AI A Poor Man’s Wealth

Is AI everything that we make it out to be? Is it truly at a state where it can help our business grow? Or is it simply another IT fishing hook to spend more of our hard earned money?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, lets educate ourselves on how AI can actually help us in our businesses. Narrow AI is a one purpose focused solution. It does not “learn” the way we thought AI can…not yet. But it can greatly simplify many aspects of our jobs.

Narrow AI or Machine Learning is a set of computational techniques that use data to create models that make predictions about future data. These models independently learn and continuously adapt to changing environments without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning is a crucial component in many artificial intelligence systems.  How does it make predictions?

  • It uses a set of examples preprogrammed in, then takes data and extrapolates.
  • The system then uses further examples which it comes across and uses those as its point of reference, hence its “experience” or “learning”.
  • It will also use historical data to make predictions.

A key point, however, is that Machine Learning is not programmed to process data. Just to spew out analysis based on past experience. Therefore, it does not truly learn. It uses data in its system to make predictions.

This is what the heavy majority of all AI we come across is made of. Yes, especially Chat GPT!  However, this level of AI still presents us with limitless opportunities to improve our work processes.

     “ Its better to solve the right problem approximately than to solve the wrong problem exactly”. – John Tukey

There are 5 main areas of improvement which AI can help all organizations with:

  1. Project – accurately forecast demand, supply and future offerings for a competitive advantage.
  2. Produce – innovate processes to decrease necessary inputs and increase overall production.
  3. Prevent – anticipate risks, reduce downtime and intercept before incurring losses (detect anomalies).
  4. Promote – insight based selling; personalize promotions.
  5. Personalize- give customers a personalized and convenient experience. Customize experiences in real time.

If any of this interests you then the first question is, “how do I even start to identify if AI is a right fit for me?”  

Here are some initial stages we suggest:

  1. Start with the outcome! – you need to have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish!
  2. What actions are going to support this outcome? Meaning what information do you have access to which can feed into creating an AI process.
    • Do you have this already internally to feed into Machine Learning? OR
    • Do you need to collect that information or get it externally?
  3. Is the information/ data clean? Meaning, can it be trusted?
  4. Are there any constraints which may have large impact on the data set? Such as industry regulation changes?

If the first 3 questions are a yes, and the 4th one is not limiting you too much….then you are a great candidate for the exploration into AI solutions.

 If you are thinking of exploring this further, chat with your MSP or IT organization to help you evaluate this process further. The ROI needs to be there! But if it is, then AI can improve your efficiencies much more than you may be able to currently envision. In addition, there are support systems in Canada and Provincially which will be able to assist you through the entire process.