3 Ways Small Businesses Can Take Advantage of Artificial Intelligence

Innovative offerings are making artificial intelligence (AI) accessible for even the smallest of businesses. Here are three types of AI-based solutions that small companies can use to help grow their businesses.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not just for corporate giants anymore. Innovative offerings are making AI accessible for even the smallest of businesses. Vendors are developing AI-based business solutions and offering them as services. As a result, companies that do not have the resources or expertise to develop AI-based solutions on their own can still take advantage of all that AI has to offer.

Here are three types of AI-based solutions that small companies can use to help their businesses grow and become more efficient:

1. Niche Business Solutions

Vendors are increasingly offering AI-based solutions that meet very specific business needs. For example, Textio is an AI-based solution that helps companies create effective job listings. After you enter your job listing into a web tool, you get suggestions on how to improve it as well as a score that predicts how effective the listing will be at finding qualified applicants. This solution is powered by a predictive engine that analyzes the hiring outcomes of more than 10 million job posts each month.

Another example is x.ai’s Amy and Andrew, which are autonomous AI scheduling assistants. Like Textio, this AI-based solution is easy to use. After you link your calendars and specify some preferences, you just need to Cc Amy (or Andy) whenever you send an email to someone requesting a meeting. Amy then takes over arranging the meeting by emailing that person to determine the best time and place. Amy chats with the person as if she were a personal assistant of the human kind. After Amy sorts out all the details, she sends you a meeting invitation.

2. Virtual Personal Assistants Designed for Businesses

The popularity of Amazon Echo, Google Home, and other virtual personal assistants for the home is prompting vendors to get these smart speakers out of the kitchen and into the office. Amazon’s Alexa for Business service is one of the first offerings of this kind. It goes beyond just placing smart speakers on employees’ desks so that they can manage their schedules and set reminders. The service can be integrated with other business solutions such as Salesforce, WebEx, Skype for Business, and Google G-Suite. As a result, employees can use the smart speakers to access sales data, initiate conference calls, control conference room equipment, order supplies, and much more. The smart speakers can even be provisioned and managed from a central console.

Other companies such as Microsoft and Cisco are also planning to offer virtual personal assistants for the businesses.

3. AI Services of Popular Apps

Many small businesses take advantage of cloud-based business apps. Some cloud-app providers offer AI services. For example, Salesforce offers the Einstein AI service for its customer relationship management software. The service uses machine learning, chatbots, and other AI technologies to optimize processes and make work more intuitive for customer service agents and their managers.

Similarly, Oracle offers the Adaptive Intelligent Apps for its cloud application suites (e.g., enterprise resource planning suite, supply chain management suite). The Adaptive Intelligent Apps apply machine learning and automation to different sets of tasks in the suites.