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What is Artificial Intelligence? And Why Should Business Owners Care?

How AI is changing business today and tomorrow:

What is artificial intelligence?When you first think of AI, we know you’re picturing a robotic creature swirling around an office.  And while some robots have entered our lives (thank you Roomba!) most AI we experience is actually not easy to physically “see.”  Artificial intelligence is largely found within algorithms and software that is already making our lives easier, and we haven’t even realized it!  AI is loosely defined. The AI we are experiencing today is a only a glimpse of what is to come.

What is artificial intelligence?

First off, I always like to give some basics because terms like artificial intelligence are so new to our vocabulary.  Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the “simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.” AI is characterized by having learning capabilities, reasoning skills, and self-correction capabilities.  The systems do this by acquiring information and following a set of rules as to how to use that information.

By now, hopefully, you’re picturing your smartphone or a computer screen more than you’re picturing a giant robot when you think of AI.  AI is already all around us and is already changing how we do business, but there’s still a lot to come.  Here’s a preview of what we’ll see AI do in the workplace:

  1. Automation of Simple Tasks.  Artificial intelligence has already allowed us to simplify simple tasks that are mundane and routine.  If there are set rules or parameters that a program can follow and repeat, AI could be employed to do that task for you.  Things like research for legal discovery on cases, for example, is a great task that is routine within certain rules and can then allow attorneys to focus on the complex parts of a case, rather than just research. Another example of automation is how EnergizeMail’s tool will learn from your habits and automatically file emails based on your unique user habits, saving you precious hours to drive more business instead of filing emails.
  2. Virtual Assistance.  We’re already seeing virtual assistants help us out with simple tasks when we talk to Siri or Alexa.  These programs help us find the nearest gas station or the highest rated restaurant nearby.  These types of programs will only become more relevant, accurate, and helpful as time goes on and the programs get perfected.  Scheduling, reserving meeting rooms, and finding the perfect gifts for clients are tasks that often make up full time positions, and many of these tasks will soon be automated with virtual programs.
  3. Informed Tasks.  Artificial Intelligence utilizes crazy amounts of data and information to make their decisions, which means that the more we incorporate AI tools into our business day, the more educated decisions we’ll be making.
  4. Efficient Solutions.  AI has the ability to incorporate massive amounts of data and organize it in a way that gives you essential information.  So, for example, an IT department would be able to get a comprehensive look at a specific user’s problem and know exactly what is going on before ever heading down to their machine to fix a problem.  The physical back and forth that IT departments know all too well is eliminated, providing efficient solutions and improving efficiency!

This is just scratching the surface of what AI can, and most likely WILL, do in our business environments.  AI will make us more efficient employees and more stimulated employees who are using our expertise and brain capacity to their fullest extent.  We won’t be spending as much time on mundane tasks that waste time and don’t produce results.  Instead, our businesses will be able to focus on growth and truly maximizing our expertise to benefit our clients.  Now, isn’t that a fun thought?!

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