Will more businesses jump onto the AI bangwagon this year? Source: Shutterstock

Will more businesses jump onto the AI bangwagon this year? Source: Shutterstock

2019 could mean big bucks for AI solutions

THERE is no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) has great potential and is a technology that will eventually make a big dent in the universe, but 2019 seems to be the year that a lot more companies will begin exploring the technology.

Companies like Google and Amazon, through exciting and innovative products such as Google Cloud ML and Amazon Rekognition have made it possible for companies to explore how AI and machine learning can help them in a variety of scenarios — without shelling out too much money.

The reality is, at this stage, AI can deliver a lot of gains to even those companies that don’t want to spend a lot on development.

“Business leaders continue to understand that AI is a critical part of transforming and staying competitive, though many will face challenges as they find that AI adoption and implementation is not as simple as they have been led to believe,” said Appier Chief Data Scientist and National Taiwan University Professor Dr Hsuan-Tien Lin.

Out of the box solutions such as virtual assistants that integrate with CRM solutions such as Salesforce and HR solutions such as Obindo and chatbots that provide responses without much training are easy to find, purchase, deploy without much effort.

Whether or not AI replaces human workers, commercial vendors have reached a stage where there’s an AI solution for every kind of business.

Pioneers to get started with AI in 2019

Although AI is currently only commercially available as a transactional product, it’s something that pioneers are already leveraging to take their business to the next level.

They’re using it to create more dynamic chatbots and virtual assistants that transform the customer experience while reducing costs and improving efficiencies. According to Gartner, 25 percent of customer service operations will use virtual customer assistants by 2020.

In fact, AI could also help make sakes teams more effective. Gartner’s forecast suggests that by 2020, 30 percent of all B2B companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes.

Companies are also exploring how AI can help see and identify more objects, things, and people, and give operational technologies more cognitive capabilities. Companies that crack the code could gain a strong competitive edge in the markeplace by delighting customers while reducing costs.

According to IDC, affective computing (emotion AI) will include vision and voice technologies and see an increase of 25 percent in real-world applications.

And they’re using it to optimize and transform the different divisions that come together to form the organization — be it manufacturing, supply chain, or human resources.

Although this could take a tiny bit more time, it’s something that will not only transform businesses processes but also the kind of software that companies rely on.

IDC believes that AI-enabled human-computer interfaces and business process automation will replace a third of today’s screen-based B2B and B2C applications.

The reality is, 2019 is going to see a lot more spend on AI. Smaller companies or those with tight budgets will spend on out of the box solutions. Those with deeper pockets and long-term ambitions will explore how the technology can help them gain an edge in the market or disrupt it altogether.