Artificial Intelligence in 2019: What’s Ahead

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Click to learn more about author David Judge.

Artificial Intelligence will eventually touch every industry on the planet and is increasingly being used to make tasks more efficient and to give employees more time for meaningful work.

Looking back, 2018 was the breakout year for AI technologies, with global spending capping at $19.1 billion, according to IDC. From a business perspective, a growing number of large corporations opened their doors to AI and recognized the significant advantages it will bring to their organizations. C-suite executives recognized that these technologies could provide to not only cost savings and revenue growth, but enhanced staff productivity and efficiency. It’s clear that businesses are getting more comfortable with AI and the benefits it can bring to their organizations.

In 2019, we will continue to see AI making our lives easier, allowing us to accomplish more. Ultimately, this year we need to determine its level of assistance. This means that workers and their management will need to choose to own certain tasks or delegate projects to the machine based on their preferences. Here are three benefits derived from AI when employees choose an appropriate level of assistance that meets their needs.

Job Satisfaction

Employees that spend more time doing meaningful work are more excited about the expertise they bring to their organization and feel more valued if they aren’t spending large amounts of time each day doing tasks that could easily be automated. Employees will also feel more appreciated if their time is spent thinking of creative solutions for enhancing their business rather than being tied down to monotonous data entry and reporting. It also means that more executives will empower employees to think creatively and rely more on algorithms and robotic process automation to complete manual and repetitive tasks. This ultimately paves the way for more purposeful work at a lower cost – but only if employees are willing to delegate the ownership and responsibility associated with traditional tasks.

A Better Bottom Line

Another benefit of Artificial Intelligence is that it will help lower costs within an organization. For example, companies in the energy sector can use AI to sift through large datasets to predict and adapt to certain scenarios. Shared Services organizations across nearly all industries and sectors can reduce highly repetitive work in back-office processing, and front-office customer support.  AI can help these companies reduce operational costs and mitigate issues proactively by increasing automation, optimizing asset management, improving operational performance and decreasing downtime.

Elevated Empathy

Lastly, we will see more frequent and fulfilling interactions with AI. Chatbots are evolving to become more empathetic and they are acquiring more human emotional characteristics, which ultimately helps instill greater humanity in business and improves employee’s wellbeing and productivity. Many companies are now aware of the competitive advantage of digital assistants and virtual agents becoming more human, with the ability to understand and read emotions. Ultimately, the goal is to have the conversational AI platform anticipate human needs and make suggestions, like buying a product or service that could help a customer. Within businesses, this type of empathy has the potential to improve customer service. For example, empathetic customer service AI can be trained to recommend products, research, perform lead generation and even suggest some products directly to a user in need, leading to a happier customer experience.  What management team wouldn’t want instant, effective, and highly useful interactions with their customers?

What’s next?

Regardless of what industry you’re in, the potential for AI is huge and hard to ignore. With many aspects of our businesses generating large amounts of data, it is more important than ever to rely on AI to contextualize the data and extract meaningful insights so that companies can make better decisions and improve their bottom line.  

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