Preparing Your Business for AI

Artificial intelligence has proven to be extremely adept at anomaly detection, enhancement, reconstruction, auto-generation, object detection, forecasting, pattern detection. It often goes hand in hand with big data, which is a buzzword that has been passed around a lot within the past decade. It refers to the digital gold rush of information about consumers and their behavior that now exists in a usable, concrete form. For many industries, such as retail, this is a priceless resource. By examining the data of a person’s history, you can see patterns emerge. This, in turn, enables predictive algorithms to make educated guesses about what to do next on a 100% customized basis. It changes the game completely for future sales and marketing campaigns. AI can take this a step further by revealing trends and associations at a level of speed and accuracy than any human could ever manage.

Both commercial and residential consumers have been quick to embrace the concept of connected devices, such as computers on a network or appliances being part of the Internet of Things (IoT). While it may make our lives easier to have computer chips in connected devices, there is also an ugly downside. The major issue that people either don’t understand or choose to ignore is that data isn’t automatically secure. More often than not, the data from our connected devices is being sold to the highest bidder.

In addition to safety issues, companies also need to ask themselves why they need AI implementation in the first place. Jumping on the bandwagon is not sufficient, there needs to be a real-world benefit. In addition, most AI projects fail because of a lack of foresight and planning, therefore it’s important to self-assess your issue and figure out exactly what problem you are trying to solve. Ask yourself what success looks like, such as speed vs security, before spending time or money on the development phase. Any new technology also needs to integrate with existing business practices, so that needs to be taken into account as well regarding budget, time, and skilled labor. 

Once you’ve initiated any technological changes, it is also vital to keep up with the ever-changing laws regarding data privacy. Continuous data transmission is a game-changer when it comes to convenience, but it also exposes a whole new line of vulnerabilities. There are many points of access, from computer to computer, as well as to the cloud. Contrary to popular belief, storing data in the cloud is not as comforting as it sounds. This connected, global network of remote servers is under constant attack from external forces.