Working smarter

Could AI give your business the edge?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has landed in the workplace. However, many Australian companies are yet to embrace it. So, let's demystify this smart tech and see how it could help streamline your operations and boost your bottom line.

What is AI?

AI-enabled machines and systems are programmed to work and think like humans. They’re often equipped with skills such as reasoning, problem-solving, learning, planning and perception which enable them to solve complex tasks and move and manipulate objects.

It’s important to note that AI isn’t the same as automation. The latter simply involves a computer completing certain tasks automatically, such as payroll, accounting or CRM software. However, there are AI-enabled automations.

AI in Australia

According to a 2017 study by local AI startup Daisee, Australian companies are still behind the rest of the world when it comes to adopting AI in their day-to-day operations. At that time,only 14% of Australian businesses reported they already had implemented AI of some sort, compared to the global average of 23%.

And while these numbers are likely to have risen over the past couple of years, there’s definitely still an opportunity to become one of the early adopters if you’re business is up for it.

How can my business use it?

Some big-name businesses like Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Tesla have been successfully using AI in different capacities for years, helping them to stay top of their field and keep customers engaged. And while the technology behind AI is rather complex, the applications themselves are usually affordable and easy to implement – even if you’re not a big brand name (yet). Here are three ways you could use AI in your business.

Automated tech can save you time and money by completing your business’s more repetitive, menial tasks. This includes things like data entry,updating records, scheduling and sending emails, managing your finances, or in manufacturing, picking, packing or assembling items.

AI-driven automation takes this one step further by enabling you to offload more complex operational tasks that require human-level understanding and reasoning. Examples include report writing, inventory management, recruitment selection and sending accurate information in real-time, which is useful in industries such as travel or logistics.

AI algorithms can digest and analyse huge amounts of information fast,which can help you create accurate market, industry and sales forecasts. This means you can get the insights you need to make smarter, timely business decisions. This will help keep your strategy on track and always stay one step ahead of the competition.

Most business and customer communications rely on human interactions. You have to either meet in person, pick up the phone, write an email, send a message or have an online chat.

However, AI can automate many of these by simulating human conversations through, for example, chatbots. By analysing previous communications using machine learning, AI-driven software can respond and solve queries 24/7.

AI-driven voice assistants like Alexa, Google Home and Siri are also helping to keep customers connected, and to optimise purchases and products to their individual needs.

With the Daisee study predicting a doubling of Australian businesses investing in AI between now and 2022, you don't want to be playing catch-up. By using it to help complete tasks, crunch the data and improve your communications, you can save time, make better decisions and gain a competitive edge

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