how does artificial intelligence work
AI Solutions: How Artificial Intelligence Powers Business
Artificial intelligence, or AI, makes headlines when it’s in the form of seemingly sentient robots, computers that play chess, and self-driving vehicles. AI is sometimes viewed as “computers taking over” and technology taking a seat at the top of the food chain with humans.
The reality of the situation, however, is that while the more exciting versions of artificial intelligence regularly make their rounds on social media, AI quietly works in the background of much of our daily lives. It helps simplify or expedite common tasks, and often helps people live more comfortably. Most people use and interact with AI every day, whether it’s through a phone menu that recognizes speech, suggested photo tags on social media, recommended products on ecommerce sites, or a map app alerting users to an accident on their route.
Artificial intelligence solutions permeate much of a user’s online activities. Most of its benefits aren’t going to make the news, but consumers appreciate them, especially when it comes to their interactions with a company.
In advanced economies, which includes the U.S. and 17 other countries, 76% of adults have a smartphone, 90% use the internet, and 67% use social media. With this kind of connectivity, artificial intelligence helps bridge technological gaps and empower consumers to make the right choices for their needs. Businesses, then, have to keep up with demand; artificial intelligence solutions, such as a customer relationship management (CRM) platform with AI built in, not only help companies meet expectations, but exceed them and delight customers.
How does artificial intelligence work?
Artificial intelligence is an umbrella term that has a number of fields under it, but three are most commonly understood: machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing. First, let’s dive into the science behind the current version of artificial intelligence.
The study or practice of AI is “an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.” The idea, essentially, is to create a program that can learn to recognize patterns or data and make decisions based on what it’s learned. Amazon, for example, doesn’t know what brand-new users should see in their recommended products feed until those users browse products and make purchases. Only then can Amazon’s algorithm, just like a salesperson, get an idea of what the user wants and recommend more items.
Machine learning is the core driver of AI. It’s the concept of having computers learn from data with minimal programming.
This field is similar to teaching a toddler. There are both unsupervised and supervised lessons, and deep learning also falls under this term. Examples of machine learning include:
Face detection in a photo using image recognition
Speech recognition using voice search or voice dialing
Medical diagnosis, therapy planning, and patient monitoring in the healthcare sector
Statistical arbitrage in finance, creating automated trading strategies
Bank loan qualification and customer classification
Predictions of future stock prices, loan default probability, and more
Extraction of structured information from unstructured data so you can input any of your customer data sources — emails, cases, reviews, social media posts, and more — and glean customer sentiment and satisfaction
Regression, which happens when your sales platform automatically creates a sales forecast
The more data that the machine learning-enabled program is fed, the smarter, better, and faster the program gets at recognizing patterns and predicting outcomes.
A subset of machine learning, deep learning is the ability of a program to learn how to learn. Deep learning uses more complex algorithms to carry out tasks with little or no human supervision. For this type of artificial intelligence to work, a program needs at least two things:
Large amounts of labeled data
Substantial computing power
Deep learning can be used by businesses in the form of bots, data-based predictions, image recognition, and intent and sentiment in language. This kind of artificial intelligence is meant to run in the background and without much human supervision in order to free up man-hours on menial tasks.
Natural Language Processing
Natural language processing (NLP) is a subset of deep learning. It is the process a program uses to recognize patterns and grammar rules within large datasets, and to manipulate language, in both speech and text, in a natural way. One way NLP has affected society for the better is through email spam detection. Moreover, chatbots powered by NLP are becoming an essential business tool to help make customer service faster and more accurate. Your social media listening tool, which works to “understand the tone, emotions, and implications of social media conversations” is another important way companies can use NLP.
How does artificial intelligence work to benefit a business?
Many fields in artificial intelligence overlap, but they all share a common goal: to make a program that can assist humans by making a machine smarter. This requires a lot of data. Luckily for businesses, data is so available that there’s a term for it: big data. Unfortunately, companies are better at collecting data — about their customers, about their products, about competitors — than analyzing that data and designing strategy around it.
This is where artificial intelligence, in all its forms, comes into play. Business technology with AI built in takes data and turns it into insights, predictions, and departmental tools that can give employees a reprieve from menial tasks. It helps make big data make sense, pushes companies to the forefront of their industries, and gives companies the information they need to create truly personalized relationships with their customers.
In short, AI solutions give businesses the boost they need to reach their customers in a more meaningful, personalized, and mutually beneficial way.
