How is AI used in business in 2024? benefits, use cases and examples
Explore what AI is, how it evolved in business, how it will transform it, its effects, and the top ways of using it for business in 2023.
The future is here. Imagine a world where machines predict your next move, streamline your day, and even help you in your job. What was once a far-fetched idea in a sci-fi movie is now reality. Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t just a buzzword anymore — it’s the driving force behind modern businesses, reshaping whole industries and changing the world in a way that we could only dream of a decade ago.
In this article, we’re looking at using artificial intelligence in business in 2023. To give you a complete picture, we will go over what AI is, how it evolved in business, how it will transform it, its effects, and much more. Let’s dive in on this fascinating topic together.
What is AI?
AI is a groundbreaking branch of computer science that aims to give machines the ability to simulate human intelligence. AI technologies are about creating systems that can think, learn, and act. These systems are designated to perform tasks that could normally only be performed by humans. This can include a wide range of activities and tasks, from recognizing patterns and speech to making predictions and decisions.
Let’s discover the foundational elements that make this possible.
Machine Learning (ML)
As the name might imply, ML allows computers to learn. They are fed large amounts of data, parse it, learn from it, and then use it to determine or predict something related to their goal. A simple example of this might be providing a computer with thousands of images of tigers so that it can learn what a tiger looks like.
Then you can provide it with a completely new image, and the computer can determine whether or not there’s a tiger in the image or not. This same concept can apply to a myriad of other tasks: stock predictions, song recommendations, social media algorithms, and more.
Deep Learning (DL)
This subset of ML works similarly to the human brain itself, utilizing neural networks. These algorithms are designed to recognize patterns. They can be trained to recognize anything from the voice command you give to your smart device to identifying security anomalies in a computer network.
In short, AI is a fusion of algorithms, vast amounts of data, and intricate models. Together, these components work in harmony, enabling process automation and letting machines process information, learn from it, and perform tasks just like a human would (or better.)
The evolution of AI in business
AI has come a long way in the last few decades. Once just a concept coined by Alan Turing in 1956, it is now a business staple used in all major industries. Initially explored in sectors like finance for algorithmic trading, AI’s reach has since expanded across industries.
Retailers like Amazon use AI for personalized product recommendations, social media companies use it to recommend content and healthcare institutions use it for predictive patient care.
For many years now, we’ve also seen chatbots used to provide round-the-clock assistance for a business process. All of these applications have gotten better and better as companies have more data and more powerful GPUs to develop AIs.
This brings us to today, where according to Forbes, a majority of businesses are already using AI, and even more plan on using this competitive advantage in the future.
How AI will transform businesses
AI is about automation as much as it is about augmentation. Here’s how businesses are harnessing its power and how AI will continue to transform businesses:
Efficiency. AI reduces the need for manual tasks, enhancing productivity and allowing a company using AI to spend more time on meaningful work.
Decision-making. AI makes it incredibly easy to analyze large amounts of data and derive insights. Businesses can make informed and strategic decisions that much faster.
Personalization. AI allows businesses to tailor experiences like customer service, ensuring customers feel valued.
Risk management. In areas like cybersecurity and traditional security, AIs can be used as sentinels, detecting threats and flagging unusual behavior.
Common uses of AI in business
AI’s applications in business are vast, and there are new use cases discovered every day. According to Forbes Advisor, here are the top 11 ways that business owners use AI:
Let’s have a closer look at them.
Customer service. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants handle customer inquiries 24/7, providing instant assistance, resolving issues, and ensuring a seamless customer experience.
Cybersecurity / fraud management. AI systems monitor network traffic and transactions in real-time, detecting anomalies and potential threats.
Digital personal assistants. Tools like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant use AI to register voice commands, set reminders, provide information, and integrate with other smart devices to simplify daily tasks.
Customer relationship management. AI analyses customer data to predict behavior, enhance sales, and automate tasks like contact management and email tracking.
Inventory management. AI predicts stock requirements based on sales trends, seasonality, and external factors. This not only saves businesses money by optimizing stock levels, but it also helps them capitalize on opportunities by preventing stockouts.
Content production. AI tools like ChatGPT generate marketing copy, social media posts, and even articles.
Product recommendations. By analyzing visitor behavior, purchase history, and preferences, AI offers tailored product suggestions, boosting sales and helping customers at the same time.
Accounting. AI automates tasks like data entry, invoice processing, and expense management. This reduces errors and saves time, allowing accountants to focus on more important tasks.
Supply chain operations. AI can analyze factors like material prices, demand fluctuations, and delivery times. It can then use this information to optimize procurement and production.
Recruitment and talent sourcing. Recruiters can use AIs to screen resumes and assess a candidate’s fit, after which they can personally verify and interview the short-listed candidates. This makes the hiring process more efficient and unbiased.
Audience segmentation. Especially useful in marketing, AI can segment audiences based on behavior, preferences, and demographics. Businesses can then personalize their messaging and product offerings based on the specific target groups.
The effects of AI on everyday employees
AI in the workplace is a double-edged sword. While it can make employees more efficient, there’s also the worry of complete replacement. The key is balance.
Right now, AI is best at taking on repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on value-added activities. And considering that most jobs include a mix of repetitive tasks and creative or specialized work, we can be quite confident that AIs will provide tremendous value to employees.
The future of AI
While we can’t predict the future, we can safely assume that AI’s role in business is set to grow. As the technology and techniques used in developing AIs improve, so will the possibilities. There will be more and more industries and use cases using AI, from medicine and finance to entertainment and education. The ripple effects of AI will touch every corner of the business ecosystem, leading to more efficient operations, better customer experiences, and the creation of entirely new market segments.
It’s also important to keep in mind that groundbreaking fields like AI can be hard to predict. For example, who would’ve thought a few years ago that we would be able to use AI to generate images from text with a tool like DALL-E or a conversational AI that could answer complex queries and even generate creative content with the fluency of a human writer, as seen with ChatGPT? These advances were once the stuff of movies and books, but today they’re as real and accessible as anything else.
As businesses and professionals, it’s important to stay adaptable and open-minded, ready to pounce on the next leap in AI advancements in business.
Will AI create jobs?
Yes, AI will certainly create new jobs, as well as augment existing ones. As AI evolves, we’ve already seen a host of new job posts across the tech industry: AI/ML programmers, consultants, trainers, prompt engineers, researchers, and more. And let’s not forget about all the traditional jobs still needed in AI-focused companies, such as sales, HR, IT, project managers, and accounting. According to research done by the World Economic Forum, 97 million new roles may emerge in the next few years as a result of AI advancements.
However, beyond new roles, AI is also enhancing the capabilities of many traditional professions. Developers, for instance, are using AI to solve issues and write code faster, while teachers use AI tools to tailor learning experiences to individual students.
The emergence of AI also emphasizes the value of skills that it can’t easily replicate, such as emotional intelligence, creativity, and complex problem-solving. This requires employees to adapt and enhance their competitive skills to be well-positioned for this changing landscape.
Why is conversational AI a preferred use of AI?
Businesses are always on the lookout to cut costs and increase efficiency. Conversational AI, best exemplified by tools like ChatGPT, makes this extremely easy and affordable. Automating customer service operations reduces the need for extensive support teams, resulting in attractive cost savings.
Not only that, but AI ensures that businesses are available 24/7, which is something customers have come to expect. Apart from immediate interactions, conversational AIs can also gather data and derive insights from it, allowing businesses to use this knowledge to make better decisions.
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