Remember the futuristic world of Knight Rider from the 1980s? The series introduced us to KITT, an AI-powered car with the ability to understand human emotions, talk, make decisions, and even assist in law enforcement. It seemed like a far-off future, but the future is now. 

OpenAI's ChatGPT has brought us into an era where we can converse naturally with AI, just as we imagined when watching movies or TV shows like Knight Rider. Launched in November 2022, ChatGPT has been a catalyst in an AI revolution that is transforming businesses as we know them. 

2022 alone saw the advent of AI tools such as DeepMind’s Gato, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney: AI tools that can perform tasks, play games, and generate imagery drawing on the vast database of information that their models were built on. To date, there are over 8,000 AI-driven tools available, and more in development to address ever-more niche areas of interest.

From streamlining operations to enhancing creativity, AI tools are becoming integral to modern organisations. But to harness the power of this transformative technology effectively, understanding its practical applications and limitations is crucial. In this article, we delve into the realms of what AI can achieve today, how it can benefit your business, and the exhilarating possibilities for the future.

Let's explore how AI has moved from the realm of science fiction to become a practical and powerful asset, making the seemingly impossible conversations with machines a reality for your business.

AI in practice

At Cleverbit, we built an AI-enabled bot used to answer people’s questions about complex documents. This is a simple use for it: we have policy documents that can be difficult to read, so we offloaded the task to AI to make sure that our employees can always have their questions answered, and as quickly as possible. It has streamlined our onboarding process, and helped create a more transparent working environment.

There are, however, other uses for AI.

  1. Boost productivity

A loss of productivity is a monetary loss for business, but it can be complicated to monitor every aspect of your business and see that it’s running at peak efficiency. Offloading your productivity monitoring to AI can identify the spots within your organisation that are running less efficiently than others, and from there, you can make a decision on what changes to implement to reduce or remove that bottleneck.

Let’s take staff rostering as an example. Rostering is a bit of a headache in the best of circumstances, and is rarely perfectly optimised. As a leader, you might realise that certain combinations of employees tend to work very well together to generate more sales. An AI tool can learn exactly which schedule combinations work best, and automatically build rosters that take this into account.

Inventory management is another often cited pain point - especially for retail businesses. An AI tool can analyse sales patterns, stock levels, and supply chain timings to suggest optimal restocking schedules. This ensures that products are available when needed, reducing both overstock costs and lost sales due to out-of-stock items.

  1. Automating simple tasks

If you’re an organisation that fields customer questions on the daily, this aspect of AI can really help you streamline your processes. Allow AI to answer your most-asked questions for you - you can program in responses so that the chatbot can guide your customers in the right direction, and free up another member of your team to address issues that AI can’t solve on its own.

  1. Improve content

From emails to blog posts, AI can help you make sure that what you’re writing about comes across clearly and easily to the reader. Asking an AI bot to proofread your writing will allow it to give you extra tips and guidance on how to make your written content read better - and it can even help you brainstorm ideas if you’re stuck for what to write about.

  1. Analyse your data

One of the groundbreaking strides in AI development has been its foray into data analytics. Businesses of all sizes are now able to uncover valuable insights from their data. AI can sift through vast amounts of information to highlight trends, identify anomalies, and even suggest actions—all with minimal human intervention. OpenAI has recently launched "Advanced Data Analytics" as a feature, making such analysis available from its ChatGPT product.

Transformation of content from one form to another is one of AI's many strengths.Transformation of content from one form to another is one of AI's many strengths.

AI and legislation

As of this article, the EU and other governing bodies are still debating a ratified legislation, though the EU has already proposed an AI act that will curtail some of AI’s current usage, though only to assign assessments and minimum requirements for security and accuracy. The intention is to prevent AI from using copyright material and to provide transparency in how AI tools function - and to enforce a better way for businesses to use AI without infringing on copyright or using personal information without permission.

How to prepare your business for AI

AI is still a nascent technology, much like the internet was a few decades ago. However, businesses that have been proactive in adopting and innovating with AI this year have already begun to carve out a significant competitive advantage for themselves. Just as early adopters of the internet revolutionised the way business was done, those who embrace AI today are setting the stage for the future of industry.

There are trends in tech that come and go, without really changing the way that we work. AI is not one of those trends. Already, it has shown businesses that there is a more efficient, productive way to do business, and that it’s a way that is easily achievable - and businesses have already started to reinvent the way they work based around AI capabilities. If you’re not one of those businesses, but you want to start using AI, a brief consultation can really help you uncover where your organisation can grow.

AI Automation has a role in most businesses. Talk to Cleverbit to identify how leveraging AI can make your business more effective.

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