May 7, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
While the adoption of AI may feel like something from a sci-fi movie to some, today’s reality paints a very different picture. Research by McKinsey reveals that 50 percent of companies have adopted AI to assist with at least one business function.
An ever-increasing share of companies is also busy developing its own AI solutions, disrupting entire industries. Though some industries still lag behind in the implementation of AI, its increasing prevalence and ever-varying use cases highlight that it is truly the way of the future. Smart city projects, self-driving car makers and cashier-less retail are already changing the way the world operates, benefitting from algorithmic learning.
Businesses that use AI to automate or optimize processes, meanwhile, can save time, money and resources, making them better equipped to scale efficiently and adapt to ever-changing economic circumstances.
1. AI is becoming more practical for everyday use
One example of using AI to help optimize an everyday process is writing and creating content. In today’s digital world, content creation is a mandatory part of scaling any business, whether it’s an insightful blog post, crafting a compelling Facebook Ad, or copywriting a sales pitch.
It’s this exciting trend that inspired Dave Rogenmoser to launch Conversion.ai, a new AI software that claims to write proven, high-converting copy for stronger ROI. Backed by Y-Combinator, Conversion.ai offers its users an AI-based assistant named Jarvis, who will help write content for emails, ads, sales pages, e-commerce product descriptions and more.
When asked about it’s efficacy via email, Rogenmoser stated, “Many entrepreneurs struggle with writer’s block and the pain of staring at a blank page. Jarvis makes writing high-quality content easy and even fun. Many of our new users report creating five to ten times more content than before, and we’re actually proud to point out that Jarvis crafted every single word of our website’s home page.”
As simple as it seems, the fact that AI is increasingly viewed as a practical part of everyday life for many makes it that much more appealing to business leaders. When 55 percent of virtual assistant users use AI-powered speech recognition apps for hands-free control of their device, it is clear that these tools are here to stay.
Those who are comfortable using AI for non-business needs will understand its convenience and potential, and be more likely to apply it to business. This is especially helpful for individuals at previously tech-averse companies, as it makes the adoption of AI more palatable to senior executives.
2. AI has a noticeable influence on company finances
No matter how you look at it, AI helps businesses improve their bottom line. By 2022, it is estimated that chatbots will provide an annual cost savings of $8 billion by improving customer service for simple inquiries.
Research from the Harvard Business Review reveals that for 36 percent of executives, the primary goal for using AI is to automate mundane tasks so their workers can be more creative and use their time more productively.
The previously cited McKinsey report found that revenue increases stemming from the use of AI were increasingly common across a wide range of business functions. In 2020, 79 percent of respondents reported revenue increases in marketing and sales, while 73 percent saw revenue increases in strategy and corporate finance.
Many businesses reported a revenue increase of 10 percent or greater thanks to the adoption of AI functionality, particularly in the areas of risk management and product/service development. As companies see such clearly defined benefits for key functions, they will naturally be motivated to adopt AI in other areas as well.
3. Savvy integration of humans into learning loops fuels growth
In the early days of AI, one of the biggest fears cited by the tech’s detractors was that it would amount to robots taking jobs away from living, breathing people. While those fears still exist to an extent, understanding of AI has largely shifted to a realization that the best route is to use an integrated system that still keeps a human in the loop.
In a blog post, Eran Shlomo, co-founder and CEO of Dataloop predicts, “In 2021, AI limitations will surface into public attention where AI bias, explainability, and fairness will gain more attention as AI starts to impact more areas in our lives. With these issues challenging the transition of AI to production, both on the functional side as well as the financial aspects the need for efficient, highly automated human supervision and monitoring, deeply integrated into the AI-powered product and their usage will become extremely clear.”
In many industries, it is increasingly recognized that the key to efficiency is to use a single AI solution that properly routes assets to a manager who still has manual involvement. This hybrid approach proves to deliver the best results for companies, while also making AI more appealing in general.
4. Businesses recognize the potential gains for early adopters
At this point, AI isn’t exactly new — many businesses have been implementing AI solutions for several years. As others see the impact that AI has had for early adopters, more and more businesses are looking for ways to use technology to improve their own processes.
Because of this, research from Deloitte has actually concluded that “the window for AI competitive advantage might be closing.” While Deloitte’s 2019 survey data found that only 38 percent of business executives felt that AI would transform their industry in three years, that jumped to 61 percent in the 2020 survey. At the same time, 75 percent felt AI would transform their company during this timeframe.
Quite simply, the ultimate reason why widespread AI adoption is here is that more leaders than ever before are recognizing its transformative power. No one wants to get left behind.
Don’t fall behind — start implementing AI today
AI can have a profound impact on how you do business, driving value by increasing efficiency and cutting costs for a variety of processes. Implementation in activities like marketing and manufacturing can even directly increase company revenue.
AI is on the cusp of becoming widespread across practically every industry. By taking advantage of these resources early, you can gain a valuable head start that will position you well for the future.