- 4 min read
3 Myths About Artificial Intelligence That Prevent Your Small Business Growth
Isn’t it amazing how quickly Artificial Intelligence (AI) has evolved from a futuristic concept to a nearly integral part of most people’s daily life? Indeed, with self-driving cars, voice assistants, face recognition, and ride-hailing apps, AI feels as comfortable as an old shoe.
Despite being gratefully embraced by both consumers and leading companies around the globe, the technology remains a subject to hesitation for small business. And one can definitely point the finger at numerous misconceptions and media hype existing about AI.
Let’s debunk some of the most misleading clichés surrounding AI for small business and map a few real-life ideas of how AI could benefit your company today.
Myth #1: AI is only available for deep-pocketed companies
The very nature of the term “Artificial Intelligence” seems to imply this popular misbelief. It’s broad enough to include both massive scientific projects like Elon Musk’s Neuralink chip and something like email filters or voice-to-text apps you’ve probably used several times today.
The truth is that AI has a lot of applications, many of which are totally in the reach of businesses on a budget. Besides, a decent number of AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS) solutions and complete open-source platforms like Google’s Tensorflow or fastText by Facebook are accessible for companies of practically any scale. An important thing to remember here is that launching your AI efforts to address a small problem with a higher probability of showing a positive return on investment is a preferable approach for a business in the SME-sector. Such a strategy is well-proven on the example of Beetroot’s client, an AI-powered genome interpretation platform. Thus, the company started with just one developer and has gradually expanded the team to ten experts in Web Development, Data Science, and even Genetics.
Myth #2: AI only works for limited industries
Because of the mentioned scope in the AI classification, and due to certain skewness towards vanguard innovation in the media, it’s tempting to assume that this technology is confined exclusively to the industries such as healthcare, IT, crypto/finance, and science per se. Add to that Hollywood’s constant interest in the subject, and it’s no wonder a kind of VIP-ish halo is forming above Artificial Intelligence, which is effectively attracting conspiracy theories rather than SMB investments.
AI has a lot to offer for any business, no matter the niche of their operation. Whether it’s retail, marketing, logistics, e-learning, or any other area your company belongs to, the benefits of implementing super-smart computer systems are crystal clear. These include but are not limited to:
- cutting down operational costs by automating repetitive tasks and processes
- staying ahead of the competition by collecting and analyzing data on customer interaction
- boosting customer service by deploying chatbots and predictive analysis
- enhancing security of your internal and customer data by using AI-based tools for unusual activity detection
At Beetroot, we keep noticing the versatility of AI industry-wise. For instance, one of our clients is a reforestation company. Our dedicated team helped Land Life to implement machine learning algorithms that process drone images and check tree health on a large scale.
Myth #3. AI is difficult to implement
As you’ve probably observed from the previous paragraphs, getting started with Artificial Intelligence is easier than it might seem. Using some ready-made solutions and gradually expanding efforts, SMB owners can take advantage of automation, smart prediction systems, marketing data analysis, and other AI-driven instruments without further delay.
Here are some directions to take the initial steps in.
- Strategy and planning. Ask yourself in which areas your business can improve right now — with a limited budget, it is vital to choose solutions giving the best bang for your buck. Relevance to your company’s specific business goals is something to consider as well. So rather than thinking about how to add AI to your business, think how AI can add extra value to your products and services.
- Data collection and clean-up. AI algorithms require data to learn, a lot. As Clive Humby said, “Data is the new oil.” So before you take the next step with bringing intelligence to your business, make sure data management is up and running.
- Technology and expertise. As we mentioned earlier, there’s a wide range of advanced analytics and data manipulation instruments available for small businesses and startups today. Moreover, some applications you use may incorporate AI already, and you can simply ensure you’re taking advantage of that new insight.
It’s necessary to admit though that engaging subject-matter expertise is especially prudent in the case of SMB. After all, Artificial Intelligence is not about feeding a bunch of data to a supercomputer and having it figure out super ideas — you need to fully grasp the data and decisions applied, and a qualified AI/ML expert can help you do just that.
Summing it up, AI is undoubtedly here to stay (and grow). Even though it is still covered by layers of misinformation and concerns, it’s quickly getting clear that joining the forefront of AI adoption gains businesses a competitive advantage.
As you can see, the opportunities offered by AI are not only restricted to billion-dollar companies — there’s plenty of benefits for small and midsize enterprises too. Whether you’re ready to leverage AI-solutions for your business today or plan to put it on the agenda in the nearest future, our teams of senior developers and data scientists are ready to assist you at any point in your journey.