How Can Automation And AI Help Our Businesses?
When we hear about AI, our thoughts mostly go to science fiction movies, where holographic assistants help ship crews’ and… yours don’t? Well, maybe it’s just me.
Either way, we tend to see them as a very advanced piece of technology, and rightly so. The ability to have a voice-controlled device with constant access to the internet as well as our devices’ specification and data is quite tempting, but not easy to accomplish.
The fun part is, AI is already widespread - and it’s on the rise. We see it literally every day on our smartphones with the likes of Alexa, Cortana and Siri, but even toys for our kids are equipped with similar capabilities in order to make them interactive.
Why is our utilization of the technology increasing so rapidly? Well, there are several reasons. The first one that most people will notice is very straightforward - it’s fun. You can directly talk to your computer or smartphone and expect a humanized response. It’s pretty damn cool. But while recreational value is there, there are multiple other implications that make it a valuable solution.
For one, there is convenience. Some activities require you to use your hands, making typing a question into search engine quite difficult. Whether you’re driving, cooking, cleaning or simply don’t feel like getting out of bed, it’s easier to shout the request and wait for an answer. They can also book your tickets, guide you to a destination or order your food.
But most importantly for us, it can be easily utilized in business.
The most visible change will obviously be seen in customer service. The possibility to answer customers’ questions and even resolve them completely 24/7 is a considerable improvement to any business.
Automation is also not a thing to overlook. AI-managed factories could operate efficiently with only a skeleton crew, drastically cutting long-term expenses of a company. While such solutions are still quite expensive, the costs are consistently dropping. Following the example set by the so-called “brilliant factories”, the sort of equipment necessary to run such operations will be greatly diminished in the upcoming years.
Retail sector is no exception to utilizing AI. Brands like Sephora or Tommy Hilfiger already introduced their solutions and are using them for marketing purposes. The first one actually has two related products. The first one allows you to easily book salon reservations in the US. The second one is a bit more interesting - it utilizes AR, or augmented reality-friendly bot in order to match the proper shade of lipstick based on scanned photos of the customer.
The other company created a shopping bot, which will help you to get through the store’s offer in order to find exactly what you’re looking for, and transfer you seamlessly to the mobile app, with your cart already filled with the items you specified.
According to David Marcus, the Vice President of Facebook’s Messenger, bots and AI will lead us into a completely new era, and will be a shift comparable to the one we experienced with the creation of the web, mobile technology and apps.