The practical application of Artificial Intelligence within SMEs
When people hear the words 'artificial intelligence' or 'machine learning,' they immediately think of robots walking around the office. However, in business, AI has a large range of uses and is starting to make what was once considered impossible, possible.
So what is AI? AI is a broad and general term that refers to any type of computer software that can engage in human like activities. It is all about technology itself looking at your company data using algorithms and maximising the value of that data. Within the workplace, this could be as simple as chat bots on your website, or having a 'virtual' personal assistant.
Rather than serving as a replacement for human intelligence, AI within the workplace is generally seen as a supporting tool. The main scope of AI is to gain a competitive benefit within e-commerce, manufacturing, HR, marketing, customer relations and accounting (just to name a few).
So where should you begin? Look internally to begin with. When it comes to trying something new within the business, it's better to test internally before going out to your clients/customers. You need to spend time deciding where to direct resources in order to avoid investment being wasted on unnecessary technologies.
1. How deep do you want to take this?
AI can be used both narrowly (eg. processing back end data, or running a marketing campaign) or more broadly (replacing an existing role
2. What does success look like for you?
This is such an important question when you're looking at implementing new technology. Making sure you have a realistic picture as to what desired outcome you have for your AI application. Knowing this will help you decide what product to use and how to use it.
AI has great potential to improve many aspects of SMEs. Implementing AI and ML will be vital for SMEs and those who don't adapt, are going to be left behind.