AI – short for artificial intelligence – refers to machines that learn and adapt, mimicking human cognitive functions. In the business world, this means automating tasks that take up employees’ valuable time and freeing them up to focus on more impactful work. For example, AI can do the work of identifying contact information for potential customers and sorting through data to find customer patterns that can be used to make better business decisions.
Unlike humans, AI is not limited by the need to stop working for a meal or a break, and it can process large amounts of data much faster than a human can. AI has also proven to be a useful tool for the detection of anomalies in a company’s data sets, such as unusual debit card use or unauthorized account deposits.
The first step in implementing an AI system is deciding what kind of work it will be doing. The best way to do this is by taking a close look at your company’s existing processes and workflows. Identify the ones that drain the most time from your team members, like transcribing documents, verifying client data, or answering simple questions like “what are your hours?” Once you have identified what kinds of functions you’d like to have AI perform, it’s important to clearly define the desired outcomes. AI works best when it has a clear end goal in mind, such as gathering and sorting customer data.
Engineers must then input the necessary data into the AI system to let it know what behaviors it should emulate. This can include text, images or speech. It’s important that the data is organized and centralized in one place, so that the AI can easily read it. It’s also helpful to have a CRM, like HubSpot’s, to streamline the organization of your data set and make it easier for AI technology to access it.
Many businesses will add AI capabilities to products they already own, much the same as Apple added Siri to its latest products. This will include automation, conversational platforms and bots, and can range from home security to investment analysis.
Companies should also consider implementing an Agile testing mindset to ensure that they are leveraging the right tools for their needs. This will help them understand what’s working and what isn’t, and allow them to adjust the program as needed. This can speed up the time to market and increase the effectiveness of their efforts.