How would you define a small business, the number of personnel, the size of the budget, or sales?
However you define your own small business, it too can take advantage of the AI/machine learning revolution that is now taking place. Yes, small business owner, you too can leverage AI just like the big guys.
The Trickle Down Affect Of AI
Artificial intelligence has actually been around for a long time. Launched in the 1950s, it was initially used to translate between languages like say English to Russian or visa versa. In each successive decade, we have seen advances in the technology so that today it can be utilized in almost any trade of business.
Just like the development of new technologies in other fields, after awhile, the cost has reduced as capabilities have expanded. For example, thanks to the U.S mission to the moon, overtime the cost of computer chips dropped significantly. Moreover, as the luxury segment of the car industry has developed new safety technologies, the costs have declined allowing the technology to now trickle down to moderate and even lower end car models.
In addition, the cloud, a computer concept that allows individuals and businesses to gain access to software that they may not have on their own computers, has resulted in lower costs for utilizing technologies.
Moreover, because computer power doubles every 18 months, there is access to more powerful and cheaper processing capability. This means that there is more potential to implement AI solutions.
Thanks to these advances, 45 percent of work activities could potentially be automated using today’s technologies and machine learning can provide 80 percent of that, according to a study performed by McKinsey, a business analytics company.
Business Segments That Use AI Cost Effectively
Today AI or machine learning can be used in many aspects of a business operation in a cost effective way. For example, businesses are using AI to improve customer relations. Its use decreases costs while customizing assistance to customers.
It is also being used in the field of human resources to automate elements of the hiring process and assists executives in making decisions.
AI is also being used to train a workforce and improve forecasting. For example, one company, Udacity, an educational organization, improved sales by 50 percent when it introduced chatbots to its sales team. A chatbot is a computer program that can communicate via written conversation. The software assists humans on closing a sale based on sets of words, conversations and information collected from the customer.
Tremendous advancements in algorithms, data and infrastructure and the costs of acquiring them have helped to decrease the cost of AI overall making it affordable for small businesses.