We have entered the age of the thinking machine. In a very short time, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and its subset, machine learning, have gone from mere science fiction to the imperative puzzle piece that is successfully streamlining our lives. It can trade stocks, analyze genetic code, write software, drive a car and help you bake the perfect peanut butter cookies.
This force, while still technically in its infancy, is continuously outperforming humans at many tasks. With the list of A.I. accomplishments growing by the day, it begs the question: What even is A.I.? How does it work? And how could a small business owner harness its power?
What Is AI? How is Machine Learning Defined?
Artificial Intelligence is the development of a computer system that is capable of completing sophisticated human tasks. Machine learning is an application of AI that provides computers the ability to learn. They do so through frequent repetition.
Initially, humans set up an algorithm for which the machine can begin acquiring knowledge. Performing a high volume of monotonous computerized tasks helps deepen the machine’s neural networks. An incredible load of data is required to teach these digital brains.
How Does It Work?
Over time, the algorithm becomes self-learning. It becomes capable of making evidence-based predictions without relying on a predetermined equation. It can spot natural patterns in data that allow it to acutely comprehend.
Whether building a shopping list or conducting an MRI, an A.I. algorithm can dig deep into its data supply and operate with razor-sharp accuracy. Machines can’t do everything, but they are built to accomplish a range of singular tasks very well.
Benefits of Artificial Intelligence for Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises
A.I. can morph into the realm of small business very easily. It can undoubtedly improve the e-commerce experience for customers. Commercially accessible chatbots have become commonplace on websites in recent years. They engage users browsing your site and help expedite customer service. Machine learning can intelligently recommend extra items based on user behaviour. For example, when a customer goes to complete their purchase of a scarf, a suggestion is made that they may like a matching set of gloves.
Experts have declared that machine learning will be the future of marketing. It is currently allowing companies to analyze unbelievably enormous amounts of data in real time. It can churn out actionable insights instantly.
So What’s in it for My Business?
What can you do with instant insights? Deliver highly optimized interactions because you now have an in-depth customer profile at your fingertips. Assemble better marketing campaigns because you now know exactly who your target audience is. You know what they love, loath, fear and anticipate. Create better ads that speak to your audience like an old friend. Finally you can give customers what they want before they even realize they want it.
This technology prevents you from throwing money at educated guesses. Smaller scale businesses can put their precious dollars towards something they know is going to pay off. Automated emails and social media scheduling can free up your staff’s time so they can focus on important projects. Machine learning’s precision can also pinpoint supply chain issues and determine the most effective channels to use.
Computational learning has come a long way from the 1950s when the technology was first imagined. We may not be that far away from simulating a human brain in digital form. These incredible complexities of computer science may await us down the road. For now, the advantages available to the average business could improve productivity and present a distinct competitive edge.