Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the general term applied to the intricate tasks carried out by machine-based systems that were once the sole domain of humans. These machine-based systems can function relatively autonomously because they simulate human intelligence in their ability to think, learn and even communicate. It is rather common, for example, to experience customer service queries being handled via artificial intelligence. It is also popular in the creation of songs and across diverse industries such as healthcare, logistics and finance.
Small to medium-sized businesses like yours already face tight margins, competition from a behemoth like Amazon, rising costs as a result of Covid-19, increased inflation rates, and the war in Ukraine. And now, the rise of artificial intelligence. It is nigh on impossible to run your business without some social media presence, a cellular phone and access to a devoted email address. These have become useful tools that make your life easier and allow you time to operate your business more efficiently.
These basic examples are used to contextualise the use of technology as a practical and inevitable part of business growth. The same reasoning can be applied to the embracing of AI in your business.
Firstly, it is a tool. A tool based on aiming to mimic human behaviour, thus enabling machines to process new inputs and operate human-like tasks. In this sense, the machines can learn and think from their own frame of experience.
So, the output is predicated on the input, for example, when you use a processing tool like Chat GPT. This is a natural language processing tool which simulates conversation as if it was between humans as opposed to between human and machine. This processing tool is also driven by artificial intelligence. Responding to customer queries/complaints can often invade the limited time you allocate for this aspect of your business, and this is an area where a tool such as this may be useful.
Secondly, you still have to scrutinise your profit margins. Any tool that keeps your costs low and profits high should at least be looked at. Covid-19 saw many shops close due to the erosion of their already thin margins. Small to medium-sized businesses must still pay close attention to incremental costs. Therefore, any platforms/strategies that help to reduce costs are worthy of consideration or integration in some way.
Thirdly, offering your product or service is still paramount. This is why you are an owner, and this is what lies at the heart of your business operation. You still have that unique competitive edge that AI cannot erase. Human input and creativity will always have a higher intelligence than machine-based systems that simulate human actions/intelligence.
The businesses that stand out are those that embrace technology, produce a high-quality relatable product or service and convey values that resonate with consumers beyond their generic mission statements. Strategically embracing the inevitable is good for business.
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About the author
Malik Muhammad was raised and educated in Jamaica, read law in London and is the author of Coffee & Contemplation. He created The Empowerment Mastery System to influence, help and inspire businesses to cultivate their visions in a specified time. Malik enjoys vegan cooking and quad biking. He is a voiceover artist, ghost writer and convenes empowerment masterclasses globally.