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4 Essential Business Relationships That Artificial Intelligence Is Better at Than You Are AI isn't just a tool for pragmatic business decisions; it can leverage working relationships, too.

By Jake Croman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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For entrepreneurs and companies big and small, AI is not the enemy at the gates we feared, but a strategic building block for professional relationships that can ultimately improve a company's professional network, finances, and operational structure.

Here's how AI can improve working relationships with four different business cohorts:

Employee relationships

Already, AI tools like facial recognition in video conferencing software have helped facilitate teamwork, allowing entrepreneurs to discuss and collaborate on projects more readily. However, it can also help them interact with and manage their employees.

In fact, AI can be an HR advocate in many ways. Machine learning allows businesses to analyze employee data analytics to help incorporate inclusive, representative policies in the workplace. Companies are even implementing AI tools to make their work environments safer and more comfortable places to work.

For example, is a startup curbing workplace sexual harassment by utilizing natural language processing to scan online conversations for specific phrases or sentence structures, flagging for any inappropriate content. When implemented, these tools can help safeguard egalitarian structures, performance and personal development among all workers. According to the Harvard Business Review, that same natural processing language algorithm can also mine customer actions and social sentiment data to identify employees (and even customers) who are at a risk of leaving. Although there are privacy issues to be addressed with this operation, profitable data can optimize employee satisfaction and training.

Related: 5 Reasons Machine Learning Is the Future of Marketing

Etch, an AI-enabled contact manager, helps foster business relationships by transforming professional networks into unified databases that can be searched and filtered through user-friendly interfaces. This system intelligently provides information about contacts including their biographies, skills, interests and achievements. A searchable interface can even construct timelines for past interactions users had with their contacts. With AI and big data insights, entrepreneurs can get to know their employees much better and even include them in important decisions or ask their opinion on sensitive data.

In fact, researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) determined that AI automation can increase employee morale, reduce operational errors and improve employee productivity and transparency between workers and managers. A recent Deloitte University report also shows that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can benefit employee satisfaction and loyalty. With streamlined functions, businesses can truly foster creativity, productivity and well-being of their workers.

Vendor relationships

Artificial intelligence can also improve relationships between businesses and their vendors. Since many AI devices are programmed as personal assistants and communication tools, they can help provide shared insights, mentoring and strategic planning to create a shared understanding and trust between the two partnerships. Whether third party companies are hired for expertise or skilled labor, both teams need to understand clear internal marketing goals and analytics.

Related: Want to Be More Like Amazon? Start By Making Your Startup More Data-Driven.

One way to foster smooth and productive relationships is to offer automation and predictive analytics to research, monitor, report and build media content that third-parties can utilize or edit according to their expertise. Regular check-ins and support are essential for nurturing these vendor-to-business relationships. A report from MIT Sloan Management Review mentions that companies like Airbus now use AI to combine data sets from past production projects, but that information is continuously updated from other interlinked projects that can improve the quality of products in development. These AI programs can use computer-assisted translation and self-learning algorithms to identify problems and positive patterns in assembly line production. Airbus's system can match up to 70 percent of factory disruptions to successful solutions that worked in the past -- in real time! This allows teams in different locations to learn quickly and meet production needs.

As owners of data sets, hiring companies can provide select information to vendors while creating tangible results and trustworthy relationships. In addition, content like automated video editing can radically cut down on time and save money for both companies, building strong creative dynamics between outside business teams.

Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business

Customer relationships

For businesses and entrepreneurs, one of the most vital relationships AI can foster is the one shared with their customers. Marketing customer relationiship management (CRM) systems can now build more personalized, data-centric centers that are driven by predictive models and customer concerns. Chatbots, especially, are personalizing customer service. Customers can now ask questions and expect high-quality answers. In fact, chatbots are the preferred contact methods for 44 percent of U.S. consumers, according to a Harvard Business Review survey.

Machine learning is using customer service data, like customer reactions, actions and social sentiment data, to assess hidden insights even without being programmed. Learning from past customer experiences and interactions, machine algorithms can now create more relevant and personal experiences that directly address the needs of customers in convenient ways. One prime example of this is how Amazon and Netflix recommend suggestions based on your viewing history.

Industry giants like Salesforce are motivating businesses to quickly establish AI infrastructures. The company's AI toolkit, Einstein, allows businesses to provide smart, personalized customer experiences through predictive analytics gained from their data and accumulated insights.

For small businesses, personalized products are especially important but often take a backseat to larger businesses. Now, even small entrepreneurs can invest in user-friendly (and affordable) in-house machine learning technologies. Third-party tools and software, like Acquisio, help to optimize customer acquisition with their AI-based marketing tool specifically for small businesses.

Related: Artificial Intelligence Is Likely to Make a Career in Finance, Medicine or Law a Lot Less Lucrative

Investor relationships

Building relationships with investors can be fairly difficult for businesses, especially for newer companies trying to prove their capability. But, AI is allowing investors to get a better sense of how new ventures and their current investments are performing. Startups like Alphasense and Kensho let investors analyze market information of emerging and wide-ranging market practices.

Databases that implement machine learning algorithms and natural language processing models can browse online messages and social media posts to learn the latest trading sentiments for specific markets or determine a company's output value. This allows investors to analyze a prospective company's market or business model with confidence.

As communication is key in any working relationship, investors need to evaluate the necessary background information on new startups. But, information on startups is often limited. Yet, McKinsey & Company reports that companies like Hone Capital are initiating AI metrics and computer vision models, allowing investors to research beforehand to become more acquainted and trusting of their potential acquisitions.

AI software can now identify key background information like current financing, the founder's background, previous funding rounds and intellectual property information. As investors use AI, they can work on strategic plans to enhance their businesses' revenue and operating systems. As a result, these predictive analytics can foster deeper and more nuanced relationships between investors and their companies.

New customs for new connections

It's time for entrepreneurs to get creative and high-tech with their communication skills. In the future, the factors that will differentiate successful leaders between their competitors is how they can interact, emotionally engage and respond to a wide network of industry players ranging from employees to investors.

The interconnected, AI era is not one to hide from. Rather, it's one that can help empower businesses to accentuate their services and creative capabilities, so they can prosper in a more emotionally aware world. Professional relationships are the backbone of success -- even in the business world -- and soon our relationship with AI could advance all of us to another level of innovation.

Jake Croman

College Student, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Jake Croman is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who currently attends the University of Michigan. Croman's networking experience and logistical know-how helps him raise funds for charitable organizations, including his own, The Eddie Croman Foundation.

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