Last August, Elon Musk and Jack Ma came together to debate the current state and the future of artificial intelligence. 

The 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference took place in Shanghai, China, where it hosted the debate between Musk, the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, and Ma, the former executive chairman of Alibaba Group.

Interestingly enough, Musk spent a good portion of the debate talking about aliens and outer space. 

Where on Earth (or beyond) did this come from?

What Aliens Have to Do with Artificial Intelligence

Musk has a theory that AI will quickly surpass the intelligence level of mankind. Aliens are a metaphor he uses to describe how dumb people are compared to the coming advanced AI.

Ma, by contrast, does not think that AI will outpace human intelligence. 

If you ask me, the more interesting topic of discussion is the very current realities of AI's business implications.

AI's Business Impact: 5 Areas of Business that AI Has Transformed 

Business use cases for artificial intelligence have been developing at breakneck pace in the last decade.

AI and machine learning are essential tools for many business leaders and entrepreneurs. Let's take a look at 5 areas of business that have been radically changed forever thanks to AI.

Recruitment

Artificial intelligence is great for automating boring or repetitive tasks and processes, but it's capable of so much more. 

AI can improve the recruitment process by automating basic processes like sorting, screening, and scheduling.

It can be used to assess resumes and cover letters for certain keywords or job titles. 

It can make the entire application and interview process more efficient for both the interviewer and interviewee, by automating scheduling or even automating the application process itself.

Customer Service

Staffing huge customer service teams during multiple shifts costs a lot of money.

The reality is, it's difficult, and often not sustainable, to have live customer service staff at all times people require it.

That's where artificial intelligence comes in handy.

Artificial intelligence can help a business improve its customer service ratings and customer satisfaction levels by providing fast and efficient help to customers in need.

Chatbots for instant, cost effective customer service is a smart way to handle routing of customer support inquiries.

In addition, artificial intelligence can be used to understand customer satisfaction using automated feedback methods or by using natural language processing to monitor the customer's tone and feelings in interactions. 

Lead Generation

Generating leads and gaining customers is the basis of business. 

And it can truly be one of the most difficult parts of business. 

Artificial intelligence, however, makes lead generation easier; this is a massive area of impact.

First of all, AI works around the clock. 

There are no hours, no limits, and potentially no costs to the use of AI as a lead generation tool.

Take Facebook Messenger chatbots, for example.

These can be completely free to make and implement on your Facebook business page. 

Whenever anyone interacts with your business's Facebook Messenger chatbot, they are added to your Facebook Messenger contact list.

If the chatbot requests a user's email, they are added to your email list.

The best part about using artificial intelligence for lead generation is the ability for it to alert a human when a hot lead is interacting with it; whatever form of AI it might be.

This helps increase conversions and boost revenue. 

Ecommerce Sales

Artificial intelligence impacts ecommerce in a number of ways.

Artificial intelligence can be used to recommend products to customers, lead customers through a sales funnel, make sales, and process payments. 

In fact, 47% of people say that they would buy items from a chatbot AI.

Artificial intelligence is helping businesses save money by reducing the need for massive sales teams and increasing sales with its 24/7 functionality. 

Security

Elon Musk is hesitant to give artificial intelligence the level of trust that we have been, so it might seem odd that businesses might rely on AI for heightened security measures.

Artificial intelligence can automate processes that filter out malware, spam, and other dangerous things from our emails before we even get a chance to click on them.

Beyond simple hacker prevention, AI is used for security and crime prevention and privacy protection.

Artificial Intelligence Today

Overall, the debate took the form of a conversation about whether or not artificial intelligence is good for business, humanity and our future.

Elon Musk wants to solve problems -- problems of the largest possible scale, through innovation and success involving complex future technology.

Jack Ma wants to better the current state of the Earth by developing and investing in AI tech.

Without a doubt, artificial intelligence has made an impact on the world, and it will continue to do so.

In the future, perhaps it can be implemented to improve life on Earth, or even bring us to life on other planets.

For now, however, AI is enhancing and automating business today.

These current business implications of AI should not go ignored, as they are just as important as its potential to change the very culture of our world. 

Artificial intelligence is making a difference in business today, and it will continue to advance the way we work.

Published on: Nov 22, 2019
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