3 Small Steps to AI Adoption 3 Small Steps to AI Adoption
If you aren’t ready for the AI revolution, you aren’t alone. While around 79% of business executives surveyed recently said that... 3 Small Steps to AI Adoption

If you aren’t ready for the AI revolution, you aren’t alone. While around 79% of business executives surveyed recently said that they already see an impact from AI on their business, just 36% had some sort of change management strategy or steps to AI adoption in place. Adopting AI strategies doesn’t have to happen on a massive scale, but make no mistake. It is happening. If your organization wants to stay ahead of the curve, adopting targeted AI strategies is the way to go. Here are three ways you can dip your toes into what AI can do. [Related article: How to Choose Machine Learning or Deep Learning for Your Business]

Incorporate Chatbots

Messaging is one of the biggest ways customers wish they could interact with a business. A chatbot could be a small way to give customers what they want. With natural language processing advancements, your customers may not even know they’re talking to a machine instead of a human. One huge upside to using a chatbot is relieving your human teams of some of the frustrations of customer service. People tend to ask the same questions over and over. What are your hours? Are you closed for Memorial Day? Chatbots never tire of answering these types of questions. So, you’ll save a lot of human resources by letting the machines handle the straightforward inquiries. If there’s a problem or a more complex question, chatbots know when to turn the conversation over to a real person to finish up. The entire process is simple to deploy and your software engineer should be able to handle it. If you don’t have an engineer, outsource through a few capable companies who design these chatbots.  

Deploy Deep Learning Models

If you’ve got a capable data science team, shifting to deep learning could help uncover what your unstructured data is trying to tell you. You can invest in continuing education for your current data scientist or bring in a data scientist with expertise in neural networks. You could begin by improving a current model built for structured data. Give your data scientist or team the freedom to reimagine the model and watch the magic. The upside is your team gets to work on something worthwhile instead of getting stuck in legacy code hell, and you get to untangle the hidden wealth of information that doesn’t fit into your columns and rows.

Invest in Education

If you’re still worried about even those small steps, you can choose to invest in education for your staff right now. Tech personnel will benefit from training in deep learning, transfer learning, and neural networks, so make sure they have access to those opportunities. That way, you’re ready when the time comes to make the leap. Don’t forget about non-tech personnel. AI will change a lot of the way businesses work, and your team needs to be ready for AI team members. This hybrid staff will change the way you work and require a shift in company morale and culture. Investing in change education and training could help the rest of your team understand what’s happening and facilitate that change.  

Automate Menial Tasks

Sometimes your team needs a demonstration of the effects of AI before deploying larger scale, customer-facing solutions. Automating the menial tasks that suck the life out of teams could be a great way to take advantage of AI on a smaller basis and one of the important steps to AI adoption. Menial tasks could include data entry or finance spreadsheets. It might also include complicated contract agreements or parsing legalese. Whatever is sucking time and resources away from your teams, there’s an AI solution that can handle it. Decide (or ask your team) what major pain points are gumming up the process and preventing people from working on higher-order tasks and solutions, and find a way to let AI take over. [Related article: 5 Things Business Leaders Should Know about Data Science]

Start Small, End Big: The Important Steps to AI Adoption

You aren’t going to get away with avoiding AI if you want to stay competitive, but until you’re ready to hire a specialized AI engineer or deploy an at scale solution, you can take small steps to make use of what AI does best, assisting your human talent. For many of you, using chatbots alone could reduce the number of hours your team spends on menial tasks, but automating other things that bog down your team’s day to day operations may boost innovation and morale. Having a successful digital transformation strategy in place could include these small steps. Even if you aren’t ready to take any steps, investing in education for both your tech-related and non-tech related team members goes a long way. If everyone is going to be ready to embrace AI and understand how having machine co-workers on the team changes the face of their jobs, education could make that a lot easier. No matter what, it’s important to do something because AI is going to make an impact on every field. Start small if you have to, but starting at all is the crucial piece.

Elizabeth Wallace, ODSC

Elizabeth is a Nashville-based freelance writer with a soft spot for startups. She spent 13 years teaching language in higher ed and now helps startups and other organizations explain - clearly - what it is they do. Connect with her on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethawallace/