Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a key role in driving outcomes for enterprises of the future.
With the continuing rise of AI and IoT applications, an AI skills gap exists in key industries across the world. In the US alone, up to 90% of jobs that require some level of AI or machine learning skills are predicted to be going vacant in the near future.
As such, it is clear that enterprises need to invest in AI now and avoid the outdated, ineffectual artificial intelligence strategies of the past.
How AI systems learn
Broadly speaking, AI systems learn by matching what they have learnt from experience with stored data. For example, an AI neural network can learn how to decide when to turn on or off a light. Artificial intelligence platforms can then be put to work in a myriad of applications – ranging from intelligent portfolio management and decision-making to answering questions about the reliability of a market data feed.
Whether it is in online retail, healthcare or industrial IoT, artificial intelligence is being applied to the fabric of our daily lives. AI is transforming the relationship between business and its customers by providing insight, personalized service and personalized experiences – all of which are essential in a competitive market.
The challenge is that the demand for AI is outstripping the supply. Due to the emerging skills gap, businesses are not equipped to support an overwhelming demand for AI and deep learning.
However, by integrating artificial intelligence into the standard processes of their business – and by focusing on developing the workforce with these skills – enterprises can ensure there is sufficient talent and resources to deliver on their future AI strategy.
Key to out-innovating their competition is in meeting the changing needs of the customers and the customers’ demands for smarter AI – applying the technology into their business to identify trends, discern knowledge or provide relevant insights to data.
It is not just about turning AI into a machine. It is about improving an everyday workflow. Often, AI is used to create insights. It can also be applied to augment expertise with human capability, enabling data-driven machine-learning in the work of humans. In other words, just as AI has made work easier for people to perform, it is the same for AI; improving work by using AI.
AI in the retail industry
To find out more, let’s take a look at how AI is transforming the retail industry.
The retail industry is adopting AI in one of its most crucial areas. With purchasing information downloaded from credit cards, smart shoppers are able to ask questions at checkout using voice recognition software and stores can assign suggestions based on the stored data. This saves time and ensures that customers can find the product they are looking for without searching for it.
Retailers have always prized loyalty as a key quality in their customers, but with AI, brands can predict which customers are most likely to return – ensuring they offer the best customer experience and achieve a high return on investment. In essence, this gives brands a great deal of power over its customer base.
To further their AI ambitions, retail brands are focusing on streamlining customer service across all channels to ensure service levels remain high and when a visitor to the store is aware of issues, they are able to automatically send an alert to staff using IoT devices such as watch bands or lightbulbs that provide light. Store staff can then respond immediately and offer solutions to customers’ issues directly in the shop.
With AI used for data and data as a platform, it is only a matter of time before a retail brand can facilitate transactions and approvals as well as accepting orders using mobile phones and wearables, and turning phones into apps that work seamlessly with a sales representative or a sales assistant.
Traditional economics are changing, with business being driven by data, data being the new product. Today’s growth companies are not only powered by analytics, they are fundamentally changing the way decisions are made and new strategies developed. Over time, it is inevitable that economic models of supply and demand will change – allowing us to make the right and most effective decisions to ensure the business flourishes and lives on for generations to come. This will be done by putting AI at the center of the equation.