How AI Is Accessible to Organizations of All Sizes
- Artificial intelligence is being adopted across industries at organizations of all sizes, enabling smaller companies to compete with larger competitors
- Companies are using AI to reduce mundane tasks so their staff can focus on other areas of the business
- With the right tools and planning, any organization can adopt AI to solve the challenges they face today
With any new technology, there’s always hype that precedes the actual capability of what it can do in the present. Artificial intelligence (AI) was no different. But now, we have finally reached a point where tangible use cases of AI in practice are living up to the hype that so many promised the technology will achieve. And now, with more scalable ways to onboard the technology, large and small organizations can incrementally or fully adopt the technology, helping gain a significant competitive advantage.
Why should organizations of all sizes adopt artificial intelligence?
Like with the e-commerce and mobile revolutions, AI is transforming businesses’ operations. The e-commerce revolution was about sharing information more efficiently and making interactions and transactions with customers and partners easier. The mobile revolution allowed these interactions to happen anywhere at any time.
However, the AI revolution is already improving the efficiency, decisions, and security of these interactions and, in many cases, creating a more tailored experience for the participants in those interactions. Once people become accustomed to the “enhanced” and “bespoke” experiences AI makes possible, they’ll balk at returning to an experience that doesn’t anticipate their needs, understand their intentions, or make the interactions simpler and more data-driven.
AI is also playing a crucial role in managing and monetizing content. The pandemic ushered in record-high content consumption as stay-at-home orders were implemented. That consumption has largely not diminished, putting pressure on intellectual property (IP) owners to maximize the use of each piece of content they have in their archive and become more creative in engaging with their target audience. AI not only automates the tagging of content so that it can be surfaced at a moment’s notice, but it’s also becoming a creative tool to build digital personas, voice experiences, and more in traditional channels as well as Web3.
But AI is no longer solely a commercial offering either. Highly regulated industries such as government and energy are turning to AI to solve some of their toughest challenges. For government agencies, they need a way to manage and process audio and video evidence while being more transparent with the public. For energy companies, it’s building smarter grids that use intermittent energy resources, requiring AI to crunch data to predict factors that impact supply and demand. And now, with more cost-efficient ways to adopt AI, organizations of all sizes can start reaping the benefits.
Why AI is no longer a focus for just larger companies
Small companies can benefit just as much and perhaps even more than large companies. Large companies benefit from scale. More resources make more work possible and more productive. Small companies can use AI to give themselves that same level of scale.
For instance, my father worked for a small company that did geotechnical engineering. One of his responsibilities was to inspect concrete samples from construction sites. Imagine leveraging AI to accelerate the aspects of that involved visual inspections of the samples and the perhaps information that could be gleaned from analyzing audio recordings of the sample being struck to help identify structural imperfections.
This wouldn’t eliminate the need for his specialist skills, but it could accelerate the inspection process and increase his efficiency. That, in turn, would translate into being able to process more samples and focus on the outliers that AI couldn’t easily evaluate. In this scenario, the small business he works for has jumped in the processing scale, and it can add more specialist inspections, presumably generating more revenue.
As this process evolves and patterns are detected in the outliers AI processes, it can be improved without necessarily retooling the implementation simply by retraining the engine to identify new patterns. Another value add is now there’s more consistency in the outcomes.
Gradually over time, this would create a competitive advantage, a barrier between them and their competitors. For the other companies to compete, they would have to develop and implement the tech and would need the time to catch up based on the data they collect. In the meantime, my father’s company keeps expanding the barrier as their dataset is enriched and expanded.
Furthermore, they can now “punch above their weight” and compete with companies with more resources. There will always be the question of cost and skillset. What does a geotechnical engineering company know about AI? They may not, but they also didn’t know about building websites when those became a business requirement.
What they do know, their specialist knowledge is the real value, AI is the vehicle to maximize it. Systems and tools like Veritone aiWARE, a hyper-expansive Enterprise AI platform that many applications we built use as a foundation, can make standing up an AI process much easier. Low code tools like Automate Studio, part of the aiWARE platform, allow for the easy creation of AI implementations without detailed specialist knowledge. Getting into the AI space for small businesses isn’t the daunting task it once was if they have the right tools and planning.
Is AI Now an Urgent Priority for Organizations of Any Size?
AI represents an opportunity to increase the effectiveness of current businesses and expand into new ways of meeting customer needs. Employees and customers will be able to provide more value because routine and repetitive tasks can be enriched with AI, leaving employees more time to focus on the business’s more interesting, complex, and creative aspects.
We don’t have to rehash the story of BlockBuster and Netflix to see what happens when entrenched interests refuse to adapt to new technologies and ways of serving their customers. Whether AI, process automation, or streamlining and improving business practices, companies should always be investing in the future.
Think about how much better positioned those companies that had already invested in telework technologies and policies were to deal with the changes COVID-19 has brought us. AI will reach into all aspects of our lives through healthcare, consumer products, financial services, government, and education. It’s not about if it will change our world; it’s not about when it will change our world. It’s about how it will change our world and how you can take advantage of AI to solve the challenges you face today and in the future.