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AI's Growing Influence and the Future of Businessby@bsezer
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AI's Growing Influence and the Future of Business

by Burak SezerFebruary 14th, 2023
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming how businesses operate and interact with their customers. From automating routine tasks to transforming decision-making processes, AI has the potential to significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness in the business world. In this article, I will discuss how AI is shaping the future of business and provide examples of some companies that are already implementing these technologies.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming how businesses operate and interact with their customers. From automating routine tasks to transforming decision-making processes, AI has the potential to significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness in the business world. In this article, I will discuss how AI is shaping the future of business and provide examples of some companies that are already implementing these technologies.


AI for Automation

Automation is likely to be the only major way AI will shape the future of business. This has many implications for automating business activities and affects a wide range of industries. The following are a few of the most common:


1. AI Chatbots

Chatbots powered by AI are computer programs that simulate conversations with human users via text or audio. They can be used to automate customer service, answer questions, and even make recommendations, all of which were previously done by humans. Chatbots can also be used in marketing as they can be programmed to interact with customers and provide personalized services. IBM's Watson, Amazon's Lex, Google's Dialogflow, and Microsoft's Bot Framework are some of the most well-known and widely used chatbot service providers for millions of businesses.


2. Voice Recognition

AI voice recognition software is also broadly used. Customer service is perhaps one of the most common applications of AI-based automation that is already in place. However, it is also widespread in voice-enabled search and navigation, controlling home automation systems, hands-free app control, and other applications.


To give you an idea, Nuance's Dragon, SoundHound's Houndify, and wit.ai are some of the most extensively used voice recognition service providers.


3. Robotic Process Automation

In addition to automating manual, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks, robotic process automation (RPA) products also sped up workflows considerably. Among the examples are data entry, document processing, and customer service interactions. Some of the largest companies applying it into practice are UI Path, WorkFusion, and Automation Anywhere.


4. Image Recognition

Artificial Intelligence image recognition allows computers to recognize objects, scenes, and patterns in images by analyzing and interpreting them based on AI algorithms. This technology has several applications, including object detection and classification - which are typically done by humans - and facial recognition and image search. Amazon's Rekognition, Google's Vision API, and Clarifai are among the most popular and widely used image recognition services today.


5. Autonomous Mobility

Autonomous mobility refers to the use of AI to enable vehicles to operate autonomously, without the need for a human driver. This technology has the potential to transform the way people and goods are transported, resulting in increased efficiency, safety, and accessibility. AI autonomous mobility is achieved through a combination of sensors, cameras, and other detectors that allow the vehicle to perceive its surroundings. The vehicle then uses AI algorithms to process this information and make decisions about how to navigate its environment, such as adjusting its speed, changing lanes, and avoiding obstacles. One of the primary advantages of AI autonomous mobility is enhanced safety. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to significantly reduce the number of road accidents by removing human error from the equation.


Besides, by optimizing routes and lowering fuel consumption, the technology can help to reduce traffic congestion and improve overall driving efficiency. Another advantage of AI autonomous mobility is increased accessibility for people who cannot drive. Autonomous vehicles, in turn, can provide a new level of independence and mobility to the elderly, disabled, or those without a driver's license. This technology has been developed by Tesla, Waymo, Easy Mile, and Boston Dynamics, to name a few.


AI for Data Analysis


AI is also increasingly being used in data analysis to assist organizations in making better, faster, and more data-driven decisions. AI algorithms can process massive amounts of data and identify patterns and relationships that human analysts may not notice right away. This data can then be used to inform business strategies, improve operations, and stimulate innovation. Some of the more specialized applications for these tools encompass:


1. Predictive Analytics

With the help of historical data, AI algorithms can predict events in the future. Using AI, companies can predict customer behavior, sales trends, and market conditions more accurately.

A number of AI algorithms are embedded in Netflix and Spotify's algorithms to help the companies better understand their users' likes and dislikes. Based on this data, services can then provide relevant recommendations to their customers to keep them engaged by listening to music or watching series on those platforms.


2. Fraud Detection

Large amounts of data can be analyzed by AI to detect fraudulent activities such as credit card fraud, insurance fraud, and cyberattacks. The technology can detect unusual patterns of behavior and flag them for further investigation, improving financial transaction security and protecting organizations from potential losses.


