Are you completely immune to the AI incitement in media or are you wondering whether AI technology could be useful in your business?

Antti Meriluoto’s Artificial Intelligence – Travel Guide to the Director (Tekoäly in Finnish) describes some examples of how the artificial intelligence can be used effectively to solve difficult and demanding problems. (see also Artificial Intelligence Simplified: Understanding Basic Concepts)

The concept of artificial intelligence is so broad that it is hard to get a good picture of it easily – there are even different tribes within the industry disputing what is artificial intelligence and what is not.
Anyway, there are some things to be taken into consideration if you are planning to make movements toward AI.

First, one important thing is to make a difference between so called Narrow AI and General AI. Narrow AI means that the system has been built up based on pre-assumptions about the problem and the solution, whereas the general artificial intelligence tries to produce solutions independently, only based on observations and data.

From business point of view, you should definitely consider a narrow artificial intelligence, because there are already solutions and platforms, that can be utilized in almost every company.

How to get started? What should be considered and what should be avoided? Below is a list of things that you should at least keep in mind:

POINT 1: Learn about the subject, for example, from books mentioned above. As you read, your mind wakes up automatically to consider potential areas in your business.
Before making any external actions, think to yourself about such activities or problems in your business where artificial intelligence solutions might be useful. Usually, this is something that a ”machine” makes faster and better than a human being. It may be related to data management, speech recognition, or machine vision, etc., but it is essential that the benefit that comes from it is obvious. And please take time for this, because no outsider knows your business better than you!

POINT 2:If you have found any potential AI cases, think about testing it. Limit the topic to a reasonable size. “A serviceman could talk key information rather than going to computer and navigate in ERP”. Make a pilot or mock-up of the case, because this is a small investment, but the lesson learned is big.

Do not exaggerate by doing extensive surveys or AI programs as technologies evolve and piloting is definitely the safest way!

If the pilot succeeds, then it is worth mentioning.

POINT 3:Pushing new things is always challenging and laborious. Piloting is often done in a small group, and the rest of the organization may have reservations “again a new buzz in the middle of the chaos”. Tell about the project both internally and externally, but do not overwhelm too much.

Do not focus on AI/Technology, but just tell what was the outcome. A small example has much more power than the fancy future scenarios.

Good luck for your AI business!