Artificial Intelligence: the effect on business

Artificial intelligence is the key towards the success in the 21st century. Companies that embrace it are proven to have increasing operational performance, enhanced information flows that contribute to the management’s decision making and to innovation of new services and products. However, one of the most direct influence of AI in business is seen through e-commerce.

Artificial Intelligence in business

A survey by EY at the EmTech virtual convention on March 2018 generated exciting results. One of it was peoples’ perspectives on the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on their jobs. A clear majority stated that AI will truly remodel businesses, and that many jobs may be created. AI will have other impacts as well: it will lead to broader solutions, improved and broader product and service ranges, and a boosted ability of decision making. However, the biggest obstacle to building an AI application and getting those benefits, is finding people with the right talents.

Consequences of AI integrations

With the emergence of AI, many concerns arise that the development of AI would lead to the disappearance of jobs. According to the prediction, mostly manual labor jobs will be endangered, as the combination of AI and robots can quite easily take over these positions. Examples of these jobs are assembly workers in the manufacturing industry and coal miners that are assigned to the repetitive and sometimes dangerous positions and tasks. Also, a common job in many crowded cities, taxi driving, would be replaced by AI. It is expected that AI in the transport sector will result in less traffic jams and accidents.

On the other hand, many believe that AI would lead to the creation of new jobs. Due to two reasons, automation leads to an increase in employment and the creation of new jobs. Firstly, is the movement of ‘luxurious demand’ to ‘necessity demand’. Automation makes products and services cheaper, causing more demand for the new products and services and thus increasing the amount of employers needed. After a while, when people have grown accustomed to the product or service, it becomes a necessity. This movement has happened before with new integration of innovation such as airlines. In the 1950s it was a luxurious type of transportation, but through time it has become a necessity for many people. Secondly, a technology revolution wave mostly does not remove existing jobs, but it changes the tasks assigned to each specific profession. Thus, there is a good chance that AI would allow humans to spend less time on working, and more time on the tasks that the previous generation could not due to the lack of time.

AI in e-commerce

One business area that could benefit greatly from AI is e-commerce. Currently one of the most popular AI applications is the search function, in which a certain word or some questions can help users find the desired products or answer. Especially in e-commerce, the benefits of AI in the search function become apparent. AI has helped searches to be done more precisely, and it is expected that AI helps improving the search function by developing and improving autosuggest, which is the function in the search application that automatically fills in what you might be looking for. Another application of AI in e-commerce is the analysis of website visitor behaviour. With web advertisements, for example, AI can analyse the visitor behaviour and see how likely is for the visitor to actually buy a product. Such information can also help making websites more user-friendly. In addition, with the aid of AI, it is seen that conversational commerce has faced a rapid growth, and most large businesses are eager to adopt this application. More and more businesses, for example, use AI chatbots for their customer service. Other applications of AI might be adopted soon, as well, such as image recognition which would enable customers to search for a product by taking pictures. Also, AI content generation could mean that future articles are written by robots.

AI is a technology that is developing very quickly. It will have major implications for business and the society as a whole. Jobs will disappear and jobs will be created because of AI, and our daily lives will probably be impacted a lot. Hopefully, these changes will be for the better!

Shafira Risa Amalina & Hoda Sheikhzadeh