Using AI as a Business Ally

Internal view of skyscraper with business people walking around and full ceiling to floor windows looking out at city

In modern-day living, we don’t have to look very hard to see artificial intelligence in action. One voice command, “Alexa, play my workout playlist”, makes consumer-selected music play instantly. New products are discovered constantly based on Amazon’s customized product recommendations. Typing a question into a retailer website’s chatbot generates the problem-solving answer within minutes or even seconds. AI is all around us.

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence isn’t machines-gone-rogue, science fiction, or a passing fad. So, what is it? Simply put, it’s a field of computer science that develops computer systems that can learn, reason, and solve problems as a human mind does. These smart machines or applications, however, perform cognitive functions much faster and at a much larger scale than humans can. When it comes to volume, speed, and precision, AI has the clear upper hand.

What are the benefits of AI for business?

The examples highlighted above are all business applications of machine learning’s speed, advanced deductive reasoning, and predictive analysis. Targeted e-commerce product recommendations, voice recognition for consumer convenience, real-time customer service support – are some common ways AI helps business. 

Here are some fascinating stats regarding AI and business in the current landscape:

  • 41% of consumers believe AI will benefit their lives in certain ways 
  • 77% of current consumers use an AI-powered service
  • 36% of executives say that their main goal for using AI is to optimize internal business operations
  • 52% of experts believe that even though automation will displace some people from their careers, there will still be more job innovation

Artificial Intelligence isn’t machines-gone-rogue, science fiction, or a passing fad.

Aside from the aforementioned advantages, AI provides companies several more benefits:

  • Workflow automation frees up human labor

One of the main purposes of machine learning is to take over manual and repetitive processes. This frees up human labor for other critical tasks that humans do best, like strategy development and creative thinking.

  • Real-time data collection and processing saves time 

Companies invest a lot of money in collecting consumer data for product development, advertising, and so on. Having this data is crucial for business. But for humans, processing data is time-consuming and labor-intensive. AI, however, can take over this role seamlessly and produce 100x the output.

  • Online consumer behavior prediction saves money

Businesses can maximize marketing spend by implementing machine learning that targets ads effectively and customizes messages. AI also serves for consumer protection by detecting credit card fraud and other fraudulent online activity.

  • Cognitive technology allows for faster decision-making

To get a sense of the consumer landscape that business relies on to make impactful decisions, the most common research methods are traditional ones like surveys. The challenge with traditional methods is that they are both time-consuming and costly – taking up to several weeks to provide actionable insights. With AI’s capability of real-time data collection, decision-makers have much quicker access to insights into the interests and needs of the public.

How is AI implemented into the business decision-making process?

Aside from the time and money limitations of traditional data collection that influences decision-making, is the issue of relevance. Many factors or events that greatly impact the business sector evolve quickly – as we’ve seen during this COVID-19 period. A static snapshot in time that a survey provides in this situation doesn’t stay relevant for long. 

To help decision-makers address this problem, Citibeats has launched collective intelligence ‘observatories’ in more than 27 European countries that bring to light citizens’ real-time opinions and needs. The Natural Language Processing AI platform is integrated and customized to filter data into categories that are valuable to a variety of sectors. By analyzing millions of social data every week, leaders can use “citizens as a sensor” to respond to top-priority needs.

For businesses, knowing these concerns and gaining insights into the solutions that will best serve the consumer base is critical. The collected data has indicated that many people are concerned about financial security and the stability of the economy; companies need to acknowledge what’s being said and how it’s being talked about to re-establish consumer trust.

In short, the positive effects of AI on business and the economy outweigh the negative. As technology continues to evolve and more businesses are open to the idea of using artificial intelligence to better serve consumers, the better we all thrive. In our view, it’s a win-win situation.