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AI? Oh, my! (But Wait: It’s Not As Scary as You Think) | Arvig Blog Skip to main content

By December 28, 2023Blog5 min read
Blog December 28 2023 header

AI? Oh, my! (But Wait: It’s Not As Scary as You Think)

Exploring the Benefits of AI-Based Tools in Business

Does the thought of incorporating AI tools into your business come with feelings of hesitation or doubt? Do the initials alone make you stand back and think, “Awkwardly Intimidating.”

It’s understandable if so. Embracing new technological innovations can be both exciting and daunting. With something as new, rapidly emerging and transformative as Artificial Intelligence, it can be imposing on a new level. Imposing, indeed, but impossible? Quite the opposite.

From automating tedious, time consuming tasks to unlocking deep insights, AI is ushering in a new era of possibilities, empowering businesses of all sizes to thrive and be competitive. We’ll get into the benefits and applications shortly. But first, where does a business start with AI integration? How can you catch up with an innovation like AI that seems to be advancing at lightning speed? It’s easier—and more affordable—than you might think.

When breaking down AI and its benefits in business, it’s important to strip away the science fiction. Forget what you might have seen in movies like Terminator and other science fiction stories where machines take control.

AI tools lack true consciousness, operating instead on algorithms and data without subjective experiences or emotions. AI systems require human oversight and control, operating under a set of programmed rules and data and do not possess the ability to make decisions independently.

Now that we’ve dispelled some misconceptions and spelled out what AI is not capable of, let’s look at what AI truly can do, and how it can benefit businesses.

AI tools offer a wide range of practical applications for small businesses, enhancing efficiency, decision-making and overall productivity.

These tools, if used properly, can pave the way for enhanced productivity, strategic decision-making and new levels of growth. Here’s a deeper look at some of the hottest tools and their advantages. (Full disclosure: AI helped me generate some of the ideas for this blog!)

ChatGPT
ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a language model powered by artificial intelligence. It is known for its ability to understand and generate human-like text. ChatGPT takes this a step further by specializing in generating coherent and contextually relevant responses in a conversational setting. Users input their inquiries in a simple chat-based platform, and ChatGPT generates the response in seconds.

How it’s being used
Enhanced live-chat experiences: ChatGPT can engage visitors in natural and context-aware conversations, guiding them through products, services or troubleshooting steps.

Content generation: Use ChatGPT to expand your knowledge base or FAQ section. It can generate informative and detailed responses to common queries, helping users find the information they need without manual updates. It can produce content ranging from blogs, to SEO-enhanced headlines and copy, video scripts, email copy, whitepapers and much more.

Brainstorming and idea generation: With a simple and straightforward inquiry, ChatGPT can generate ideas, outlines, or even full drafts. It can assist in brainstorming sessions, ensuring a steady flow of creative and engaging content.

Other business applications for AI
Financial management: Software such as Intuit QuickBooks and Xero, enhanced by AI, can simplify financial management. Accounting tasks, from expense tracking to invoicing, can be partially automated, allowing a business to focus on bigger-picture strategic financial planning and growth.

Human Resources assistance: AI-driven HR platforms such as Workday and Oracle Cloud HCM streamline talent management and recruitment processes. With these applications, a business can maximize workforce efficiency and satisfaction by harnessing AI for employee engagement.

Supply chain optimization: Supply chain management software such as Blue Yonder optimize supply chain operations through AI. These tools can anticipate demand, manage inventory effectively, and ensure a streamlined flow of goods for greater operational efficiency.

Cybersecurity solutions: Take a proactive approach to threat detection. Applications such as Darktrace and Cylance employ AI to detect and respond to cybersecurity threats in real-time. These tools can bolster a business’s defense against evolving cyber threats and safeguard sensitive data.

AI holds outstanding potential, even for the most traditional businesses. If you find yourself hesitating with AI integration, understanding the benefits it brings to the table can be the game-changer a business needs. Rethink AI-based tools as offering a strategic advantage, an efficiency boost and a foundation for sustainable growth.

Shaun Carlson is the Director of Enterprise IT at Arvig. He’ll be participating as a panelist in the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal’s Table of Experts event in early 2024, where the topic will be AI and its applications in business. For more tech insights, see Arvig’s Business Technology Essentials content hub at bizjournals.com/twincities/news/partners/business-technology-essentials/2020.