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How Artificial Intelligence can increase your business productivity

Posted by Ditto on Mar 27, 2019 8:41:00 AM

Business productivity: it’s a hot topic and an ever-constant challenge. So, what steps have you taken to improve your business productivity? Staff incentives? Goal setting? Have you sought out tips and advice from experts?

You’ve probably considered using various emerging technologies to streamline processes, improve customer experience and reduce overheads. But, have you thought about investing in AI to boost your organisation’s efficiency?

Persuading the nay-sayers

Now, some argue that adopting new technology can negatively impact productivity. Jeffrey Frankel, professor at Harvard University, says:

‘While a new iteration of computer software or hardware may offer more capacity, efficiency, or performance, those advantages are at least partly offset by the time users have to spend learning to use it.’

There is an advantage that separates artificial intelligence from these other technologies. AI provides prescriptive analytics that can inform your decision-making with advice and recommendations that have a clear audit trail. Also, AI can be used to automate activities. This frees up employee time and creativity to tackle complex issues. It’s an intuitive technology, designed to both use and support human expertise.

Think of it like this: you don’t have to learn how to drive the new car. It drives itself.

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Not convinced? Well, 60 percent of occupations could have about 30 percent of their activities automated with currently available technology, according to this McKinsey report, which also says:

‘Particularly in the highest-paid occupations, machines can augment human capabilities to a high degree, and amplify the value of expertise by increasing an individual’s work capacity.’ 

AI is the future. It will redefine what a productive business looks like. And, that process has already begun.

Expertise is within easy reach

This report suggests there is a ‘shortage of about 1.5 million analysts who can make informed decisions based on data’.

It is crucial that businesses make the most of data to make efficient decisions, but without a skilled middle-man to interpret the numbers, they could be missing out, or – worse – misinterpreting their analytics. Explainable AI is designed to fill this gap.

Reducing human error and wasted time

Self-learning AI improves over time. As the software learns, it can begin to outpace humans in certain areas. For example, here’s a graph showing the improvement in image labelling on ImageNet, where the algorithms finally surpass human capability in 2016:

ai and business productivity graph

‘(Artificial Intelligence and the Modern Productivity Paradox: A Clash of Expectations and Statistics’, Erik Brynjolfsson, Daniel Rock, Chad Syverson, 2017)

Of course, humans make up for their flaws in many ways, but AI is winning the race with these kinds of tasks.

Happy, motivated employees are productive

Yes, despite concerns that AI will take over people’s jobs, the reality is AI can actually improve employees’ working lives.

For example, AI reduces the number of repetitive tasks that a sales rep has to do on a daily basis and provides them with expert-driven support. They can focus on establishing rapport with customers and getting repeat business. They get to do what they’re best at: being human.

Work that requires emotional intelligence, creativity and problem-solving is much more likely to result in happy, motivated and productive employees. And nearly two thirds of UK-based employees in a recent ABBYY survey have said they’d cheerfully hand over their less engaging tasks to a machine. The quality of your service can improve without having to hire and train more staff.

AI can make your business more productive, after all

ai and business productivity graph 2

(‘The economic impact of artificial intelligence on the UK economy’, PwC, 2017)

PwC have found that AI could increase productivity by up to 14.3 percent by 2030.

So, you no longer need to wonder if AI will improve your organisation’s productivity. If you’re feeling really efficient, your next question should be, when can I get started?

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Topics: Explainable AI