decades, and if we just bumble into this unprepared, it will probably be the biggest mistake in human history. It could enable brutal global dictatorship with unprecedented inequality, surveillance, suffering and maybe even human extinction,” Tegmark said in his TED Talk. “But if we steer carefully, we could end up in a fantastic future where everybody’s better off — the poor are richer, the rich are richer, everybody’s healthy and free to live out their dreams.”