The robot takeover has begun.

The robots have already begun to take over.

Fortunately for your business you can use artificial intelligence to give your business a very real advantage.

Artificial intelligence refers to computers that are programmed to learn. This doesn’t mean AI will replace the humans so critical to your business. Instead, it can help supplement the processes your business employs for production, marketing, public relations and so much more.

So far, companies have been applying artificial intelligence to a number of different activities with varying levels of success. The Harvard Business Review examined the role of artificial intelligence in 152 projects across multiple industries in the United States to determine what benefits businesses achieve through the application of artificial intelligence. Over half of the project executives reported that artificial intelligence was most crucial in helping enhance the features, functions and performance of their products. Other benefits included optimization of internal operations, better decision making, and the pursuit of new markets.

The key for these executives and their projects lay in determining how artificial intelligence could be applied to achieve those benefits. How do they get there?

The first step lies in a definition of the goals that your business needs artificial intelligence to accomplish. Some goals might have already proven artificial intelligence solutions that could be implemented in the short-term; others might need experimentation or research to develop, and could take much longer to implement. Can you afford the time investment needed to reach long-term goals, or the investment in capital and training to reach short-term goals?

The next step is in understanding the technology available and what it can do for your business goals. What kind of task does it do? What are the strengths and limitations of using it? Does the project or process you’re evaluating require machine learning for raw data processing or deep learning for more nonlinear thinking?

The final step before implementation of artificial intelligence is determining your company’s ability to incorporate it into the overall business model. Has your company already developed digital capabilities that would make a shift in the model easier to adopt? Does your company already work with big data, cloud storage and digital record-keeping in its day-to-day operations?

An example of how this process works can be seen in Coca Cola’s adoption of AI in its tracking methods. In the early 2010s, Coca Cola had an inefficient means of tracking the stock of their sodas in stores. Having a goal of making that process more efficient, they consulted with Trax Retail Execution on AI that could more easily track and manage those inventories. Coca Cola had already digitized much of the reporting process, so the new Trak AI solution was easily implemented, and Coca Cola saw reductions in reporting and stock outage times.
AI Solutions are out there for businesses that can approach them wisely. Careful evaluation of your business is required, but essential to keep up with others in the coming years.