AI can make your business run more efficiently. But how? This article gives explained why and gives you 11 different examples of how you can use AI in your business today.
AI Use cases
Basically, AI can be split into three different kinds of applications:
- Bot: Helps you interact with systems or users
- Automation: Performs and manages tasks on your behalf
- Assistants: Helps you perform your tasks smarter
A bot is defined as an autonomous program on the internet or another network that can interact with systems or users. An AI adds a new dimension to that definition because an AI bot interacts with systems or users with a certain level of knowledge.
An AI bot will have domain knowledge of what it is working with, and this makes It more capable of handling more specialties tasks than a regular IT-based bot. We all know examples of IT-based bots on websites. They are programmed to give predefined answers to the questions the user might ask.
An AI-based bot does not work in the same way. It will actually try to understand the user’s intent and reply accordingly.
An example illustrates the difference. Let’s say that you use bots on a telcos corporations support site. An IT-based bot will engage with a customer and ask this customer some questions.
The purpose is to be able to map the type of question the user is seeking help into a predefined category. Like “Have just moved to a new city and need changes to the mobile subscription plan to cater for their new needs”.
When a user is categorized, then appropriate actions can be taken. If it is simple, then the bot can deliver the answer, if it is more complex, then the customer is routed to a customer support employee.
How does an AI bot work
An AI bot has no predefined categories that it will seek to place the user into. It will try to understand the user’s intent and, based upon this knowledge, give him the right help. It will know this because it has been trained in how customer service employees and IT-based bots interact with a user, and what the successful output was.
The customer’s previous interactions
Whenever AI bots interact with a customer, they will try to map the user’s action against previous customer interactions. When it seems that the similarities are significantly strong, compaired to previous cases, the AI will suggest the historically correct solution to the customer.
AI vs. IT
This means that the AI will interact with the user in a much less mechanical way that an IT bot will do. The AI bot will ask questions to the customer as follow-up questions on the information it has received. So it will feel like a real conversation to the user, and the answer will be presented in the context of the user’s needs. You can read more on this page that explains how AI can write books.
Three real-life examples
Here er some examples of real-life bot that works with AI:
We have all come into contact with online chatbots. This video shows two AI-based online chatbots that chats about how it is to be human. Nice twist!
Voice bots are also entering the AI world. Here is an example from Google where a voice bot called and make an appointment at the hairdressers.
Hotel service bot
Our last bot example is from Japan. Here you can visit a hotel that uses bot as the only “staff” in their reception.
AI will also revolutionize the way we work with automation and what can be achieved. The reason has to do with how AI work. AI is extremely good at handling complexity, and this fact opens up a new level of automation options.
How automation is done today
To know what this means, we start with how automation is done today. Automation is based on rule-based software and processes. This means that you can produce large amounts at scale cheaply because all the units you produce are the same.
An example explains. The reason why lamps and other furniture supplies are so cheap at Ikea is that Ikea will produce millions of the same units. This makes it possible to divide the initial production starting cost on each unit to a degree where they are almost non-existing.
The price you pay
The price you as a consumer pays for this level of production is a choice. You will only get a limited (color) option choice when you buy your Ikea lamps. This is because Ikeas would like to reduce complexity in their production, distribution, and sales set-up.
AI and complexity
Complexity is not an issue when it comes to AI. AI can handle much higher levels of complexity, and this means that you will be able to offer a service where lamps that are made on bespoke customer request could be produced at the same unit price as an Ikea lamp simply because AI can handle a production set up where each lamp is individually produced but at the same cost price as mass-produced identical lamps.
Here are four examples of AI-based automation
Handling the complexity of a warehouse or a production line is an obvious way to use AI. Here is an example of how a warehouse can be run with AI.
First-level customer service bots are starting to appear. Here is an example from MacDonald where IBM has made an automated drive-through system.
Can and should Artificial Intelligence write code and software? This video talks about the pros and cons.
Artificial Intelligence and accounting
Accounting means working with complex data and this makes this field obvious as an artificial intelligence use case.
Artificial Intelligence as an assistant
The last part where AI will make a significant impact on your business is as an assistant.
Here the AI will perform tasks on your behalf or on behalf of your team.
Patterns in data
Such a task could be to analyze complex data in ways that you would never be able to do yourself. Again this has to do with complexity and AI’s ability to see patterns in data. So all business. So you will see AI assistants emerge in lots of areas where decisions are based on data, with almost all business desition being, to some extent.
Here are four AI applications that work as an Assistant:
One of the industries that have the most to gain from AI in financial services. This video shows you 5 use cases that can make an impact on how this business is run.
A special discipline with financial services is fraud detection. As AI is great at spotting patterns in complex data, fraud detection is a great place to apply AI. Here is a case on how it is done.
AI powered Analytics
The area of analytics is probably where most AI applications first enter a business. There is an analytics use case everywhere you work with complex data. This spans from accounting, finance, production management, marketing, and sales.
AI as a Data assistant
There are many use cases for Artificial intelligence and data analytics. In this example, AI is used by researchers to make reach their goal faster and with more accuracy.
The three types of AI
So now you know how Ai can work for you. The next step is to put some words into what AI is.
AI is the core terminology of all artificial intelligence applications. The definition that I like the most is that AI is nonhuman intelligence. This is a very broad definition that basically states that all intelligence that is not human can be categorized as AI.
There is two popular branches of AI that you should also know of. They are called machine learning and deep learning. Deep learning is a sub-branch of machine learning. So you can illustrate the relationship between the three as shown here.
The smart part of machine learning is that it looks for patterns in user behavior. This is smart because that makes it possible for machine learning to detect the meaning of what it experiences.
Here is what this means. You might have heard that you train an AI. This means that you feed your machine learning algorithms with data. You do this by letting your machine learning algorithms know the right outcome and the false. It could be that you show the AI pictures of the letter three written in hand and something that is not 3. If the machine learning algorithm is fed enough times, it will learn to detect the patterns that define what three is, compared to pictures that did not show the handwritten letter 3.
This learning means that machine learning can reach a state where it can make complex decisions, like driving a car. It will have learned what it takes to navigate traffic.
Compaired to IT that needs code to work, then AI can be made to solve much more complex business system
leaders in the world need to create value for their employees and their customer
This video shows the principle in more detail.
If you are more interested in getting to know more about the three different technologies, then we suggest you read this article that covers more on what the difference is between the three different AI branches.
About the author
Per Damgaard Husted is an international keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and CEO.
Per Damgaard Husted
He speaks on how AI can transform the foundation upon which a business could be built.
Per has been creating digital solutions for more than 20 years. He founded the Copenhagen-based AI data analytics startup Canecto in 2017 and Cognifirm in 2020.
The two companies run on an AI infrastructure design patent that he has created.
Priorior to his startup endeavors, he spent ten years with IT management in the finance industry.
So his insights in AI and business are rooted in two areas. He has gained insights into how AI works as a startup CEO. And the management knowledge on the challenges of how a large corporation runs.
Ai-powered applications are entering our business domains in many areas. Few industries, processes, and technology will become untouched by this movement. Regardless if you work in Human Resources, data science, or finance. Artificial Intelligence will make our lives easier and free resources for tasks that are more interesting for us to do.
So there is a lot to look forward to when it comes to getting artificial intelligence into our businesses.