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23 Aug 2023

Artificial intelligence is already everywhere – here’s how you can utilise AI in nimble ways to increase the efficiency of your own business operations

AI sprung into the public consciousness with the launch of chatbot and virtual assistant ChatGTP in November 2022. Until this point, the prevalent idea had been that AI could not produce sensible text, at least not in Finnish, but ChatGTP proved that notion wrong. AI can be used to create a wide variety of content ranging from blog texts and social media posts to celebratory speeches. In schools and educational institutions, teachers have already recognised that it is hard to differentiate text produced by AI from text written by students.

But while this has been going on, and even long before, artificial intelligence has already been everywhere. Many of the computer programmes we use on a daily basis, such as Word and Excel, have been using AI for a long time now.  After the launch of ChatGPT, it can be expected that the programmes we use every day will be receiving a lot more AI in the very near future. 

AI is also used in online search engines, such as Google, and many platforms with a recommendation algorithm, such as Netflix and Youtube. Based on your behaviour on the platform, this algorithm begins to understand your preferences and recommends you movies, videos and other content that you might be interested in. Speech recognition and voice commands used in phones (e.g., Apple’s virtual assistant Siri) are also based on artificial intelligence. 

AI has also been prominently utilised in many jobs requiring human labour and specialised expertise, including aiding the work of doctors and lawyers. AI can find deviations in X-rays faster and identify skin cancer better than the human eye, for example. AI can also create any desired legal documents and contracts quickly and accurately.

Where could my company utilise AI? 

Naturally, there are various fears concerning AI that most often have to do with the AI acting independently without human control. There is also the fear of AI taking people’s jobs away. However, the good and bad news is that humans will still be needed in nearly every job. With AI we can concentrate more on encountering other human beings in our work instead of the routine manual labour. 

Everyone, regardless of the size of their company, should have a think about how AI could be incorporated into their company’s operations and how it could be used for business gain: 

  1. Enhancing the company’s processes. Is it possible to utilise AI in the company’s internal processes? Which parts of the process could be automated or made more efficient with AI?
  2. New service or product. Could the company's next new product or service utilise AI or even be based on AI? Would it benefit and bring additional value to the customers?

A concrete example would be utilising AI in marketing. You could use AI to create a video that serves the customer, for example. Chatbots that serve online customers are a good example of the automatization of customer service. 

So, think about which of your company's processes or activities take up a lot of human resources and consider how these could be replaced with AI. 

You should also consider how you can serve your customers even better by expanding the use of the technology. You could also think about whether you could bring to market an entirely new product or service utilising AI that allows you to gain a genuine competitive edge and achieve better results. 

How do I get started with working with AI? 

It is understandable that small and medium enterprises do not wish to – or even have the resources to – serve as technological trailblazers and funders of research and experimentation. 

However, there are many ways to dip your toes into the world of AI without significant investments in time or money. 

Take your time to familiarise yourself with AI but make it goal-oriented from the start – establish goals and create a plan.

  1. Participate in various networks that involve AI. You could also ask Keuke about suitable forums, as Keuke offers a wide variety of services also around the topic of AI. 
  2. Familiarise yourself with the various applications and software related to AI at your own pace. You could also ask AI (ChatGTP) directly about how you could utilise AI in your business operations. 
  3. Identify the persons in your company who could take part in AI projects. Also look into your immediate surroundings and the expertise there, if there are no suitable persons in your own company.
  4. Study and benchmark the projects and services of other companies. You do not always have to reinvent the wheel from scratch.
  5. Experiment with an open mind, Use AI and learn to recognise its strengths and weaknesses. Only by using and experimenting can you get a genuine grasp of a novel subject. 

Begin your journey with the Empowering SMEs with AI guide. The guide can be downloaded for free here (the guide is available in Finnish and English)

This guide will provide you with information and a better understanding of AI, insights into the applications of AI and solution examples and AI experiences from companies that you can relate to and look to for inspiration and excitement. Actual practical tools intended for SMEs allow your work community to take the first steps with artificial intelligence.

The guide also presents you with experiences other companies have had with AI and specialist opinions on the matter. It will also teach you about the opportunities AI provides for SMEs and how AI could be applied in your own business operations.


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