AI has been a prominent technology for years, but its popularity has skyrocketed recently. A wave of generative tools like ChatGPT have reinvigorated the AI craze, especially for businesses. Artificial intelligence business applications have never been more abundant or promising.
AI has a ways to go before it reaches its full potential, but some use cases already have proven results. Here’s a look at five leading AI business applications companies will capitalize on this year and beyond.
According to a 2023 survey, 56% of businesses use AI in customer service — more than any other application. Chatbots are one of the most advantageous use cases under that umbrella.
AI-powered chatbots can hold conversations with customers when no human agents are available. That’s big news for businesses because it means every user can get immediate answers to their questions, no matter the time. Even small companies without a dedicated customer service department can use these bots to offer 24/7 support.
As AI advances, these bots get more useful, too. In some cases, customers may be unable to tell the difference between a bot and a human representative, making conversations more natural. Improved AI also means chatbots offer more accurate answers, even to complex questions.
2. Data Analytics
Data analytics is another leading artificial intelligence business application. Many organizations agree that data is their most valuable resource, but making sense of it can be complicated. It’s time-consuming and error-prone when humans do it, but AI is faster and more reliable.
AI analytics can come in many forms. Manufacturers may use it to highlight inefficiencies in their workflows to make their factories more productive. Retailers can use it to predict seasonal demand shifts from customer trends to avoid product stock-outs.
Whatever the specifics, AI pulls insights from data in seconds when it could take a person hours. Because AI’s better at spotting patterns and subtle connections, these takeaways are often more accurate, too.
3. Fraud Monitoring
Those same accuracy and speed advantages make AI a great fraud detection tool. This is one of the leading AI applications in finance, but it’s also useful in industries like insurance and health care.
Machine learning models teach themselves what each customer’s normal behavior looks like. The more time passes, the more data these models get, making these baselines more reliable. As a result, if someone’s account does something outside that normal behavior, the model will immediately identify it as suspicious and take action.
Models like this are prone to false positives, so follow-up from human experts is always necessary. However, because AI can freeze an account instantly when something suspicious occurs, it streamlines that response process. Businesses can prevent fraud and protect customers more reliably as a result.
4. Cybersecurity Monitoring
Automated security monitoring is a similar artificial intelligence business application. This process works much the same way as AI fraud detection, but instead of watching for fraud, machine learning looks for suspicious cyber activity.
Warning signs of a cyberattack include accounts accessing data they shouldn’t need, unusual file transfers and repeated login attempts. Humans may be able to spot these trends, but cybercrime moves quickly. There’s also a worldwide cybersecurity worker shortage of 4 million professionals, so most businesses don’t have the staff for manual monitoring.
AI can pick up on these red flags so already strained security teams don’t have to monitor networks 24/7. Like with fraud, it can then lock down the area in question to prevent further damage and alert responders.
5. Streamlining Internal Processes
Some AI applications in business are less glamorous but still useful. One of the most helpful use cases for most businesses is simply to streamline repetitive workflows.
Office workers spend a lot of time on tasks that don’t add much value to the company. These include things like data entry, organizing files, reviewing forms, scheduling and sending emails. This work is important but unengaging and time-consuming, leading to errors and lost productivity when done manually.
Even a relatively simple AI algorithm can automate many of these processes. Businesses can then become more productive and let their employees spend more time on work they find interesting. On top of boosting efficiency, this improves morale and reduces errors.
Pros of AI Business Applications
Across all these use cases, AI applications in business have many benefits. The two most obvious are that AI is faster and more accurate than humans in data-heavy, repetitive or detail-oriented tasks.
That speed and accuracy are useful even when businesses aren’t automating entire workflows. In many cases, it lets humans reach their full potential instead of replacing them. For example, writers can reduce their research time with AI to spend more of the workday on actual writing.
AI can also save money in many areas, and not just by improving productivity. AI is less likely than humans to make mistakes in repetitive workflows, eliminating costs from correcting errors. Using it to predict and adapt to incoming changes or simply optimize current operations lets businesses take more control over their profitability than ever before.
Cons of AI Business Applications
Of course, there are downsides to artificial intelligence business applications, too. AI is a powerful tool. Consequently, if businesses don’t use it carefully, it can cause a lot of damage.
AI introduces several ethical issues as its applications grow. It’s often unclear how it makes its decisions, leading to accountability and trust issues. It can also reproduce and even exaggerate human bias. If businesses don’t account for that when using it in things like hiring, they could make discrimination a worse problem than it is now.
There are also employment issues to consider. Good AI usage lets human workers do more of the work they enjoy, but businesses can easily replace or devalue human work through AI if they aren’t careful. Generative AI also introduces copyright and fair use questions over how it uses content from human professionals.
Artificial Intelligence Business Applications Keep Growing
Despite these downsides, AI will keep growing in business. Its potential is too big to pass up on. That’s not a bad thing, either. If organizations approach it carefully and understand its potential negative effects, AI can make a positive difference.
How exactly artificial intelligence business applications will change the world is still uncertain. One thing is clear, though — AI will become a standard technology across industries. Its impact will only grow from here.
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