How Do Businesses Use Artificial Intelligence?

Closeup of businessman showing a colleague data on a tablet

Simply put, artificial intelligence refers to the ability of machines to learn and make decisions based on data and analytics. When used strategically, AI has the potential to make a tremendous difference in the way we go about our work. 

When you think about artificial intelligence being used by businesses, your mind likely jumps to automation. While some applications of AI do involve automating processes that were originally completed by humans, that only scratches the surface of what AI and machine learning can do.

In this guide, we’ll discuss why artificial intelligence is beneficial for businesses and provide some use cases in which AI, machine learning, or big data can be applied. 

The Growth of Artificial Intelligence for Business 

Companies today have access to more data than ever before. According to Forbes, the amount of data created and consumed increased by 5000% between 2010 and 2020. With the help of emerging technologies, companies are now able to capture user data that can help them make informed business decisions. 

In the past few years, many companies have wholeheartedly embraced AI in their efforts to make better use of the data they are already collecting. Consider the following: 

These statistics show that AI is no longer an experimental technology only used by select brands. For many companies around the world, it has become a core part of their operations.

Related: Business Analytics for Beginners

How is Artificial Intelligence Used in Business? 

There are many ways that AI can be used by businesses, but most applications focus on driving growth. By embracing AI and machine learning, companies are finding innovative ways to help business performance. Some business benefits of AI include: 

  • Boosting efficiency through process automation 
  • Improving the speed or consistency of service 
  • Using customer insights to inform decision-making 
  • Uncovering opportunities for new products and services

AI can fit within nearly any business strategy. To get started with AI, it’s important to first gain an understanding of how data collection and analysis plays into artificial intelligence. By studying the methodology behind AI, you can better determine how AI might be able to help your industry. An introductory AI course such as Wharton Online’s Artificial Intelligence for Business program can be a great jumping-off point for anyone wanting to learn more about how AI is transforming the world of business.

Examples of Artificial Intelligence in Business 

AI is used by businesses more frequently than you might realize. From marketing to operations to customer service, the applications of AI are nearly endless. Listed below are a few examples of how artificial intelligence is used in business. 

Improving customer service 

Have you ever visited a website and been greeted by a chatbot? Chatbots are perhaps one of the most common instances of customers directly interacting with AI. From a business perspective, chatbots allow companies to streamline their customer service processes and free up employees’ time for issues that require more personalized attention. Chatbots typically use a combination of natural language processing, machine learning and AI to understand customer requests.

Chatbot technology can also help route customers to a real-life representative who is best equipped to address their questions.

Providing product recommendations  

Companies can use AI to recommend products that will align with customers’ interests and keep them engaged. By tracking customer behavior on your website, you can present your customers with products that are similar to the ones they’ve already viewed. This is an especially useful tactic for companies in the ecommerce space. 

Another example of personalized recommendations comes from streaming services. By analyzing the types of movies and shows you most frequently click on, streaming platforms can encourage you to stay on their app for longer periods of time by presenting you with similar titles. 

Segmenting audiences 

In a similar vein to recommending products, advertising departments can use AI to segment audiences and create targeted campaigns. In highly competitive industries, it is extremely important to get in front of the right audience. To make marketing campaigns more effective, companies use data to decide which types of users will see which ads. AI comes into play in terms of predicting how customers will respond to specific advertisements. 

Related: The Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing

Analyzing customer satisfaction 

Sentiment analysis—sometimes called emotion AI—is a tactic that companies use to gauge the reactions of their customers. Through the use of AI and machine learning, companies gather data on how customers perceive their brand. This might include using AI to scan through social media posts, reviews, and ratings that mention the brand. The insights gained from this analysis allow companies to identify opportunities for improvement. 

Identifying fraud 

AI can also be used to help companies detect and respond to fraud threats. In the financial industry, there are tools available that identify suspicious transactions through the use of machine learning algorithms. When a fraud risk is detected, the application stops the transaction from going through and alerts the appropriate parties. 

Optimizing supply chain operations 

If your company is struggling to consistently deliver its products on time, AI may be able to help. AI-driven solutions can assist companies by predicting the price of materials and shipping and estimating how fast products will be able to move through the supply chain. These types of insights help supply chain professionals make decisions about the most optimal way to ship their products. On a smaller scale, AI can be used to help delivery drivers find faster routes.

Discover What AI Can Do for Your Organization

Ready to give your business a competitive advantage by embracing artificial intelligence? Wharton Online’s Artificial Intelligence for Business course was designed to provide learners with insights into the established and emerging developments of AI, machine learning, and big data. 

By the end of the course, you’ll gain a foundational understanding of AI and learn how to integrate these new technologies into your business strategy. The lessons within the course use real-life examples that are applicable to multiple industries. Request more information today to see how AI could help your organization grow.

The Wharton School is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

The Wharton School is accredited by IACET