Total Business Magazine

What If You Could Employ Alexa?

Having real-life living and functioning employees has its benefits, but it also comes with a number of setbacks for any business. For example, having to pay a decent wage, dealing with productivity, days off and annual leave, sickness, mental health, regulatory issues, legal employment matters, employers’ insurance and the list goes on. But what if you could employ an AI like Alexa to do just as good a job, if not better?

In July 2018, Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, said that artificial intelligence will cause massive job disruption, and that robots “will be able to do everything better than us.

“I have exposure to the most cutting-edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned by it…AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization,” he concluded.

More recently, CNBC reports that Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook live to address Musk’s concerns, alleging that AI is in fact going to make human life much better in the future, and doomsday scenarios are “pretty irresponsible.”

Make of it what you will, AI is a revolutionary technology that is being adopted worldwide by the biggest and best companies, looking to innovate and stay ahead of their competition. It was never created to completely substitute human workforce, but on the other hand to complement human workflow and productivity. A recent report from Brookings explains that AI can be a substitute for labour, and will usually perform the same task a human would with greater precision, speed and at a lower cost, but in many cases, AI accompanies human labour and makes human fulfilled tasks more valuable.

In addition, the report explains that any would be job-losses from replacing human labour has already been found to be offset by an increase in demand, which is the consequence of improved quality and automation-driven costs. Another benefit to adopting AI is the time that is freed up from slow and arduous tasks – time that a human is then able to use for more creative work and new tasks. On top of this, humans would likely do these more willingly and more passionately, if given a better salary with money that is saved from employing all the Alexas.

AI is used in several ways, through algorithm-based software, in smartphones, music streaming services and social media feeds, consumer-facing tech such as robo-advisors and helpdesks, and physical machinery such as Roombas, drones and smart cars. PC Mag UK describes the adoption of AI as the development of business intelligence based on data your business collects, through machine learning, computer vision, deep learning, and natural language processing. So, at this point you might be asking yourself: How can AI apply to my business and how would I go about adopting an AI, like Alexa, into my workforce?

The likely answer to this question would be the result of hours of research and discussion with AI implementation experts or consultancy firms. Both these steps will be necessary, but with some careful key steps, you can avoid forking out more than you need to, and you can avoid wasting resources and time unnecessarily.

  1. Learn about AI – bury your head in the web, in case studies and find out how different types of AI work.
  2. Pinpoint the issues you want AI to resolve – start applying what you’ve learnt to your own business and jot down ideas of how AI can improve your operations.
  3. Convert your ideas into potential value – figure out the value each AI adoption idea will bring to your bottom line.
  4. Decide what is realistically possible – apply the above to your business model and see how far you can take those ideas and what is both logistically and financially possible.
  5. Call the experts – at this point you’re good to reach out to expert firms and consultants for their own invaluable feedback and assistance.
  6. Gather your relevant data – Ai uses data to function, so you’ll need to put together a team that can get rid of bad data and gather the good and useful data.
  7. Plan and project – estimate your time schedule for the project, keep it small and evaluate in reasonable time frames.
  8. Move forward and progress – at this point you will have seen some ROI on the adoption of AI and will be ready to expand your current AI project, or implement new ones.

While you can literally use Alexa, Amazon’s crown jewel AI, in your businesses’ day to day routines, you were probably thinking more along the lines of the above, and hopefully you have some idea of how you might want to implement and employ artificial intelligence into your business’ key processes. According to PwC research, AI has the potential to contribute up to $15 trillion to global GDP by 2030, at which point AI’s like Alexa will be more mature and definitely capable of being ‘employed’. In fact, the research explains that by next year, most AI will be strictly algorithmic, whilst by the late 2020s, augmentation will be commonplace, and by the mid-2030s will we see genuine autonomy in AI. Here’s hoping.

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