When we think of artificial intelligence, we tend to think of the future.
Human like robots slowly taking over our lives; jobs disappearing due to intelligent machines; automation leading to a futuristic dystopia.
Yes, there’s definitely a lot of talk and speculation around artificial intelligence, but is it a really a ball that we should always be kicking down the road?
Complacency comes at a cost
Failing to keep up with technological trends can put businesses at a significant disadvantage. Firms without a creative, innovative and open to change mind-set are likely to be unable to maintain a competitive edge and could be overtaken by their more innovative rivals.
With that in mind, perhaps all business should be preparing to prioritise AI as a way of future-proofing businesses and livelihoods.
On the road
Let’s take road-travel as an example – a subject that affects many companies.
People are engaging in longer commutes and delivery distances than ever before, which costs people their time and companies money through loss of productivity.
Reducing commute times is not a simple objective, with so many variables to consider that can change from one day to the next.
One of the most common tools companies use to assist with their commute is Google Maps, which uses complex AI algorithms in an effort to offer users the quickest journeys to wherever they are going.
Google takes anonymous data from people smartphones to analyse the speed that traffic is moving at any moment in time. And with the incorporation of traffic app Waze, which Google acquired in 2013, Maps can also take user-reported traffic incidents like roadworks and accidents into account.
Enormous amounts of data is therefore fed through Google’s proprietary AI algorithms all the time, helping the software reduce commuting time and petrol expenses by suggesting the fastest routes available in real-time.
For logistics, taxi companies, freight and delivery companies, devising a strategy that incorporates this type of technology into its every-day operation is surely a no-brainer.
But how many are still missing out on these significant time and money saving benefits by still relying on outdated sat-navs and devices?
In the office
With businesses feeling the squeeze from competition and rising costs, the demand for system integration through digital transformation is on the hike.
Firms are turning to digital transformation as a way of digitalising manual processes so they can streamline their operations and cut back.
What part can artificial intelligence play here?
Let’s turn to the world’s most famous social networking site Facebook for an answer.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been a big advocate of AI, and the service makes use of artificial neural networks that mimic the structure of a human brain as the power behind facial recognition software. This type of technology is growing and improving all the time, and Facebook has invested heavily in it to improve its service.
Facebook’s software automatically identifies faces and uses an algorithm to make connection recommendations and tag friends. Could this be applied in the working environment?
Sure it can. There is obvious opportunity for using face recognition for your security system, and for signing into systems and apps. Think of the time it’ll save your IT department from having to recover lost or forgotten passwords for staff if they only need to logon to their machines every morning by just staring it down.
But, how about automated filing? Surely it’s possible to automatically file scanned PDF documents by auto recognising and matching logos or icons on invoices and other business documents – sending them directly to a client’s file rather than manually scanning and saving them yourself?
And it needn’t stop there.
Home devices that collate data and help us ‘live our lives’ better are already commercially available. What effect can this sort of technology have on our professional well-being?
Take the intelligent ‘Bonjour’ alarm clock, for instance.
By connecting with your home devices like your smartphone, tablet, smart speaker and even your Fitbit, it collects huge amounts of data to develop a comprehensive picture of your daily routines and habits, before combining it with internet-based data such as travel and weather reports to help give you the best start to the day.
It can even feed information into a coffee machine, telling it to make some extra strong coffee if your Fitbit records a particularly deep sleep.
What a machine!
Could this intelligent alarm clock be the beginnings of the robotic PA or receptionist at your office, for instance? Perhaps one day we will all turn up to work to be welcomed by a machine that will know your name when you arrive, analyse your travel data that your phone has collected and shared via Bluetooth and then make you the perfect cup of coffee without even having to ask ‘how would you like it?’
Innovation into reality
These are just some of my own random ideas, of course.
Maybe you or someone else at your company has some of their own?
If you are keen to speak to an expert about how AI can be applied in your firm then drop us a line today. Yes, the demand for AI, machine learning and automation consultants is getting pretty intense, but they’re not impossible to find.
Give Digital Skills a call on 01628 421781.