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2020: The Year Of Artificial Intelligence For Your Business Artificial intelligence is today's reality, and as we get started with 2020, here are some facts to consider

By Dr. Corrie Block

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Close to 40% of businesses use artificial intelligence (AI). This number was estimated at 5% to 10%, but a survey by IBM showed that we grossly underestimated the scale of AI's existence. Most importantly, this number is set to grow to 80% to 90% over the next 18-24 months. Furthermore, AI specialists are the number one job role for 2020. LinkedIn's definitive list from their emerging jobs report for 2020 showed that this role showed an annual growth of 74%.

A lot of businesses are daunted by the prospect of AI, partly because of a lot of misconceptions around it. Most people think it systematically works towards replacing a human workforce. It does not!

What it actually does is help you realize the latent potential of your team, which is currently bogged down by tedious processes. Some others are wary of the costs involved. However, the returns on investment so far have proven themselves, helping businesses drive up their revenue. If you are put off by its complexity, know that you can control the level of AI application in your business. There are also many organizations that can help you effectively integrate AI into your workplace.

Here are some processes and areas AI is making inroads in with organizations around the world:

1. Hiring and retaining people In a region like the UAE, one opportunity ends up receiving thousands of applications. Here, AI screening can be a smart and useful tool, helping your team save a considerable amount of time and effort. You can also use AI-based software to customize training programs based on your employees' interests, strengths and aspirations. Imagine being able to offer your people that kind of opportunity! It helps you identify the individual strengths of each team member, and help them realize the full potential of their skills and aptitudes.

2. Gathering and using data In the experience economy, AI can help you access meaningful and rich data on how people are reacting your brand, product or service at every step of the customer journey. This empowers your people with more time and mind space to understand and interpret data rather than collecting it. Put all of these new capabilities together, and you have an unmatched repository of insights backed by facts.

3. Decision-making AI applications can help you to analyze patterns and trends in data, saving your team the trouble of going through huge volumes of data. In the process, you're also giving them the time to analyze the implications of these patterns and generate insights that will help you make informed decisions.

4. Measuring results Explore a whole new way of analyzing your customers' interaction with your brand. When you look at how AI gathers, examines and interprets data, you have both a micro and a macro view of how people are interacting with your brand. All of this in record time, helping you keep up with the fast-paced market.

So, do you still think AI has no place in your business? Then it could be that over the next two years, your business will find itself out of place too.

Related: 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Using Data for Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Corrie Block

CEO of Paragon Consulting

Dr. Corrie Block is CEO of Paragon Consulting, providing companies innovation in leadership, strategy, corporate governance, and restructuring. He is Professor of Strategic Management at Monarch Business School, Switzerland. Dr. Corrie Block holds Master’s degrees in Business Administration and in Global Leadership, in addition to a Doctorate in Business Administration, and a PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies. He is also a certified NLP Business Practitioner and Executive Coach. He has managed projects as diverse as tech startups to billion-dollar equity investments. He’s restructured family firms in MENA, received awards for new product research and development, and provided consultancy for the World Bank and Council of Europe. Corrie has brought innovative ideas and deep business insights to more 30 countries.
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