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7 business areas ripe for an artificial intelligence boost

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Artificial intelligence has captured everyone's imagination, but what can we expect from the technology? A recent survey[1] of more than 550 executives from IBM finds plenty of support from the top -- everyone wants to plunge full-force into AI to increase the speed and capabilities of their businesses. At the same time, AI is still very much in the early stages. More than half of the executives are still either experimenting or testing on a limited basis around their organizations, and one in seven are only at the planning stage. 

ibm-watson-group-photo-from-ibm-media-relations.jpg
Photo: IBM Media Relations

Before enterprises begin sinking large sums of funds into AI approaches, it's important to understand where AI can have the greatest impact. In his latest book, The AI Age[2], Adam Riccoboni, founder of AI consulting firm Critical Future, explores the areas where AI is already making a difference, and where we stand on the AI evolutionary scale.

There are multiple areas of the business that can benefit from AI right now. Riccoboni identifies the key business areas where AI can be applied to enhance or increase capabilities:

Supply Chain Management

  • Challenges to overcome: "Enhance visibility, find weak links, match demand with production, manage suppliers"
  • What AI will do: "Control software responds automatically to scale supply chains, in response to real or predicted demand. Predictive intelligence anticipates demand. Machine learning, combined with IoT devices and intelligent monitors, automatically flag failing links in supply."

(AI's potential in the supply chain is explored more deeply in this recent post[3].)

Sales

  • Challenges to overcome: "Discover new customers, find cross-sell/upsell opportunities."
  • What AI will do: "Analytic systems explore existing customer graphs to find new customers. Virtual sales agents can engage with

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