Artificial intelligence isn’t a new technology. We’ve had versions of it ever since the 1960s. But it is only recently that we’ve seen widespread and robust market applications.
The technology is maturing fast, thanks to the combination of big data and extreme processing power. Neural networks – once thought the realm of science fiction – has become a reality. And now even garden-variety computers can tell the difference between a face and the background of an image. It’s quite remarkable.
We’re nowhere near to general intelligence. Siri isn’t going to become your best friend any time soon. But these new software capabilities are exciting for businesses in specific domains. Potentially, they could help them improve security, automate tasks, and get the edge on their competitors.
Collecting and analysing vast tracts of marketing data is a massive process, often requiring a team of people. Companies do it because of the tremendous benefits, but it’s not cheap.
Number crunching, though, is a task in which machines excel. Thus, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have humans doing it all the time – much better to let the algorithms take over. AI integration with marketing platforms means that marketers don’t have to do as much number crunching to work out whether their campaigns are working. The system does all that for them.
Antivirus and firewall software is pretty much impenetrable these days. Vendors have become very good at cutting off hacking opportunities, meaning that you can’t compromise most systems through direct attack anymore.
The weak link is, strangely, employees themselves. Hackers know that it is easier to target one of your colleagues than the underlying code of your system to gain access to your files. They simply send a phishing email to collect password information and instantly compromise your network.
The website www.graphus.ai, however, points out that this could all change soon. They point to AI technology that uses machine learning to tell the difference between legitimate and malicious communication. Employees then get a warning, telling them that the correspondence might represent a security breach.
Better Customer Service
The vast majority of today’s businesses operate an omnichannel approach to customer service, according to www.forbes.com. Clients can contact them via social media, telephone, email and website forms.
The challenge right now is connecting all these disparate communication methods together. A customer can ring up a rep on the phone to discuss and issue, and then talk to another on social media, having to explain the same problem twice. It’s super annoying.
Connecting customer profiles via multiple channels is a challenge, but something artificial intelligence might be able to improve. AI could potentially look for customer markers and then immediately tell reps who they’re talking to. Ultimately customers would benefit from not having to express themselves twice. And staff would like it too since they’d have all the information they’d need about the said party.
Artificial intelligence is already finding useful applications, but we could easily see many more. Cognitive systems will probably define the rest of this century.