Some have long feared artificial intelligence (AI) and what it may mean for humans’ place in the world. For reference, one need not look any further than popular science fiction films that depict ultra-intelligent robots and machines superseding humans, ultimately becoming humanity’s overlords.
While fears of a robot revolution are currently unfounded, the real fear for over 50% of Americans is the perceived threat AI, robotics, and automation pose to job security in the coming decade. Gallup found that nearly three-quarters of respondents believe that AI will deplete more jobs than it creates; a slightly greater percentage believes AI will have a positive impact on their lives in the same timeframe. Despite this unease and cautious optimism, AI is already changing the way SMEs and global businesses across various industries execute operations. Rather than ushering in humans’ obsolescence, AI is working with and for humans.
What, Exactly, is AI?
To understand artificial intelligence, one should begin with the concept developed by computer scientist and father of AI, John McCarthy. He unveiled the term in 1956 with the belief that learning and intelligence are not limited to sentient beings, but could be simulated by a machine. His programming language family became an integral part of the early stages of AI development, paving the way for advances throughout the second half of the 20th century. AI has since the last century progressed in leaps and bounds, pushing the limits of what a machine can do—and learn. But what does this have to do with AI’s role in humans’ lives in 2018? Plenty. Specifically, AI is becoming an increasingly important part of businesses’ operations.
AI is Reshaping Business Operations
Artificial Intelligence is streamlining businesses’ operations by removing the need for manual entry for a number of tasks. AI can also crunch massive data sets for businesses—and present the opportunity for employers to reassign employees to positions that add greater value to both clients and the company. For example, not only does robotic process automation (RPA) remove the burden of repetitive manual entry and reduce the probability of error, but it also saves weeks of audit and contractual processing time, offering a higher quality audit—and giving employees more time to concentrate on clients.
Many SMEs and global businesses have begun utilizing AI for data processing, ensuring accurate data on all reports and documents—fast. Current AI applications can read bank statements and accounting reports, digesting the information with pinpoint precision. It will find any discrepancies, if they exist, and neatly compile and organize all information. This ever-evolving technology is showing up in bookkeeping tasks; it is already streamlining accounts payable and receivable tasks by taking over many of the processes required for initiating payments and matching purchase orders.
AI Reveals Patterns, Trends, and Drives Leads
Much of AI’s value is found not only in the massive data sets it can crunch, but the insight it affords businesses. For businesses looking to expand, the data AI offers provides a clearer picture of where the company stands—and where it’s going. It also allows SMEs to discover trends, patterns, and other relevant information that can provide the cornerstone for adjusting and improving business strategies. Not only does this help businesses make calculated decisions based on solid data, but also helps them remain ahead of competition that is not utilizing AI.
Though fairly new, AI technology for lead generation is becoming increasingly common. The data AI analyzes allows businesses to construct sales analytics platforms, turning that data into predictive models, and generating more accurate leads. AI helps marketing to submit only the most promising leads to the sales team, saving both time and resources. It can also provides marketing teams with greater insight into leads, as well as a way to measure how well existing content is performing—and who is engaging with that content.
Expand Confidently with Hard Data—and an Experienced Partner
We have quite a way to go before machines supplant humans in their professions. It’s clear, however, that AI technology will continue to advance, changing the ways small and global businesses alike handle their operations—and these changes can help your business grow. Velocity Global has helped hundreds of businesses expand beyond what they thought possible. If you’re ready to take your business global, reach out to Velocity Global today to learn how our suite of customizable expansion services can help take you there—no matter where you may grow.