The Merriam Webster defines Artificial Intelligence – ‘as a branch of computer science, dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers; or the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior.’ A lot of us are exposed to a large number of sci-fi films and books which employ miniature robots and other types of robotic technology, to perform various human functions which were initially considered absolutely exclusive, to human beings. We, as curious beings, are immensely intrigued by the abilities of these human- made machines, which can perform almost all of the everyday human activities with finesse and expertise. Now, can this whole concept of Artificial Intelligence be as productive in business? Can the many distinct facets of business, ranging from Information Technology to education and healthcare, benefit from Artificial Intelligence and all that it has to offer?
Research experts say yes!
First of all, it is important for us to understand the details regarding the different kinds of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence in systems can be generally classified into two categories, Narrow or Weak AI, and Strong AI. Narrow AI, is an AI system that is designed and trained for a particular task. Virtual personal assistants such as Apple's Siri are a form of weak AI. Strong AI, also known as Artificial General Intelligence, is a system that instills advanced human cognitive abilities in programmed structures. This enables the structure to think and find solutions to unfamiliar tasks, similar to the manner in which the human brain functions. Employing systems that are ingrained with artificial intelligence abilities can have many economic advantages.
For one thing, the usage of programmed systems as against human capital would reduce labor costs, thus reducing the average costs of production to a massive extent. Also, the productivity would increase manifold, thus enhancing the quality of the production process. Employment of such high end technological products in the production process would benefit the business in terms of its net worth, goodwill in the eyes of a consumer, and guarantee excellent quality of commodities, thus increasing the consumer surplus, or consumer satisfaction.
Artificial Intelligence would also eliminate a lot of the corporate departments itself. For instance, an organization which largely uses robots instead of human capital would not require an entire Human Resources Management team; their Accounts Team would not have to have an elaborate pay roll audit scheme; they would not have to have specific working hours, or comply with the strict labor laws. In a lot of ways, just running a business, and managing a whole functional organization would become a whole lot simpler. This does not mean that they will have no human capital to contribute to the production process. It just means that they can replace excess employment of unwanted labor power wherever possible.
Recent research reports from Columbia University, New York, suggest that apart from just big corporations, a lot of other service sector enterprises can also reap benefits from Artificial Intelligence as a concept. These include sectors like education, healthcare and law. Thus, Artificial Intelligence can definitely be touted as the next big boon for business of the future.
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