If you think artificial intelligence (AI) is some futuristic concept more likely to be seen in a Hollywood sci-fi movie than your average business, then it’s time to think again. AI, or the computer science of creating intelligent machines that mimic human capabilities, is increasingly having an impact on the workplace. And it’s not just the big corporates either that are using the technology. The truth is that all businesses need to be looking at ways to apply AI in their operations if they want to stay in the game. And so, in this article we look at how AI is changing the face of business.

Applying AI: lessons from the corporates

Starbucks in the US has recently announced that it will be introducing voice ordering capabilities via Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based virtual assistant. The aim is to enhance the customer experience with this easy to use and a convenient voice-activated way for customers to place their coffee orders.

And many of us are signed up to the likes of Amazon or Netflix without fully appreciating the powerful and highly accurate predictive technology that underpins their offering. Both companies use AI to analyse billions of records to suggest movies or books that we might like based on our previous buying histories and selections.

What’s more, Apple’s virtual assistant has become an indispensable daily tool for many of us. We use Siri to source information, give directions, add events to our calendar and even help us to send messages.

These are just a few examples of how the corporates are using AI and as you can see, far from being some futuristic world, AI is already a very real and widely deployed technology.

How to apply AI in your business

There’s no doubt about it, AI can help businesses to drive down costs and better meet the needs of customers while also ensuring competitiveness in an increasingly tech-driven marketplace.

But if your struggling to see how you could apply the technology, then the first step is to undertake some research and check out what’s happening in your industry. In this way, you can keep track of any emerging trends that could be applied in your business as well as keeping a close eye on what your competitors are up to.

The next step is to make sure that your IT capabilities can meet the challenge of AI. That means moving away from on-premises solutions to cloud-based computing that is capable of easily scaling up as you implement AI technology.

Finally, brainstorm ideas on how you could utilise AI in your business, whether it is to automate processes or improve the customer experience. For example, if you run a clothing store, you could perhaps use predictive analytics technology to reduce staffing inefficiencies. If you’re in the restaurant business, then you could explore the potential of autonomous delivery vehicles. And if you’re a company with complicated accounting, you might look to ease the process through automated AI applications.

The truth is that AI is already very much a part of our daily lives. Businesses need to find ways to embrace this technology as the future is likely to be powered by AI applications.