IMPROVING PRODUCTIVITY

How the future of AI will shape the way we do business

4 March 2020


Artificial intelligence, or AI, is no longer reserved for the realm of sci-fi. It’s part of our everyday lives, from the millions of things your smartphone can do, to virtual assistants (like GIO’s very own George) helping you 24/7.

But what does the future of AI look like, and how will it affect business?

First things first: what is AI?

To put it simply, a AI is when a machine or program performs a task that would ordinarily require ‘intelligence’ if a human had done it. That doesn’t necessarily mean complex, high IQ jobs; it can be anything from answering a quick question to playing chess.

One of the most divisive conversations around the future of AI concerns ‘singularity’. This is the theory that, one day, AI will surpass human understanding and potentially become self-aware.

In GIO’s Man in the Know series, futurist Dr. Richard Hames explains his belief that singularity will happen, and have a huge impact. 

“The approaching singularity – that moment when machines become smarter than humans – means much of what we take for granted today will be obsolete,” he said. “The convergence of AI, virtual reality, nanotechnology and quantum computing will eventually revolutionise everything we do and how we do it.”

Whether or not you agree with Dr. Hames, it’s clear that AI is set to have a monumental effect on the way we do business.

But how?

Redefining how we interpret data

Data has become king. Businesses use it to understand customer behaviour in ways they never could before, and AI adds another level to that. 

As the amount of data people produce increases (by 2020, DOMO predicts each person on earth will generate 1.7MB of data per second), the ability of AI to keep up with it does the same. With machines processing and analysing data at rapid-fire speed, the scope for how businesses can understand customers, and personalise their experiences, is growing every day. 

Using AI to support humans

AI won’t replace humans, even if you do subscribe to singularity theory. Instead, AI should be seen as a support system that helps people do their jobs better – whether that’s assisting someone navigate a sale, or answering their queries.

Businesses are adopting AI at an impressive rate. Gartner predicts that, in 2020, around 25% of companies around the world will use virtual customer assistants or chatbots, which is up from less than 2% in 2017. That level of adoption, both from businesses and users, suggests a promising future between AI and the humans it can help support.

Creating more personalised experiences

We’ve all had moments where an interaction with technology has made us think, “how did it know that?” and maybe even, “that’s a little creepy.” AI can almost read our minds, or at least seem like it can. The more data we put into our devices, the easier it is for AI to deliver customised notifications that help us plan our days, set alarms, and even map out routes to work based on traffic conditions that day. 

In the coming years, AI is set to introduce a wave of hyper-personalisation. Future technology will likely better understand the moods of customers, store and access information that can revolutionise user experience, and use facial recognition to improve interactions with brick-and-mortar establishments. 

And that’s just a few possibilities!

Preparing for the future of AI 

AI will likely become a seamless part of our lives, and businesses will need to accept the change that comes with it. Think about it like this: a couple of decades ago, most businesses didn’t have websites. Now? The world lives online. In the same way, changes in AI are likely to be embraced en masse. 

There will also be more revolutionary uses of AI that will require open-minded, savvy businesses to implement. Staying open to such change (and keeping in the know by reading articles like this!) can help you stay ahead of the trends.

The future is unpredictable, which is why it can pay to be covered. Business Insurance can offer you the peace of mind of knowing that, if something were to go wrong – like a customer was injured, or your commercial property was damaged – you could have the financial cover to help you get through.

Some insurance policies also cover equipment breakdown, meaning that even if your fancy new AI-powered electronic equipment breaks down, you could be covered for the cost of fixing it.

GIO offers specific covers for different types of businesses, large and small. What you’ll be covered for depends on the type of insurance you purchase, so it’s important to read up on each (don’t worry, we’ve set out the information as clearly as possible).

Learn about GIO’s Business Insurance

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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Registered Office, Level 28, 266 George St, Brisbane QLD 4000. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

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