Deep learning and artificial intelligence were once so confusing and hard to work with that it's hard to believe they're penetrating every single industry. Home improvement juggernaut Houzz, for example, baked deep learning into their platform to process pictures to offer items for sale directly from their site. AI has been a part of marketing for a while, and there's absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind that it's going to change how we do business by analyzing and processing our marketing and sales channels' data. Only recently though has it become a truly organized trend, one that real people are using across the world. Here are seven examples of where today you can begin harnessing AI and deep learning in your business life.
Marc Benioff made waves when he announced Einstein, potentially displacing knowledge workers in the future. Einstein as a tool builds AI directly into the Salesforce product, analyzing opportunities and leads and telling you how likely they are to close, intelligently updating records and bugging you to keep on your most important leads. They also have added in Marketing Cloud Einstein, which makes recommendations directly based on every channel of marketing that you connect, as well as suggesting the right audience using machine-learned segment analysis. There are a dizzying amount of things that you can do with Einstein, but the most exciting part is that Benioff has made it clear that it will become the future of Salesforce, meaning that we can look forward to the platform growing. Hopefully in a safe way.
While we've got used to assistants like Alexa and Siri helping us manage simpler tasks, Post Intelligence (an Android and web-based app) is an AI-based social media assistant. It uses various artificial intelligence and NLP techniques (including deep learning, neural networks, and semi-supervised named entity recognition) to provide a suite of tools to suggest the right content to post (from other people's tweets to share to articles or videos from news outlets) that will win over your followers. As well as personalized trending topics, post engagement prediction and sentiment/engagement analysis, the platform also suggests sponsored content for influencers to post to monetize their posts.
Inbound leads can be some of the most efficient sales that you can do, but can also turn into a timesink for your salespeople to qualify. Conversica claims to use artificial intelligence to have engaging, conversational dialogues with potential leads via chat and email, and will alert you to when a customer is feeling like purchasing something. The exciting part of the software is that it integrates directly with your living, breathing sales team, so that the customer doesn't think they're being talked to by a faceless piece of code. The company claims that their AI is capable of nurturing leads far longer than a single conversation, up to months in some cases, though one may not want to leave a hot lead in the hands of a bot for that long.
While there's nothing quite like a real person answering your emails, Clara has come incredibly close with their offering. Virtual assistants that can organize your calendar aren't new, but the Clara system has a machine intelligence that may scare off someone's PA. Clara is able to, using a combination of natural language processing, AI and integrations with your calendar, emails and contacts organize your entire life for you. Clara can be told where your favorite meeting spots are, exactly when the best times to make meetings are (including how many you want in a day or how many minutes you want between them), and is capable of following up and sending calendar invites with the exact details. This even goes as far as being able to tell Clara that you're sick, and to reschedule all of your meetings for the day, accepting requests in natural language like "get that call back on the calendar with this client." The more expensive packages allow for detailed customization and setup calls, but even the $99 a month package offers an intelligent, 24/7 available assistant.
Claiming customers like CBS interactive and Mic News, Boomtrain is a marketing automation deeply tied to the new world of artificial intelligence. For example, Boomtrain can see how a customer is interacting with your website, analyze that data in the context of their response to your email campaigns and respond with insights accordingly. This naturally leads into a smarter ongoing marketing campaigns based on behavioral analysis versus simple datapoints like whether someone clicked on a button or not. Interestingly it can also integrate across apps and messaging in addition to websites, creating an omnichannel marketing AI that can get better with time.
Intelligent inboxes with promises of fixing email overload are nothing new, but Astro received rave press around their iOS and Mac app for teams and individuals. At first it acts like a normal, fully-featured inbox, but over time learns what actions you take with particular people, such as whether you immediately archive certain things (suggesting you unsubscribe through the built-in bot after a while), seeing you send specific emails (such as agendas for calls) that it can remind you about, or if you regularly tell it to, as The Verge suggests, snooze emails from your family to the evening it may do so for you. Over time (like many of these products) Astro offers more and more functionality, and is promising to soon be available for command via Alexa.
Where many of the artificial intelligence platforms focus on marketing and sales, Torch focuses on more classical businesses that want an entire package, including website building, a CRM, storage, SEO optimization and a shopping cart; what they call an "artificial intelligence powered business suite." By packaging many different features into one big package, Torch is able to take the data from every channel, be it email marketing all the way to how someone is using the website and crunch the data to tell you what is and isn't working. This also includes inventory management and competitive analysis, something that isn't commonly found as a feature in many business suite packages with AI power.