Business applications were created to raise users’ productivity. Unfortunately, they often fall short as siloes for data entry, storage, and retrieval. With more and more data being collected through these applications (the last 2 years alone generated 90% of the world’s cumulative data), businesses need a major overhaul to capitalize on this rich, yet idle resource.
The big boost
The unveiling of Skype translator back in 2014 showed that machines can perform some of the complex human tasks, including speech in real-time translations. Skype translator’s incredible feat came from its ability to learn from massive language databases through repetition – much like us learning through experiences – with minimal human input. It would not have been possible for programmers to code all the language syntaxes and grammar line by line. It is this self-learning capability that will allow AI to become an extension to the data-rich business applications.
Extension 1: Increased Efficiency
It used to be a common scene for someone to be held on the line waiting for a customer service agent to attend to them, only to complete the services within minutes. Chatbots, such as ZO, can bring huge improvements in response time to customers while providing significant cost savings to the company – all through natural language processing. AI is so prolific in this area that IBM predicts 85% of all customer interactions will eventually happen without human intervention by 2020.
Extension 2: Deepening Abilities
Tools such as Power BI are capable of churning passive data into active insights. The outcome – smart data – provides us with intuitive visualizations, making data easily comprehensible and actionable. This, in turn, can be a source of impetus to managers, which can then be translated as a strategy for the company’s future.
Extension 3: Broadening Capabilities
AI has also opened doors to solutions that eluded us in the past. Where fixes used to come after faults, predictive maintenance capabilities bring us closer to making Minority Report more fact than fiction. Powered by Azure AI, anomaly detection has enabled Schneider Electric to save over $4m in machinery damages alone, all by replacing the parts when and where they are needed.
AI should be an enabler with us in the driver’s seat, rather than a threat to our survival. Companies that capitalize on our symbiotic relationship with AI while maintaining clarity in strategy will stand to gain the most from its boundless capabilities.