i3 | February 10, 2020

AI Offers a Smarter Approach to Business

Scott Steinberg

Across the board, consumer technology leaders love to emphasize products that feature cutting-edge aesthetic designs. But thanks to the growing impact of artificial intelligence (AI) technology: It’s what’s inside that counts. With over 20.6 billion devices now connected according to Gartner, and an estimated 1.7MB of data being created every second for every person on earth, you can’t judge a consumer tech product by its cover. This also explains why over 80% of companies now see AI-based ventures as a strategic imperative, per Boston Consulting Group.

The predictive insights these solutions offer help product designers provide end-users with more unique (and personalized) features. But they also allow businesses to make smarter decisions, with the forward-thinking data that will become crucial to anticipating customers’ needs in coming years. With less than 25% of organizations having started down the path towards achieving self-awareness, it bears reminding. If you haven’t started exploring the possibilities already, the time to begin implementing smarter solutions is today.

AI and Machine Learning

Tech tools get smarter the more data they ingest and are helping rapidly transform entire industries. From health care, banking, and retail to insurance and transportation, industries are being upended. AI-powered solutions allow firms to rapidly digest the mountains of customer data they’re collecting and translate it into actionable business strategy. These performance-enhancing tech tools allow for huge gains in productivity and process improvements including the ability to free employees from routine chores to focus on more high-value tasks.

Predictably, manufacturers are leveraging these high-tech tools to detect flaws too minute to see before products leave the factory and apply deep learning across industrial operations to improve efficiency and output at scale. Likewise, distributors are using these advancements to more efficiently manage inventory stock and fulfillment and make smarter decisions at both the warehouse and product aisle level. High-tech retailers were among the first to embrace AI technology, using it to tailor messages and pricing strategies to individual shoppers; provide customized offers and discounts; and replace generic search and support functions with personally contextualized conversations.

To put things in perspective: The market for AI-powered tools will top $190 billion globally in the next five years, and over 75% of commercial enterprise applications are expected to use smart capabilities in the near future. More than half of all businesses say investments in these technologies will be the most significant ventures they’ll pursue this year, according to IDC. Meaning that for all the stream-lining, optimizing and cost-cutting that AI promises to help organizations achieve: It’s also driving growth today. That’s why eight in ten leaders cite it as a transformative technology that boosts productivity and creates job opportunities while bolstering the bottom line.

Your Smart Upgrade

AI is rapidly becoming commoditized and enjoying more widespread availability. Many software providers now offer off-the-shelf, turnkey solutions for grabbing mission-critical intelligence in real-time from virtually any data source. As a result, many providers can draw on dozens of past projects and case studies to provide simple grab-and-go templates to use as a starting point to speed up development of custom solutions. Companies can mix and match entire suites of cost-affordable AI tools to help drive profit and productivity gains in a matter of weeks.

With data now the new basic building block of business success, the future belongs to those organizations who can most rapidly monitor and decode the signals that the marketplace is sending and translate those signals into smart business strategies.

Subscribe to i3 Magazine

I3, the flagship magazine from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, focuses on innovation in technology, policy and business as well as the entrepreneurs, industry leaders and startups that grow the consumer technology industry. Subscriptions to i3 are available free to qualified participants in the consumer electronics industry.