Written by: Kevin Gardner
Modern businesses can, and in fact must, take advantage of state of the art technology in order to improve their efficiency and efficacy. More importantly, as more and more companies adopt the latest and greatest tech, those who fail to do so will inevitably get left behind. However, it can be difficult for the uninitiated to intuit exactly what kind of technology best suits their businesses. These tips can help you
understand how the technology available today can help your business prepare for tomorrow.
While the term “artificial intelligence” is evocative of the kind of human-like computers of science fiction, modern AI doesn’t quite live up to that ideal. However, recent developments in AI have proven to give AI some semblance of viability in a business setting. Many modern consumer services utilize AI to give customers a more customizable experience. For example, Google and YouTube both use a mixture of trends and user preferences to provide the kind of results and content recommendations that users want with a fairly competent ratio of success to failure. The primary developments that allow this to happen are machine learning and natural language processing.
Machine learning is what allows computers to adapt over time in order to improve at their given role. This is done in a manner not unlike the learning process of human beings. Namely, a machine will learn by attempting a task repeatedly under human supervision. This can take as long as you might expect, and MLOps can be used to build the learning process directly into the development of the AI itself in order to cut down on the time investment.
Natural language processing entails the ability of a machine to understand speech in a more open ended and freeform way that allows for AI to understand written and spoken words more holistically. This allows Google, for example, to provide search results that better provide answers to your query, even if they use different words to describe the problem at hand. Natural language processing can also be used to provide sentiment analysis services that can give a company the most complete overview of how they are perceived by the public.
The Internet of Things
The internet of things is something that can be difficult for newcomers to fully understand, but the basic premise and underlying design philosophy are fairly simple. IoT technology allows users to connect a variety of otherwise mundane devices to their wifi connection and, perhaps more importantly, to each other, and this has a wide range of uses. The smart office trend is easily the most valuable use case for businesses, because it allows business owners to create a network of devices, allowing multiple systems to communicate with each other directly and to be remote controlled by operators. This allows for businesses to automate things that might otherwise entail several steps, and this has major positive ramifications for a company’s overall workflow.
Along the same lines, cloud computing seeks to improve the efficiency of a given company, and it does so with flying colors. Cloud computing could be called an evolution of the traditional network, but this is an oversimplification. While cloud computing has a similar mission statement to that of networking, it transforms what a network can be by allowing devices to connect to the private or public cloud from anywhere in the world, and it allows those connected machines to share not only files, but also computing power itself in the form of various computational resources and the shared database. This has become a staple for modern data processing, because it can render an otherwise resource intensive task of data analysis almost trivial in terms of the strain on the machines involved and the time cost that data processing would otherwise entail.
Technology has endless advantages, but only in the right hands. Today’s businesses have incredibly powerful tools at their disposal, and these tips will help you play catch up in order to maintain a competitive edge.