2018 looks set to be the year of AI. The number of active AI startups has increased 14x since 2000. But you might be asking how does artificial intelligence work?
In short, Netflix recommendations and Alexa's skills are examples of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
If you use them, you know how valuable they are. And both of them can contribute to the success of early adopting businesses. Read on to discover how your business can benefit from using the best AI.
Are there Different Types of AI?
The main subset of AI is machine learning.
It analyzes data, browsing or purchasing history, and examines patterns of past behavior. Machine learning combines these areas to predict future behavior.
It's how Amazon can recommend new products based on what you've bought or viewed. This enables businesses to make useful recommendations to customers. Those businesses using these predictive analytics are likely to grow 65 percent faster than those that don't.
Machine learning also unlocks the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). These devices capture huge amounts of data. There's too much data for humans to process but machines can spot patterns.
That gives businesses valuable information for forecasting trends and making predictions.
Other types of AI include reactive AI. IBM's supercomputer Deep Blue, the chess-playing machine that beat Garry Kasparov, is one example. This AI can identify variables and cross-reference them with possibilities to make predictions about outcomes.
But if can't learn from its own behavior or that of others. It has no memory so it can't remember what it's already done.
Self-driving cars represent another type of AI, that with limited memory. This type of AI takes in huge amounts of data, cross-references it, and takes action.
But it still doesn't learn from its experience the way humans do. Machine learning is similar, in that it makes predictions based on data.
AI and Machine Learning Improve Productivity in Sales
As with IoT devices, many sales systems generate huge swathes of data. This specific sales data can help provide qualified leads or note opportunities.
Applying machine learning to this data, businesses can predict credit problems or boost sales forecasts.
They can even find new opportunities to upsell products or services and automate account management. This automation can save businesses time for those repetitive but necessary processes, such as billing or other admin.
Improve Marketing Campaign Targeting
AI algorithms and machine learning can be applied to the 'big data' generated by sales systems.
This helps with the difficult job of lead generation by helping companies to pinpoint new target audiences, based on existing buyers.
That helps cut down on the amount of cold calling you have to do.
Businesses can also measure their ROI of marketing campaigns. They can tweak and improve campaigns to reach the best buyers. That can mean creating personalized offers, much like the Netflix recommendations we mentioned earlier.
Expand Marketing and Customer Service using Chatbots
AI powers chatbots like those seen in Facebook Messenger. This lets business switch on a 24/7 customer service desk on their Facebook Page.
Customers can interact with the bot, choosing which option best serves their needs.
That helps direct customers to the right person to help them. Providing better service helps win new customers and earns the loyalty of existing ones.
Alternatively, businesses can explore voice recognition technology, made famous by Siri and Alexa. This allows customers to interact with businesses using just their voice, opening up new touchpoints through smart home assistants and smartphones.
The Best AI Is the One That Works for You
With so many AI options to choose from, you may wonder where to start. The best AI solution slots into your existing system and enhances your workflow.
If it improves your output, boosts your marketing, or streamlines the customer experience, it's the right solution for your business.
Wondering how to keep up to date with AI developments? Follow our blog to keep up with machine learning news.