Master Card has long used AI technologies to provide a fraud score for every transaction on its network as part of its anti-fraud efforts, making the information available to its issuers. Moreover, AI is used to detect fraud in combination with Mastercard's biometrics and behavioral analysis capabilities.


3. Predictive Maintenance

Data from equipment and systems can be analyzed by AI algorithms to predict when they may fail. This enables businesses to take proactive measures to avoid downtime and lower maintenance costs. Every year, General Motors spends more than $1 billion on maintenance and $7 billion on capital improvements. To reduce maintenance costs and unplanned downtime, the company now uses AI-driven tools to support the widespread adoption of predictive maintenance across its over 140 global production sites[1].


4. Supply Chain Optimization


AI algorithms can analyze supply chain data to identify inefficiencies and make recommendations for improvement.


There are several applications for this today:


    • Demand forecasting – to analyze data such as sales trends, consumer behavior, and market conditions to predict future demand, allowing companies to better plan their production and inventory levels.
    • Inventory management - to optimize inventory management by lowering the risks of stockouts and overstocking.
    • Delivery optimization - to optimize delivery routes and reduce transportation costs by analyzing data such as traffic conditions, delivery routes, and shipping costs.
    • Supply chain visibility - to provide real-time visibility into shipment status, allowing businesses to quickly identify and resolve any issues that may arise.
    • Product distribution - to analyze data such as consumer demand, shipping costs, and market conditions in order to optimize product distribution while lowering costs and increasing margins. Blue Yonder, Aera Technology, Kinaxis, and IBM Watson Supply Chain are a few of the most recognizable companies in the supply chain optimization area.


AI for Customer Service

AI is being utilized more and more to improve customer service and provide a better customer experience. Artificial intelligence technology can assist organizations in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of their customer service operations while also providing customers with timely and personalized support.


1. Virtual Assistants

AI virtual assistants can provide personalized support to customers, assisting them in finding information or completing tasks. Virtual assistants, for example, can be integrated into websites or mobile apps to assist customers with their shopping experience.

As such, Walmart customers can ask Google Assistant to add specific items to their shopping carts or learn more about their shopping habits in the app[2].


2. Sentiment Analysis

AI can be used to understand customer sentiments and opinions by analyzing customer feedback such as social media posts and survey responses. This data can assist organizations in identifying areas for improvement and providing better customer service.

For example, the global FMCG company Mars utilizes tools to assess video content and analyze sentiment in online ratings and reviews[3].


3. Automated Voice Response

AVR tools are used to provide automated customer service over the phone and interact with customers by providing audio responses to their questions or requests. These systems can be programmed to respond to simple questions and requests, provide callers with information such as current balances, allow customers to access specific account information, and, when necessary, redirect customers to an operator or customer service representative. Alvaria, Avaya, and GeneSys are three of the most recognized companies in this field.


AI for Marketing

AI is being used to increase the efficiency of marketing efforts in a variety of ways. AI technology can assist organizations in better understanding their customers, boosting campaign targeting, and measuring the results of their efforts. It is used in marketing in the following ways:


1. Customer Segmentation

To create targeted marketing campaigns, AI algorithms can analyze customer data such as demographic information, purchase history, and social media behavior. This enables businesses to better understand their customers and increase the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.


The Amazon Personalize automated segmentation system, which matches customers with the most compatible products tailored to their personal needs, is one of the most vivid examples. This is achieved through the use of special techniques that learn how users interact with items and then segment them based on their preferences.


2. Social Media Marketing

To better understand customer sentiment and preferences, AI algorithms can analyze social media data such as posts, comments, and likes. This data can be used to boost social media marketing efforts, such as by creating more relevant and engaging content.


Content optimization

By analyzing data to uncover patterns and trends in user behavior, this technology automates the process of personalizing content to target individual users. AI-powered content optimization tools can assist marketers in creating more personalized, compelling content to engage and convert customers by understanding user preferences. This technology also assists marketers in optimizing content for various channels such as the web, mobile browsers, apps, and others. Some of the most well-known companies in this regard are Marketo Engage, BridgtEdge, and Evergage.


