When Do We Need AI?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a piece of technology that’s taking the world by storm. That can be hard to comprehend. Even just a few decades ago, it seemed like science fiction. Now, businesses across the globe are making use of AI to cater to the growing needs of a vast swath of the population. With AI, the right problems become easily solvable.

But what are the right problems? When do we need AI and machine learning?

They’re more common than you might think. AI isn’t a tool that’s just for elite computer programmers anymore. It’s now in the arsenal of every enterprising engineer, entrepreneur, and accountant. Are you still wondering whether AI is the right solution to your problem? Here are a few signs that it might be.

1. There’s Too Much Data To Handle

Humans have been managing databases for centuries. Humanity’s first databases were written on paper and stored in file cabinets. As technology advanced, those same files were stored on hard drives in individual computers. When hard drives weren’t large enough to store all of the data, the databases were moved onto servers and carefully managed with SQL and NoSQL systems.

Now, companies are dealing with even larger sets of data. In many cases, it isn’t feasible to manually manage that data. Instead, analysts make heavy use of machine learning algorithms to automate that task for them.

If you have a large data set, consider using AI. While it can be a challenge to integrate AI into your data architecture, it will quickly begin paying for itself.

2. The Job Can Be Easily Automated

If a task is simple and repetitive, a program can do it for you. That’s something budding programmers learned throughout the 1990s when they automated jobs like renaming and moving files. That same lesson applies to much larger problems when using machine learning.

For example, radiologists — doctors who interpret medical images — are often required to analyze each X-ray and manually assign an age to the bone. Bone age has a consistent pattern that a machine can be programmed to recognize using deep learning algorithms. Using AI, this tedious task is automated and made more efficient. Radiologists can now include the data derived from the AI in their report to a patient.

There are many such cases.

3. You Want Objective Analysis

Some fields are seen as particularly emotionally charged. In the realm of financial trading, for example, humans sometimes lose themselves to despair when stock prices sink. That isn’t an objective response, and, according to veteran trader Warren Buffet, it can lead to some dangerous decisions.

AI doesn’t have those issues. A computer only knows that, according to its internal algorithms, a decrease in stock price means that there is now a sale on that stock. If its valuation of the fundamentals of the stock remains the same, it will buy more of that stock.

This objective analysis provides traders with stability. Many larger firms have portfolios that are now managed exclusively by AI. You might consider integrating AI into your business if your needs are the same.

4. You Need Things Done Quickly

If your job has thousands of decisions that need to be made quickly, machine learning is a great choice. An ordinary human takes, at a minimum, a few seconds to do any given task, like click a button or type a letter. That seems fine until you expand it out to scale.

In contrast, an AI can make thousands of decisions in a single second, and it can do a great deal more than just click a button. In the realm of repetition and speed, AI has a leg up over humanity.

Is AI Right For Your Problem?

If the circumstances are right, machine learning can make a big difference. AI can easily solve problems that frustrate and confound humans. The only challenge is selecting the right tool for the job. For example, with a small data set, AI isn’t an efficient solution and saves minimal time.

An easy rule of thumb is scale. As problems get bigger, AI begins to grow more and more attractive as a solution. That trend will continue far into the future, so what are you waiting for? Make your business more efficient and take your first step into the exciting world of AI today!

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