Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already in use in everything from email software assistants to predictive analytics. This trend is only growing as businesses find further innovative ways to incorporate this technology.
To find out how those of us in business can make sure we’re ready for the changes to come, I asked a group of entrepreneurs from YEC the following question:
How can companies prepare for the coming “AI / automation revolution?”
Their best answers are below:
1. Always hire the most creative candidate
AI will absolutely change the way businesses operate in the next two years. As more and more tasks become automated, it will be less necessary to have lower-creativity positions. To prepare, always hire the most creative candidates you can find. Creativity (at least in practical purposes) is still decades away from automation, so you’re going to need innovative thinkers on your team in the long run. – Brittany Hodak, ZinePak
2. Familiarize yourself with the technology today
Everyone should take the time to learn how this technology actually works. I suggest spending a few hours on Google searching “neural networks” and “deep learning.” Familiarize yourself with the process of gathering data, training a net, and testing a new data set. I promise you a few hours will change the way you view problem solving and lead to a competitive advantage, no matter what your field. – Brendon Schenecker, Travel Vegas
3. Help employees see the need for the human element
Automation can’t replace the human touch in certain business areas. You will always need people who can reach out to other people and make connections, as well as build relationships that solidify your two companies working together. That said, show employees how embracing AI can make their jobs more productive and enjoyable by automating routine tasks, leaving them free to be more creative. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
4. Understand how AI can be used, but also know its limitations
AI is a general term for a number of specific and limited capabilities. Business owners need to understand those capabilities, and how they can be leveraged to improve and automate business processes. Machine learning in particular can provide valuable insights and help automate time-consuming and expensive tasks that used to require human intervention. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting
5. Know these four basic data science skills
An introduction to data science can benefit everyone from the CEO to the marketing team to customer support. The four data science skills that everyone should know right now are: a basic understanding of how to use analytics; creating graphics with data visualization tools; applying concepts in statistics and interpreting results from predictive behavioral targeting. – Humberto Farias, Concepta
6. Start researching AI in your industry
Most companies have no idea how AI will impact their industry. You don’t want to be in that bucket, especially if you’re in healthcare, finance or insurance, which arethe top AI markets right now. Start researching how AI will likely influence your industry so that you can start planning sooner rather than later. Attending relevant AI conferences will deepen your understanding and expand your network. – Alex Miller, Upgraded Points
7. Use it to empower your employees
Automation is going to happen, and it’s a good thing when you can use it to make employees more efficient than they’ve ever been before. Make it a priority to spend some time each week exploring new technology that could be relevant to you, and then plan training for anything big enough to make a difference. – Matt Doyle, Excel Builders
8. Take a new look at your projects
AI will lower the cost of conducting business. This, in turn, will lower the barrier for entry and will invite competition. Now is the time to re-examine all projects with this context in mind. – Peter Bonac, Bonac Innovation Corp.
9. Determine which tasks to automate and which to keep humanized
Start thinking about what you can automate and hand over to AI while determining what needs to stay humanized among your communication, service, marketing and sales positions and tasks. This way, you can start to incrementally add in AI processes where you think they will work while refocusing your team on the human tasks that remain. – Angela Ruth, Due
10. Hire technology leaders
Companies can hire technology leaders internally who are credible and self-informed. Every new tech phase involves tremendous complexity summarized by one buzz word ( for example, “Big Data”). Consultants can help executives sound knowledgeable, but are not incentivized to push for the hardest decisions that create the most value. – Hongwei Liu, mappedin
11. Attend conferences and train staff
The first step of preparation is awareness and education. Companies should encourage employees in marketing, innovation and technology departments to attend relevant conferences on innovation, bots, AI and machine learning. They can also invite subject matter experts to give a half-day workshop about the emerging technology trends as part of corporate trainings or offsites. – Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
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