In the legal industry, Artificial Intelligence is being used to automate repetitive tasks, improve the accuracy of legal research, and provide more efficient and cost-effective services to clients.


1. Contract Review and Analysis

AI algorithms can be used to review and analyze large volumes of contracts, assisting lawyers in identifying key provisions and clauses in a timely manner. When compared to manual review, this can save time and improve the accuracy of contract review.


2. Document discovery

AI algorithms can be used to categorize and prioritize legal documents, such as those used in litigation discovery. This can help lawyers identify relevant documents more quickly and make more informed decisions.


Legal research tools powered by AI, such as Westlaw and LexisNexis, can provide lawyers with timely and accurate information on legal precedents, regulations, and case law. This can assist them in conducting more effective legal research and providing more informed advice to clients.


4. Document Automation

Artificial intelligence algorithms can be used to automate the creation of legal documents like contracts and agreements. When compared to manual drafting, this can improve the efficiency and accuracy of document creation. Kira, Ross, Cognitiv+, LawGeex, Luminance, and Legal Robot are some of the best-known tools/companies developing and selling these technologies today.


AI for Creative Activities

Artificial intelligence is being used in the creation of music and video to automate tasks, generate new content, and provide artists and content creators with new creative tools.


1. Music Composition

AI algorithms can generate new music by either creating original compositions or recombining existing elements in novel ways. For example, AI can analyse existing music to determine the key elements of various genres and then use this knowledge to create new pieces.


2. Video Editing

AI algorithms can be used to edit video footage automatically, such as selecting the best shots, removing background noise, and color correcting. In comparison to manual editing, this can save time and improve the accuracy of video editing.


3. Content Creation

AI algorithms can be used to create new types of content, such as computer-generated imagery (CGI) or motion graphics. This can provide new tools for artists and content creators to create and experiment with new forms of content.


4. Music Production

AI algorithms can be used to automate music production tasks like mixing and mastering. AI algorithms, for example, can be used to optimise the balance of different audio elements in a mix, thereby improving the overall sound quality of a recording.


5. Video Enhancement

AI algorithms can be used to improve video content quality by removing noise, stabilizing shaky footage, and increasing resolution. This can provide tools for content creators to produce high-quality video content with less effort. Amper Music, AIVA, Flow Machines, Synthesia, Elai, and DaVinci Resolve are among the most well-known companies in this field.


AI to Identify Customer Needs

Last but not least, Artificial intelligence is being used to identify customer needs by analyzing massive amounts of customer data and behavior in order to gain insights into customer preferences, motivations, and needs. One of the most visible examples of this is currently taking place in the fashion industry, with some examples provided below:


  1. Stitch Fix: This online personal styling service recommends clothing items to customers based on their personal style, body type, and preferences using AI algorithms.


  2. Zara: To determine which styles and colors are most popular, the global fashion retailer uses AI to analyze data from sales, social media, and customer feedback. The data is then used to inform their design and production decisions.


  3. Rent the Runway: This online clothing rental service employs Artificial Intelligence to recommend styles to customers based on previous rentals, preferences, and events they are attending.


  4. Tommy Hilfiger: To inform their design and production decisions, this global fashion brand employs AI to analyze consumer behavior and preferences, such as the most popular colors, styles, and materials.


  5. Myntra: An Indian online fashion and lifestyle retailer employs AI to recommend products to customers based on their browsing and purchasing history, as well as their preferences and style.


Conclusion

To summarise everything mentioned above, Artificial Intelligence is rapidly transforming the business world and shaping the future of many industries. AI is assisting businesses in making more informed decisions, enhancing efficiency and productivity, and providing a more personalized and effective customer experience by processing and analyzing massive amounts of data.


AI is used in a variety of applications, including data analysis, marketing, customer service, and legal work. In a rapidly changing business landscape, the use of AI in these areas is aiding businesses in gaining a competitive advantage and staying ahead of the curve. Still, despite the numerous benefits of AI, there are concerns about its potential impact on the workforce, as well as on privacy and security.


As AI technology evolves, it will be crucial for companies to consider these issues and take a responsible and ethical approach to AI use. Overall, AI is profoundly and far-reaching shaping the future of business, and businesses that can effectively harness its power will be well-positioned to succeed in the years ahead.



Lead image developed by stable diffusion.