Computer, Make It So!
Science fiction promised us artificial intelligence (AI) that was entirely humanlike — robots that could clean our houses, drive our now-flying cars, or become so indistinguishable from humans that they could even become, as in the 2013 movie "Her," our closest confidants. AI has evolved quite differently than science fiction movies have suggested — at least for now. But the reality of AI, as it exists today, is no less valuable than its depictions in fiction. In fact, businesses should be taking AI quite seriously.
AI can make an impact on virtually any business sector — from customer retention, to pricing strategy, to root cause analysis. While AI may not appear human, it has an extra-human ability to untangle our most vexing problems and present us with elegant business solutions.
What Is AI?
AI is a sophisticated computer program that can perform tasks — analyzing data and finding patterns — as well as humans, if not if not much, much better. The key difference between us and AI programs, however, is that while humans can typically analyze data in three dimensions, AI programs can do so in hundreds.
Take, for example, the musical AI program that can scan massive music libraries to find the perfect sample track to fit into a song — a pulsing drum line or soaring vocal riff — all in a matter of moments. The AI program saves the musician weeks of painstaking work — and can come up with a better result for the effort.
For businesses, the power of AI rests in its ability to consistently improve both the speed and quality of data analysis. In other words, AI empowers businesses with science fiction-like ability to uncover otherwise inaccessible insights and drive business forward.
What Does AI Look Like Today?
AI takes many forms. Many consumers are familiar with popular AI virtual assistants, such as Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri. But many of today's powerful AI applications play much more behind-the-scenes roles — and leading organizations are using them to power core features of their business.
Gmail, for example, the popular Google email application, uses AI to help block spam emails for its millions of users — and successfully blocks roughly 100 million spam emails per day. Netflix, meanwhile, uses AI suggest new shows and personalize each show's artwork, based on users' viewing history. to make it more enticing to viewers. In another area, the travel industry uses AI to power online chatbots, recommend travelers new destinations, and help customers find cheaper tickets.
How Can Companies Deploy AI Right Now?
For businesses today, AI is not only practical to deploy, it offers a degree of value fit for science fiction. In fact, 91% of global C-suite executives say that AI will enable them to out compete their industry rivals. The reason is that AI technology can apply to virtually any kind of business data — helping companies to uncover key analytic insights that humans alone would otherwise miss.
For instance, AI software is especially adept at finding the most valuable customers — and the products and prices to match. Take the Wall Street Journal, for example. The paper uses a machine learning program — a subset of AI that can actually learn by doing — to identify elusive high-value readers and tweak its dynamic paywall to increase their chances of singing up for a paid subscription. The WSJ converts these readers three times as frequently as other customers — a rate them that, prior to AI, was pure fantasy.
For businesses, the applications for AI are as broad as their imaginations — anything from uncovering data-led pricing strategies to increase customer loyalty, to boosting marketing efforts with high-impact, personalized messaging and offers, to converting tricky, on-the-fence customers with AI-generated bespoke coupon promotions.
Science fiction movies depict Artificial Intelligence as a human equal. But in reality, AI is a powerful tool — one that allows businesses to develop solutions to their most important challenges. We're not quite ready to fight off SkyNet with the Terminator just yet!
Keyence is a leader in AI business analytics, with over 40 years over experience with data-driven decision making. To learn more about how AI can drive your business forward, download the 3 Key Features Digital Brochure today!
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