What is artificial intelligence (AI)? It’s easy to think about sci-fi movies and robots when we bring this technology up, but AI is not quite at that level of power just yet! Instead, it refers to technologies or systems that can adapt and improvise in new environments, using its knowledge to carry out certain tasks without prompts. In essence, artificial intelligence is a technology that can almost mimic human intelligence, only via a software program.
Therefore, it is capable of great things and has already proven to be a revolutionary technology. What a lot of people don’t realize is that AI has already been around us for many years and forms part of our daily lives. Certainly, from a business perspective, artificial intelligence plays many roles throughout a normal work cycle.
With that in mind, it’s interesting to look at businesses and see the different ways in which artificial intelligence works – and how it benefits both companies and customers. Below, you will find a plethora of examples of how AI is utilized in everyday life within the business world…
Have you ever wondered how some emails get filtered into specific categories? The email client you use will determine how effective this is, but Gmail is particularly good at separating your emails into the relevant categories. Businesses depend on email clients all the time as you need to receive important client emails, etc. Artificial intelligence kicks in to filter out all of the spam and rubbish that isn’t important to you. Also, the more you respond to emails and the way you use your email client will alter how the technology works. It starts filtering out unimportant emails into different categories, saving the important stuff for you to see before all else.
It’s highly beneficial as it allows businesses to remain more productive by not being overwhelmed by spam emails. You should never miss a key message from someone because your AI-powered email service instantly sends the important messages to your main inbox – or to a folder you have set up for crucial emails! This is a great example of artificial intelligence as it shows how simple it can be executed.
This is perhaps the most prominent use for AI in businesses around the world. It’s one of those things that has been happening for so long, we forget it even exists. Process automation is the act of automatically completing different tasks within a business. This is mainly done via forms of software, which can go through tasks and processes in a matter of seconds or minutes without needing human input.
There are almost too many examples of this throughout the business world. As we already touched upon emails, we can see an example here in the form of auto-responses. You have a system set up that automatically responds to a customer with a personalized email when they message you, make a purchase, and so on. There are also things like business analytics, whereby you can use software to automatically analyze hoards of data and present the results in separate categories. AI is used to automatically complete various processes every single day, helping businesses become more efficient and productive.
Smart searches & personalization
Looking at business websites, we can see many clear examples of AI in action. The main one that springs to mind is the concept of personalization. This is represented in a few ways, a big one of which is smart searching. Effectively, this is when people start searching for something on your site, and your internal search engine provides suggestions for them. Smart searches use artificial intelligence to look through a user’s cookies, see their browsing history and predict searches based on their interests. The idea is that it can help a customer find what they’re looking for a lot faster than usual, while also acting as a form of marketing to almost suggest that they should search for something.
Furthermore, cookies are used to create a more personal experience for every user as well. You see this all the time on sites like Amazon, where you have recommended products or ‘things we think you’ll like.’ AI is once again used to go through cookies, find what a user likes, and present them with products that reflect this. It creates a better browsing experience for online customers as they are presented with things they will like. Again, it’s also great marketing for companies as you’re showing users products that appeal to them, increasing the likelihood of purchases being made. So, AI is used to enhance the customer experience while also sneakily persuading people to buy things.
Automated customer service
This is yet another example of everyday AI that we don’t really think about that much. Have you ever seen things like live chat for websites as a form of customer service? Customers or users can click on a chatbox and start talking to an agent to receive as much help as they want. However, artificial intelligence is used to automate this and speed up customer service delivery. Instead of waiting for a human to respond, an AI chatbot can read someone’s message and deliver a response based on what they have sent.
Effectively, a human can have a conversation with an AI customer service agent as though they are talking to another human. Problems can be solved simply by automated responses, letting customers find the information they’re after. It dramatically improves the experience for users as they get instant gratification from the chatbot, rather than waiting for a human being to respond. Still, if the AI chatbot can’t find a solution, it recognizes that it needs help and will contact a human to take over.
Businesses rely on advertising to spread the word and reel in new customers. With the birth of online advertising, a new use for artificial intelligence has been found. Online ads work by presenting an advert to specific people – this means that only a certain proportion of users will see your ads when they’re online. The question is, how do you determine which people will see your ads, and who won’t?
This is where AI comes in as you can create the perfect target for your ads, and the system will go out and search for these people. Again, it’s largely down to cookies where the system looks at people who have browsing history that aligns with your target for the ads. Here, it presents the ad to these people as they are most likely to be interested in the content. For instance, if you sell accounting software, your ads will be targeted at people who have maybe been searching for accounting software recently or who browse a lot of sites relating to accounting & finance.
It’s all about finding the perfect targets for ads, so your online advertising strategy can be as effective as possible at drawing in new leads.
Speaking of ads, have you wondered how people purchase them online? In most scenarios, there is a bidding process for different adverts. It can be quite complicated, so we won’t go into it in too much detail. Just know that a lot of ads operate on a pay-per-click basis. You pay a fee whenever someone clicks on your ads, and the fee you pay will be what you have bid for the ad.
Naturally, it is impossible to manually bid for ads all the time as there are so many out there – along with lots of competition. Instead, you can use real-time bidding software with built-in AI to handle this for you. The software learns what you are looking for and how much you’re willing to pay, then places bids on the most relevant ads for you. It can help you win ad space where you’d be unable to do so if you did it manually. Thus, you can get your brand out there to millions of people!
Finally, another daily example of AI in businesses is fraud detection. When you have a website that people purchase things from, you need to have some sort of fraud detection software enabled. Mostly, this is built into whatever payment systems you allow on your site. It’s such a simple concept; the system looks at a user’s payment and determines if it is suspicious or not.
In all honesty, this is more of a third-party example of AI in business. The technology isn’t yours, it belongs to the banks or payment processing companies that your clients use. For example, if someone pays via PayPal, PayPal is the one that determines if there’s fraudulent activity or not. It does this by looking at the IP address from which the payment was made, the amount paid, the site the purchase was made on, and so on. If things don’t look right, the system flags it as fraud and blocks a payment, potentially saving someone from losing a lot of money.
Evidently, artificial intelligence is used throughout the business world in many ways. The crazy thing is, these examples are just a few of the many that you will see. It goes to show just how diverse this technology is, and how beneficial it can be.