How Could Artificial Intelligence Affect Businesses of the Future?

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It has been hailed as the technology which will revolutionise almost every aspect of daily life for both businesses and individuals alike. Artificial intelligence (AI) is already being used in various industries today, and is set to be implemented into a great deal of areas, from traffic lights to marketing.

It is likely that businesses of all types will benefit in some way from AI, with some being completely revolutionised by the innovative technology. It is likely to stimulate completely new types of businesses, which base their products or services on the ability of AI to help with a variety of different tasks. Here are some of the ways AI could affect businesses of the future.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

When it comes to AI, definitions can be somewhat varied. As the name suggests, however, the most sophisticated concept of AI essentially refers to machines and computers which have the ability to ‘think’ for themselves and make decisions autonomously. This means that they can go beyond basic programming and solve more complex problems, ultimately allowing them to do a lot of tasks which previously could only be undertaken by humans.  

In recent years, the development of artificial intelligence has been advancing at a rapid rate, so much so that new uses are being found for it on a regular basis. It is worth noting, however, that there are different levels of artificial intelligence, which are all likely to have different uses. The main artificial intelligence examples include:

  • Assisted intelligence: This more basic level of AI helps to improve what people are already doing, such as automatic email sorting
  • Augmented intelligence: this form of AI allows companies to perform tasks which they would not otherwise be able to do, such as releasing content suggestions to people based on their past actions   
  • Autonomous intelligence: The most advanced form of AI, this is still being developed, and will allow machines to complete the tasks they were designed for without aid from humans.

The Difference Between Business Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence

It is important to differentiate between business intelligence and artificial intelligence, although there may be some crossovers between the two. Business intelligence involves the analysis of data in order to help companies make more informed business decisions.

Whilst the analysis itself may involve some form of AI, business intelligence refers to the entire process of analysing business data, and also involves a number of different hi-tech tools which may not use AI technology.

Current Uses for AI

Currently, it is mostly assisted and augmented intelligence which are being used, mostly by larger companies. These forms of AI are helping companies to make their services more efficient and effective, through enabling them to better understand their customers and improve their offerings.

Some businesses, for instance, now use chatbots on their websites which are capable of simulating a conversation with potential customers who are visiting the site. Others use AI for analytical purposes, as it is capable of accurately reading data and applying complex computer algorithms.  

Artificial Intelligence in Businesses of the Future

There are already a number of different AI technologies in development, many of which could help a variety of businesses in the future. Self-driven lorries, for instance, will allow logistics companies to transport a larger amount of goods per driver, allowing them to significantly cut down on overall costs.

Small businesses may also be able to greatly benefit from AI’s potential. Restaurants, for instance, may be able to select and play music based on the music tastes of the people dining there.

AI may also usher in a new generation of businesses which base their services solely around its capabilities and potential uses. Some businesses, for instance, may offer the ability to hire out self-driven cars, whilst others may help other businesses/companies to automate their services through AI technology. 

Ultimately, though, it is virtually impossible to predict the impact of artificial intelligence in business, and how the technology will develop in the long run. There are, for instance, differing opinions on when ‘superintelligent’ AI will emerge, ranging from this century to a few centuries in the future.  

If one thing is for certain, though, it is that AI will revolutionise a number of different industries in the near future, and could completely change the way businesses run their day to day operations.

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This article has been compiled using information available to us up to 18th December 2017.