11 months ago

Is it Judgement Day for AI in UK Business?

Artificial Intelligence's (AI) popularity has exploded over the past few months. It's no longer just the pursuit of tech enthusiasts and social influencers; AI is becoming a substantial part of our lives and how we do business.

If you've yet to incorporate AI into your working day, you could be excused for being sceptical about using AI for your business. Even concerns over a James Cameron-esque Skynet scenario are understandable, particularly with some of the stories shared by the media, such as the Guardian reporting that Bing's AI chatbot said, 'I want to destroy whatever I want'. However, there's less to worry about than you might think. In this article, we explore how AI is shaping the world, how UK businesses are affected and whether the time is right to start trusting AI.

Where is AI being Used?

It may surprise you that AI is already prevalent in many areas of UK business. As AI technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative and beneficial uses of AI in the years to come, but to give you an understanding of how beneficial AI is becoming; we've covered some key business areas where AI is making a difference.

Robot AI laptop

AI in Customer Support

AI is quickly evolving the customer support landscape. AI-powered chatbots can answer customer questions 24/7, allowing human agents to focus on more complex issues. You can also use AI to analyse customer data and identify trends, which can help businesses to improve their support offerings. For example, You can also use AI to identify the most common customer questions, providing your customers with more useful answers and resolving issues more quickly.

Here are some benefits of using AI in customer support:

  • Improve customer support efficiency: AI can automate many tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions and resolving issues, freeing human agents to focus on more complex issues, and improving efficiency and customer satisfaction.

  • Gain insights into your support service: AI can quickly analyse large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends, helping you to understand your customer's needs, improve your support service and provide more accurate and helpful advice.

  • Personalise your support service: You can use AI to personalise your customer support experience. From remembering customer preferences to providing recommendations based on past interactions, AI can help you build stronger customer relationships.

AI in Recruitment

Many recruitment professionals already use AI to automate tasks, such as screening CVs and scheduling interviews. AI can also assess candidates' skills and qualifications and even predict the likelihood of their success in a role, helping you hire the best candidate for the job and saving time and money on the recruitment process.

The following are just three of the many benefits AI can offer to recruitment:

  • Recruit more efficiently: In addition to screening CVs and scheduling interviews, AI can automate other tasks, such as sending rejection emails, giving recruiters more time to focus on strategic tasks, such as building relationships with candidates and making hiring decisions.

  • Faster recruitment decisions: One of the more time-consuming aspects of a recruiter's day is trawling through applications. Because AI can analyse large amounts of data, it can identify the best candidates for a job faster than humans can, giving you more time to analyse resumes, social media profiles and interview transcripts. You can also use AI to predict the likelihood of a candidate's success in a role.

  • Tailor candidate comms: You can use AI to personalise the recruitment process for each candidate by automating tailored emails and providing individual candidates with relevant information. This approach can help to improve the candidate experience and increase the chances of attracting top talent.

Business Intelligence hologram

AI in Business Intelligence

Unsurprisingly, business intelligence (BI) professionals can use AI to analyse data and identify trends, helping your business make better decisions, improve operations and gain a competitive advantage. For example, your BI team could use AI to analyse customer data and identify opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

Here are three benefits of AI to business intelligence:

  • Improved data analysis: BI teams can use AI to analyse large amounts of data more quickly and efficiently, helping to identify trends and patterns that would be difficult to see with traditional methods.

  • Automated insights: Your BI analysts could use AI to generate insights from data automatically, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks, such as developing insights and communicating with decision-makers.

  • Better customer insights: You can also use AI to personalise insights for different personas and even as granular as individual users, helping you approach each user in a way tailored to meet their needs, improving your business's targeting and conversions.

AI in Finance

AI is rapidly transforming the finance sector, automating tasks, improving decision-making, and personalising customer experiences. It's also helping those on the accounting side of finance, enabling you to dedicate more time to strategy and improving returns on investment.

Here are some ways that finance professionals can use AI:

  • Make better investment decisions: Because it can process large volumes of data quickly and efficiently, AI can provide personalised investment advice. It can do so while considering individual risk tolerance and financial goals, allowing for better investment decisions.

  • Task automation: Automating many of the tasks accountants currently perform, such as data entry, invoice processing, and tax preparation, frees up time to focus on more strategic tasks, such as developing business plans, providing advice and managing client relationships.

