Netitude’s first in a series of business breakfasts held locally, proved a great success. Two events were held on the 14th and 15th of March in venues in Bradford on Avon and Frome, hosted by CIO and EU Research Evaluator, Ross Harling. His presentation, AI – What does it mean for your business? – explained that whilst AI is already a driving force in big business today, it’s now accessible to SMEs. It’s just a case of knowing how to make it work for your business.
The business breakfasts were held at specially selected venues, Timbrell’s Yard in Bradford on Avon and Sam’s Kitchen Deli in Frome, each to an audience of business networkers from the local area. The idea was to get the local business communities mixing together whilst providing some insight into areas of IT that have a strong influence on the business world.
Let’s take a look at some of the ground covered in the first AI themed presentation, in a series of lectures from Netitude related to IT.
AI is here and spreading
Those two words, Artificial Intelligence, can conjure up science fiction films where an AI attempts to enslave humans and take over the world. Parking the plot of the film I, Robot for a second, it’s true that AI does scare many people. Indeed, skilled middle tier workers stand to face challenges of AI usurping them. In the news it’s already been estimated that a quarter of public sector workers could be replaced by AI.
Every sector from Finance, Legal to Healthcare and Transport could be redefined by AI innovations. In truth, replacement of human jobs has always been an inevitable effect of technology advancing and AI applications are only going to increase in number.
However, with AI’s amazing capabilities – how can it work for your SME and make it perform better?
Opportunity in AI
The truth is that AI is already a widely used tool and one that has had a significant impact on the way business is done. AI algorithms can out-analyse and out-perform humans in many ways and from a CEO’s perspective, this will make business functionality more streamlined and drive the company forward.
Whilst much AI is ‘behind the scenes’, some can be very visible. You may already be aware of popular AI personal assistant style applications, like Microsoft’s Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa. They can have a very human-like quality about the way they interpret and respond to your requirements and in the way they interact with you. An important advantage provided by AI software is that it can interpret data in a way that speeds up traditionally slow processes – including learning better or more accurate ways to do things. Put AI into a service offering and it can be dazzling in its response to humans’ needs.
Business success today hinges on finding good processes, finding better ways to do things and making efficiencies – if you can streamline processes, make the slow stuff faster, then your potential for growth and making better use of human time is realised.
AI could, for instance, be used to detect human error before it happens – providing an instantaneous feedback loop to humans. Imagine if you were an engineer working on the engine of a vehicle and you had glasses on that detected where you looked, what you were looking at and how well you were working, to the point where it could tell you to tighten a screw that was not secured adequately.
It could reduce mistakes to zero – but only act as an advisor rather than taking over the performance of a human job. Suddenly, AI is not stealing your job, it’s making you perfect at yours.
Recognise your process pinch points
It’s important to drop the fear about AI and recognise the opportunity, as AI is an enabling technology. Development in this area is accelerating rapidly, which means that companies who adopt it will have the advantage. If you can first identify those ‘pinch points’ in your business processes – the places where congestion occurs – take a look at how an AI solution could be realistically applied and it might in fact set your business free.
As Netitude’s first Business Breakfast event, the presentation was widely welcomed and well received by local businesses eager to learn something whilst enjoying a good breakfast and a coffee. It was agreed the event aligned perfectly with Netitude’s brand as a forward looking, proactive IT solutions company and award winning Managed Services Provider. If you want to know more about Netitude’s business breakfasts – stay tuned to the blog for the next announcement.