Odds are, robots probably aren’t going to steal your job—in fact, they could actually help your job, especially if you work in a small business. Artificial intelligence (AI), bots and other cutting edge tech can support a wide range of businesses. We caught up with Alex Fawcett, Sage’s Principal Architect of Mobile and Bots, to find out about the benefits of AI and how small businesses can take advantage of them.
Save time, make better decisions
The most immediate benefit of AI is that it will offer businesses new tools to work smarter. “There will be less time entering data and more time getting valuable intelligence and insight from the services used,” Alex explained. “AI can be used to augment decision making,” which includes everything from choosing which products to feature on your website to where to spend your advertising dollars. “There is a huge amount of data out there waiting to be acted on, and AI will help guide businesses on how to act.”
No experience necessary
You might be reading this thinking, “That all sounds great, but I don’t have the technical knowledge to take advantage of this stuff.” Well, never fear—you’re not the only one. “There are lots of great tools out there,” Alex said. “Look to tools like Chatfuel, which is a really cool bot builder that links with Facebook and requires no code. You can build a bot and use AI to answer questions your customers may have. We’ve worked with companies that have had some amazing bots up and running within hours, including a great bot that allowed delivery orders for a bakery to be ordered!”
And if you are a little more tech savvy (read: have some coding skills), there are even more options open to you. “All of the big tech companies are releasing AI powered services that do a huge variety of things. From analyzing video, photo and sound to building smart services that can answer customers’ questions. While no knowledge of how AI or machine learning works is needed for these services, some coding is often required to get them working with existing apps,” Alex said.
A healthier bottom line
Perhaps the most persuasive argument for adopting AI in your small business is that it can positively impact your bottom line. “We’ll see increased automation of manual tasks and processes, freeing up time to focus on creativity and dealing with customers,” Alex said. “We’ll also see prices of suppliers and services drop for small businesses. AI will reduce the cost of running small businesses by taking the burden off many staff, freeing up their time and reducing costs.”