Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, machines have increased human productivity. In the early 19th century, many feared that textile machinery and steam power would kill jobs.
But the shift to factory work reduced the cost of goods, raised real wages, and increased the demand for workers.
Two centuries later, artificial intelligence appears ready to usher in an “AI Revolution.” Machine intelligence and vast stores of data are taking on more and more intellectual tasks that once only people could do. Artificial intelligence can recommend purchases, identify significant business trends, and even chat with customers. And people ask: will this new revolution kill jobs, reduce incomes, or put people in less fulfilling work? In a word, no.
AI Doesnt Happen Without People
Though AI can handle more impressive tasks than before, it still can’t do general purpose thinking. A machine system may be able to review what movies you like and compare them with others, but it can’t tell you which movie features the most moving performances. Even so, the potential for growing your business with AI is real. Because machines cannot understand language or culture, talking to customers isn’t ideal for them.
AI in Action
Instead, use artificial intelligence to help you find and serve your customers faster. For example:
- For basic bookkeeping, an AI tool like Smacc can help small businesses spend less time on administration.
- Calendar scheduling tools, such as X.ai, may help you make more sales calls.
- Chatbots, like Slack for internal communications and customer interactions, can route customers to the right human helpers faster.
- AI sentiment analyzers help you spend time with the most urgent needs first. Tools like Meshfire for analyzing your social media followers can help you generate new business leads.
Applying AI in your businesses can help eliminate the time sinks that keep you from doing more business. Help with your calendar, email, bookkeeping, banking, and more are all becoming available.
Some studies of the Industrial Revolution pegged the improvement in real wages as about a doubling of household income in the early years, mostly through decreased costs of goods and services because of higher productivity. The Industrial Revolution was the first real inflection point in human productivity in centuries. Artificial Intelligence could be the next big inflection point. Imagine doubling your success in the next few years. The businesses that embrace AI now will be the big winners, so start today.