  • More accurate accounting: AI can help to improve the accuracy of accounting work by identifying errors and inconsistencies in data, helping to reduce the risk of errors and to improve the quality of financial reporting. Because your finance team can spend less time error-checking, this is another example of how AI can save your business time.

Robot AI analysing numbers

AI in Marketing

AI has already had prevalent use in marketing through ads targeting, but there's more that AI can do to improve your marketing efforts.

The most common use of AI in recent months has been through content generation. From articles to visual content, AI can help your business produce content faster and in greater quantity. Understanding that these tools rely on human prompts (briefs) to produce content is essential. Because AI makes assumptions about what you want it to produce, the more detail you provide in your prompt, the more likely you will get the content you want. However, it's still important to rigorously check your content before publishing it.

The following are only three benefits AI provides to marketing professionals:

  • More effective targeting: You can use AI to improve the targeting of marketing campaigns by understanding the interests and demographics of potential customers. This approach can help you send the right message to the right people, leading to increased conversions.

  • Personalise customer experiences: You can use AI to personalise marketing experiences for each customer. You can do this by using data to understand what each customer is interested in and what they have already interacted with, helping you create more relevant and engaging marketing messages, which can lead to increased customer loyalty.

  • Automate tasks: One of the most obvious uses of AI is automating marketing tasks. Whether you automate sending emails, scheduling social media posts or managing ad campaigns, AI can free up your marketing teams to focus on more strategic tasks, such as developing new campaigns, measuring results and developing strategies.

Robots and AI in the office

Is AI Safe to Use?

AI is a powerful tool that can improve business performance in various ways. However, it is essential to use AI responsibly and ethically. Like any form of technology, there are safe and unsafe ways to use it. Governments around the world are taking notice of the increased use of AI and have begun introducing laws intended to protect users and non-users alike.

The AI Act is a new piece of legislation that aims to regulate the use of AI in the European Union (EU). The Act sets out several principles businesses must follow when using AI, such as ensuring that AI systems are fair and non-discriminatory. The Act also requires businesses to report specific uses of AI to the European Commission. The AI Act is still in its early stages, but it should significantly impact the use of AI in business, helping to ensure individuals and businesses use AI responsibly and ethically.

Although The AI Act is a step in the right direction, the UK isn't following this law. Instead, the UK is entrusting existing regulators, such as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), to regulate AI.

Should You Use AI to Help Your Business?

AI is rapidly transforming the business landscape, with applications in various industries and professions. From personalising customer experiences to generating content, AI-powered chatbots can answer customer questions and provide support 24/7. AI can also analyse customer data and identify patterns marketers can use to improve marketing campaign effectiveness

Which are the Most Useful AI Tools?

Many AI tools are out there for you to use, with talented individuals and even AI developing the next generation of AI tools. The following is a selection of the most helpful AI tools you can use today, but keep in mind that the best tool for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements:

Open AI logo

OpenAI ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a significant language model chatbot developed by OpenAI, a non-profit research company that was founded in 2015 by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and others. OpenAI has developed many robust AI systems, including GPT-3, one of the largest and most powerful language models ever created.

Google AI logo

Google AI Platform

Google AI Platform is a suite of cloud-based AI services that can build, train, and deploy AI models. While prevalent in platforms such as Google Ads, Google AI is also gaining popularity among content creators due to Bard and MusicLM.

Google now also owns DeepMind, the British artificial intelligence research company. Google acquired DeepMind in 2014 and has since developed several AI systems, including AlphaGo, which defeated a human professional Go player in 2016.

Microsoft Azure AI logo

Microsoft Azure AI

Microsoft Azure AI is a suite of cloud-based AI services that can build, train, and deploy AI models. Azure AI offers various services, including machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision. You can build various AI applications, such as chatbots, predictive analytics, and image recognition, through Microsoft Azure AI.

IBM Watson logo

IBM Watson

IBM is one of the longest-running tech companies on our short list of AI companies, but that doesn't mean they're behind AI trends. IBM Watson is a cloud-based AI platform that can build various AI applications, including chatbots, conversational AI applications, predictive analytics, and natural language processing.

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Jon Cole-Dalton