Businesses use AI solutions to improve customer relationships
Big data and artificial intelligence give companies the insights and tools they need to connect with customers. A CRM with AI gives a business a more complete view of each customer because AI tools collect and analyze vast amounts of customer data across all channels, then process that data to learn insights, predict outcomes, and recommend or perform the next step in the customer journey.
AI can streamline the running of a business by working in every department to make employees more efficient. In fact, artificial intelligence affects nearly every aspect of modern ecommerce. Through predictive analytics, marketers are able to place ads more effectively, sales reps know which leads to focus on first, and customer service can answer questions without having to rely on human expertise or support. Furthermore, while AI helps analyze what’s happened in the past and streamlines processes happening right now, it can also work proactively to alert employees to potential events in the future.
Artificial intelligence isn’t the crystal ball business owners joked about wanting for so long; it’s math and science working together to clarify what happened, what’s happening, and what will likely happen.
AI solutions can optimize the sales funnel.
According to Salesforce’s special report, “The AI Revolution,” the ranking of the top artificial intelligence use cases for sales, customer service, and marketing leaders are as follows:
Sales and marketing lead scoring
Customer service case classification and routing
Sales opportunity scoring
Now that business tech has artificial intelligence built in, the ways AI can impact a business inside and out are diverse and numerous. Just in sales, for example, “high-performing teams — those that have significantly increased their year-over-year revenue growth — are 3.1 times more likely than their underperforming counterparts — those with negative year-over-year revenue growth — to currently use AI, or plan to do so within a year.”
How does artificial intelligence work in sales? Consider the following:
Train smarter: Smart insights gleaned from data and past results can be used for training purposes. Instead of using one-size-fits-all training or coaching programs for sales reps, AI can help managers create personalized training programs and view insights for each individual sales rep.
Resolve issues before they happen: Dashboards and reports with data that’s been processed by artificial intelligence can show managers where their sales teams are struggling. With predictive analytics, AI can alert managers to trends that indicate certain outcomes long before they come to fruition. This allows teams to take action before any real issues occur.
Manage time effectively: Artificial intelligence produces insights and reports that give companies a better understanding of leads, customers, sales funnels, pipelines — anything that gives your team data. With this information, sales teams can more effectively qualify leads, direct their time and effort as they work sales qualified leads (SQL), and use AI for automated campaigns that drive the customer journey in a personalized way.
Reduce or eliminate silos: To be truly effective in working with customers, marketing, sales, and customer service must work together and have access to the same information. Integrated CRM platforms equipped with artificial intelligence connect the dots and help companies create one cohesive journey — not a series of steps interrupted by transitions. This moves a company from a multichannel experience to an omni-channel one, with the eventual goal being a unified commerce experience.
For your sales team or company as a whole to take advantage of all the benefits that artificial intelligence solutions offer, you must invest in the right tools. Salesforce Einstein is the company’s method of “democratizing AI” and is available for everyone from salespeople to financial advisors.
Salesforce Einstein puts the “intelligence” in AI solutions
With Einstein, you put your data to work for you. Consider this explanation from Wired:
Anyone can tell a spreadsheet to sort a list based on different factors. The machine learning difference is simple but profound: The program studies the history of the data and figures out for itself which factors best predict the future — and then it keeps adjusting its model based on new information over time. The more data, the subtler and more powerful the answers, which is why Einstein can work not only from columns of basic Salesforce data, but also from information like sales email threads that it parses and images that it reads.
Einstein is your built-in, hyper-intelligent advisor in all aspects of your business. It can be used with other CRM solutions across your entire business — sales, service, marketing, commerce, analytics, apps, and other tech — to aid you when you make business decisions.
With Einstein, your company can provide a more complete customer experience.
Salesforce Einstein brings AI to companies everywhere — and consumers benefit
Artificial intelligence is the marriage of math and programming. It has led to advancements in technology and society that have improved lives, often without people realizing it. This powerful tool has been available to researchers and those educated in the field for a long time. But now, thanks to Salesforce, it’s available to companies that want to improve the customer experience.
According to MarketsandMarkets, The artificial intelligence market was valued at $16.06 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $190.61 billion by 2025. So although artificial intelligence might have originally seemed like robots from MIT or Deep Blue, the computer that plays chess, AI is a real, usable, and useful tool for businesses across the spectrum of size and industry. Einstein is Salesforce’s way of getting artificial intelligence into the hands of people who can use it to make the lives of consumers better.