Big businesses are collecting data. A lot of it. Everything from how long you’ve been on the website to how you are interacting with the mobile app. They need a way to make meaning of all this data. This is where AI (artificial intelligence) can help.

AI can be used to help make more informed business decisions, automate certain tasks, and learn more about the customer base. Plus, the more data that these companies gather, the smarter these machines become. Not only that, AI researchers are always coming up with new creative algorithms.

So in this post, I’m going to quickly go over some of the five popular ways that big businesses are using AI to help their businesses grow.

If you rather watch a video about the five ways big business uses AI, here’s this article in video form:

Application #1: Song Recommendation

When you purchase Spotify or Apple Music, not only are you gaining access to a huge cloud library of music, you are also getting access to some advanced AI recommendation engines.

These AIs will start to learn what your music preference is based on many pieces of data. For example, if you listened to Drake real quick but switched the track real quick to Lil Wayne and never came back to Drake, the system will know to not recommend much of Drake’s music to you and anything that Drake lovers would also like.

The better the AI understands you, the better music it can recommend to you and the longer you are you going to stick around on the platform because you keep getting recommended music that you love, therefore increasing customer retention rates.

This is extremely important because for music platform companies, they have some massive costs upfront to acquire a new customer, so in order to breakeven and make money on a customer, they have to keep them around for long enough. Not only that, but the competition is starting to heat up as you have Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Prime Music, etc., a customer has options to choose from now.

Therefore the importance of keeping a customer for longer is very high and so companies invest quite a bit of money into AI research. The better the AI algorithm, the better songs and content it can recommend, the longer a customer will stick around.

Application #2: Product Recommendation

Very similar to song recommendation, Amazon uses AI to better understand who you are as a consumer and then recommend products that you are more inclined to purchasing.

By doing this, Amazon can use AI to personalize the shopping experience. Something that a shopping mall cannot do. Yes, there is a physical aspect to going to the mall and purchasing something, however, statistics are showing that certain products are more likely to be bought online.

By personalizing the shopping experience, Amazon is able to sell more products to buyers when they are ready to buy. They just want to make sure that they are ready for you when you are on the part of the buyer’s journey where you’re ready to purchase.

When you search on Amazon for products or purchase certain items, the AI is constantly learning who you are as a person. What are your tastes? What products do you enjoy looking at? What products get your attention and you click on them?

This data is extremely valuable to Amazon and so they’re constantly pouring money into AI research, data collection, and maintenance of these huge databases of knowledge.

The better they can understand who you are, the more products they can sell to you, ultimately making you an even more profitable customer.

Application #3: Video Recommendation

This is where the AIs of companies like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and other major video content providers live. Video recommendation is a huge part of the business model that having an AI learn more about who you are as a viewer is extremely important.

What is the goal of a company like YouTube or Netflix? For YouTube, it’s about keeping you on the platform for as long as possible because the longer they can keep your attention, the more advertising they can sell to advertisers with more features that traditional media doesn’t provide. For Netflix, it’s about keeping you hooked on a TV show so you keep paying them the monthly fee.

For both companies, it’s extremely important for them to understand who you are as a viewer so they can accomplish their goals. The better videos and shows they can recommend to you, the longer you stay on the platform, getting all the entertainment you want, and the more money they make.

So having an AI understand who you are as a person and what other content you might like is extremely important. For example, if you’re watching car videos, then their AI needs to learn that you like to watch car videos and start to recommend more of that. And that’s a simple usage case of AI.

It start to learn exactly which car it is that you like watching videos of. Do you like exotic cars? Do you like old american muscle? Do you like diesel trucks? If it can learn this as well, the AI can get even better at holding your attention.

So companies like YouTube and Netflix are constantly tweaking their algorithm to provide the best content possible to the viewer. That’s why you’ll hear about YouTube algorithm updates. They aren’t just updating the algorithm for fun, there is a reason for the changes.

Application #4: Voice Assistants

The market for voice assistants is continually growing as the mainstream market is starting to make use of voice assistants and making them an everyday item.

As the market grows, the opportunities grow as well. Where attention flows, money goes. So companies are deploying massive budgets on AI research and to make voice assistants understand more.

If a certain voice assistant can understand what you are saying better than the other one, then you’re going to start using that certain voice assistant more and now that company with the better voice assistant has your attention.

So for example, if Siri was not able to understand that you were trying to get information on what artificial intelligence is, however, Alexa exactly knew what you were trying to learn, you’re going to start using Alexa more. These first impressions add up as well. Now you’re going to go recommend Alexa to your friends and your friends are then going to recommend Alexa over Siri to their own friends. Sooner or later, you’re going to see Siri dead.

When the company has your attention, they can then sell native advertising on the platform. For example, if you asked what some good restaurants are for a Friday night with your spouse, the voice assistant company can then sell that “answer” to businesses who want to get recommended as the place to go to on a Friday night with your spouse.

So the race for developing the better voice assistant is on. Amazon has Alexa. Apple has Siri. Google has Google Home. Microsoft has Cortana. They’re all aiming to become better than the next company so they can get a slice of your attention.

Application #5: Self-Driving Vehicles

We’ve all seen Tesla come out with their Autopilot feature. It’s amazing what it can do. However, other than just being another cool little feature that makes cars cool, self-driven vehicles have huge economic impacts on industries such transportation, delivery, insurance, and many others.

If a vehicle is ever to get so good that it can drive itself anywhere it wishes to, then we’re talking about huge fundamental shifts in where jobs are and how industries operate.

For example, companies like Amazon could save a whole lot of money by owning the distribution and not having to pay human workers for delivery. Not only that, you have to cover their insurance and also deal with depreciation of your vehicles. It can get extremely expensive.

However, if there was an AI that could operate a vehicle, you could save all of these expenses and create a customer experience like never seen before. Amazon could cut down delivery times by having an individual AI truck operating 24/7 with stops only for charging its battery at Amazon electric stations all across the country.

Not only that, you don’t have to cover insurance for a human operator, just insurance in case your AI messes up and crashes. However, it’s statistically proven that AI driven vehicles are far safer than human operated vehicles. It’s just that the media gets clicks and attention, which makes them money, from making a huge story out of one Tesla Autopilot messing up.

Jobs will be displaced. Industries will be disrupted. However, in the end, the quality of living will increase with less vehicle crashes, faster delivery times, and many other costs that will be saved.

Conclusion

Companies are deploying the usage of AI all over to make things more efficient or even to get old things done in a new way. This will allow for massive savings across many industries and even more profit for companies that can give more value to the customer using AI.

If you’re looking to start using AI in your own business, I wrote another article that goes over the three major categories of machine learning and how you can apply it to your own business.

I want to hear your thoughts about this subject. I’m fascinated by everything AI. You can contact me @sunnychopper on pretty much any social media platform, even Xbox Live, so we can game and talk about AI.


Written by Sunny on Dec 14 2018