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Machine learning is much more than a buzzword — it has become a major player for many businesses. More and more companies are implementing machine learning and other AI tools to supplement or streamline their activities. This is especially true after the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of machine learning.
The way that your company implements machine learning can have a direct impact on its performance in the year ahead, especially as AI tools become utilized in a broader range of business activities. By understanding the areas where machine learning is poised to have the greatest impact, you can move proactively to adopt these tools for your own entrepreneurial efforts.
Machine learning’s ability to proficiently analyze and interpret large amounts of data in a rapid timeframe has made it an essential part of many businesses’ decision-making processes. In some cases, these tools can even be used to automate simpler, lower-level decisions that might otherwise be made by customer service reps or others.
In this situation, machine learning draws data from previous actions and trends, and uses available data to recommend the most efficient solution to a problem or request. This allows employees at all levels to spend less time focused on more repetitive decision-making tasks so they can focus their efforts on more in-depth problems.
This is undoubtedly part of why 81% of employees feel AI improves their work performance, with 49% specifically citing improved decision-making.
1. Improved privacy compliance
While many consumers have concerns about big data and machine learning negatively affecting their privacy, machine learning is often being used to enhance privacy compliance and protect data.
In a recent article for the Turkish Journal of Computer and Mathematics Education, Pramod Misra details multiple ways machine learning can aid privacy compliance, namely through machine learning privacy meters, which assess potential privacy issues associated with other machine learning models; and privacy-preserving machine learning (PPML), which trains machine learning tools to protect confidential data.
With these tools, Misra’s research team was able to use PPML to model threats and prevent data leaks from a variety of attack methods. In this case, machine learning is being used to ensure the security of other enterprise applications.
2. Smarter customer recommendations
One of the more popular uses for machine learning has been in customer recommendation engines. Examples of these tools include Amazon recommending additional items for a shopper to add to their cart based on past purchases, as well as Netflix’s personalized recommendations based on a customer’s viewing history and other factors.
The end goal of machine learning, in this case, is to deliver a more streamlined and enjoyable experience for the customer, based on the data that they readily supply to the business. Notably, many of these machine learning tools also support direct feedback from customers to improve their recommendations.
Though these data filtering tools are hardly new, they can still have a transformative impact on entrepreneurs in 2023. Businesses that can implement specific and relevant use cases for delivering personalized recommendations to their customers will be better positioned to deliver a positive experience that helps them stand out against the competition.
3. Generative AI
In the latter half of 2022, generative AI proved to be one of the hottest topics in the machine learning space, garnering both enthusiasm and harsh criticism. Generative AI has been used to create highly realistic photos and videos, as well as generate “art” or even produce basic written content.
Many artists and celebrities have spoken out against AI art, in large part because of how it uses others’ creations as source material to generate its own content. Despite the outcry, many businesses will likely make their own tentative forays into generative AI to speed up the creation of their own content and to reduce costs.
Though this trend is certainly worth paying attention to, this is an area where entrepreneurs should proceed with caution. Generative AI is still prone to imperfections, and the backlash of using it could easily outweigh the potential benefits. Time will tell how this trend shapes the business and artistic landscape (for good or ill) in the year ahead.
4. More efficient financial management
Few things can have a greater impact on a business’s sustainability than its cash flow and overall financial management. Machine learning algorithms are playing an increasingly vital role in a wide variety of financial tasks to help leaders make better money-related decisions.
For example, machine learning can be used for tasks like performing a cost analysis or predicting expenses associated with certain business activities. This allows leaders to better determine how an action will affect the bottom line, and if the investment will truly be “worth it.”
Machine learning tools can also be used to protect businesses and customers from fraud. Fraud detection tools can use information such as the time and location where a customer typically uses their credit card to flag fraudulent purchases. Protecting customers is a sure way to enhance trust and build a loyal customer base.
Are you prepared for how machine learning will impact you?
Machine learning has already had a significant influence on a wide range of business activities — and that is only going to accelerate even more in 2023. Whether your business has already adopted AI tools or is just looking into machine learning, focusing on these tech tools can go a long way in driving better efficiency, productivity and profitability.