Have you ever listened to a recommended song on a streaming service? Asked a smart speaker about the weather? Fixed typos in a document thanks to autocorrect? If so, you’ve engaged with artificial intelligence (AI). 

AI technologies have been proliferating in our daily lives and work for many years. The recent launch of publicly accessible AI tools, like large language model tool ChatGPT, is raising awareness of the technology’s expanding capabilities.

As a small business owner, what do you need to know to create a successful AI strategy? Here’s how to approach and implement artificial intelligence in business. 

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to technology that can perform functions associated with human cognition, such as learning, problem-solving, and creativity. There are different forms of AI, but the field can generally be broken into two primary types: 

  • Machine learning. This refers to AI technology that makes decisions based on the data it is given. A streaming service algorithm is an example of machine learning: The technology collects data on your song preferences based on what you listen to, then analyzes your data to suggest new songs it thinks you might like. 
  • Deep learning. A subset of machine learning, deep learning layers multiple algorithms to create what’s called an “artificial neural network” modeled after the human brain, allowing it to learn and draw new conclusions beyond the data it’s originally given. Instead of recommending an existing song, for example, deep learning models could create entirely new songs based on your music preferences. Large language models like GPT-3 and GPT-4 are a subtype of deep learning.

How is AI used in business?

  1. Customer service
  2. Sales and marketing
  3. Finance and accounting
  4. Human resources

Companies can use AI tools to improve business processes, increase productivity, and support employees…


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