By Jerry Mooney
Isn’t it strange that whenever anyone mentions the phrase ‘artificial intelligence’, it immediately makes you think of the future? You might picture robots, androids, and all kinds of Blade Runner-esque scenarios, that still seem like a wild fantasy. But the reality of AI is that it is actually here, now, and with us already. And whether you are a business owner or getting high up on the corporate ladder, it’s one of the most important and relevant subjects you need to understand.
Well over two-thirds of people in the media, technology and telecommunications industries expect AI to flourish and start having an impact on business, products and services in the next five years, and the buds are already starting to appear. Here are some of the exciting ways that AI is beginning to change business – read on to find out more.
One of the most visible examples of machine learning is facial recognition. It’s far from a perfect technology at the moment – a quick look at Facebook’s efforts to introduce it are a testament to that – and there are, of course, a few privacy concerns. But facial recognition is actually being used in a lot more places than you might think. Apple and Android phones are both starting to look into facial recognition to unlock your devices, while MasterCard is working on ‘Selfie Pay’ payments. It’s not just ultra-modern companies that are embracing the tech, either – even Chinese temples are getting involved by installing it into bathrooms to eliminate the theft of toilet paper!
Early adopting companies are already using AI to reduce the time-consuming process of recruitment. You can go to Valintry.com for a full rundown of how this works, but in essence, many companies are beginning to automate their talent screening processes. With a blend of machine learning, social, mobile and cloud technology, it’s possible for recruiters to be faster and more engaging with their operations.
AI is showing signs that it doesn’t just learn – it can also help humans learn. Services like Udacity are using AI to identify patterns and phrases that are used to make and close product sales, which then results in a bot actually giving information to human advisors. The human then uses the ‘successful’ words or phrases, and are more likely to sell the course to the prospective student.
Is it time to say goodbye to your inventory software and embrace AI instead? Perhaps – and it’s already rolling out in a number of forward-thinking companies. Take Amazon, for example. In 2012 the online shopping giant bought out Kiva Systems, a company that designed warehouse robots that could do everything from identifying stock levels, replenish produces, and even fulfil orders automatically.
It’s virtually impossible for a human to sift through the big data that every company operating online, let alone form any valuable opinions. Enter what is known as ‘opinion mining.’ It’s artificial intelligence that can read vast swathes of data, pick up patterns in sentiment, and use the information to identify trends. If you want to make use of big data, it’s definitely worth looking at.