Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Artificial Intelligence to Assist in a Data-Driven World

     Artificial Intelligence has been a subject of interest for quite some time now, with its depiction in science fiction long before any such invention was technologically possible. However, in the last few years, the technology has been the subject of a great deal of conversation and debate, as AI technologies are now actively being built by many companies. These technologies, computers and software that are capable of highly intelligent behavior, are a highly debated topic, as some people fear the possibilities that it creates, while others believe it will benefit our society greatly. I am of the latter thought process, and while I understand the fear that many people have of losing their jobs to AI, I agree with articles that I read, which stated that AI will be used to assist people in business, rather than replace them.
    AI technologies will aid businesses greatly through their ability to effectively communicate with humans, read large amounts of data in very little time, and interpret behavior and data. The most apparent way in which AI technology will aid businesses is through their ability to communicate with and assists clients or customers. They are able to learn habits, behavior, and preferences very quickly, and through this ability, they could become very useful in aiding customer service representatives, helping to ease customer complaints and assist users in many tasks, leaving customer service representatives more time to focus on extremely important issues. Another way that AI will help businesses is through language processing, which will allow for real time translation of foreign languages, and eliminate language barriers. This will allow for greater activity overseas for a company, and would increase communication overall. AI technologies could also be useful in retail, as they could act as Virtual Personal Shopping Assistants, or VPSAs, which shop on behalf of a customer, recommending them the product that best fits into their wants and needs. These AIs learn, predict, and serve the individual consumer's desires, in order to make shopping easier for a customer. The time saved by VPSAs will account for increased online sales for companies, which will result in higher profit margins. This will also be extremely useful for smaller businesses, which are not often found in a simple google search. However, thanks to AIs ability to search through thousands of pages in a matter of seconds, these companies may be selected by a VSPA, allowing them to go. Overall, AI will serve to ease business processes, and will also make shopping easier for the consumer.

      Artificial Intelligence also has many positive implications in the field of Marketing, as it could serve to improve the field greatly. AI technology will allow for companies to predict consumer trends and analyze their behavior. According to articles that I read about Artificial Intelligence, this technology will have the ability to analyze 200 million pages of structured and unstructured data from credit cards, sales databases, social networks, location data, and web pages within a matter of seconds. This ability will allow for more accurate and consistent data for Marketers, and will allow them to focus their efforts in the correct areas and to have a higher percentage of sales overall. Similarly, they could utilize time-sensitive data, such as location, current activities, or current financial situations in order to make a specific advertisement. For example, if a customer is near a physical location of a company, Marketers could offer them a sale if they purchase something during that time. This would lead to a far greater number of sales, and for this reason, AI technology would be especially useful for Marketers.
    Fears that AI can steal jobs from humans are unfounded, as Artificial Intelligence cannot account for unexpected variables, and therefore is not a suitable replacement for human capital. Rather, AI technology would be a useful tool for human workers to utilize in order to increase business efficiency, filling in voids that humans could not fill, such as analyzing big data. This efficiency would be in all aspects of businesses from customer relationship management to retail, but would most likely be used most often by marketing teams.


1 comment:

  1. I agree with you on the basis that AI can greatly positively impact many fields of business, and I think as AI is improving, we are seeing it in more personal fields such as helping customers shop. This interaction with people is something that is just becoming possible and I think it will have tangible positive results for businesses. I think the reason people criticize AI's place in business is in the manufacturing process, when companies completely automate their production process, a lot of jobs are lost in the process. When a car manufacturer like Ford can cut its direct labor costs in half because they have a lot more machines on the assembly line floor, a lot of people can lose their jobs. Detroit, the Motor City, is a perfect example of the automobile industry's rapid growth with massively employed production facilities to its rapid decline through outsourcing and automation. However, I like the implications of the AI you discuss in the article, as they are often put in a role assisting a human, such as dealing with mundane tasks while customer service professionals deal with more pressing issues. I think this technology has come a long way and still has a long way to go, as dealing with AI on the phone can be extremely frustrating and feels very primitive when you need to repeat yourself multiple times because you didn't enunciate perfectly for the software. I also don't think humans can't be replaced in certain roles and people would prefer human to human interaction over human to AI interaction, even if the AI was effective. However, I think in these assisting roles you discuss AI can have real world implications and greatly benefit a business.


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