Artificial intelligence (AI), which refers to a computerized system that can learn, store information, and function independently, is expected to exceed human intelligence by 2050. But what does this mean for small businesses? Can AI help streamline processes, save time, money, and reduce HR admin?
AI can be utilized in various ways in the workplace. Following are some examples:
- Chat bots: they create efficiency in customer service
- Security: used for data surveillance and protection
- Platforms for generating information: chat GPT
- Converters for speech-to-text and text-to-speech
- Targeting specific areas of the market
- Data-driven insights & visualizations that are useful for business forecasting
- Fraud detection & risk mitigation
- Impartial, data-driven employee performance assessment & development planning.
Although implementing artificial intelligence in the workplace may seem intimidating, it doesn't have to be. According to Ethan Mollick, Associate Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania, we should view AI-powered tools such as ChatGPT as an opportunity to extend our capabilities. It is akin to having an intern who can work instantaneously, write code and solid descriptive writing, and has a plethora of knowledge.
Overall, AI can benefit businesses in various ways, ranging from streamlining processes to unlocking new insights, optimizing performance management, and enhancing customer support.
Three benefits for businesses who adopt artificial intelligence in their workplace are:
Utilizing AI tools can significantly increase efficiency, by utilizing its knowledge, it can reduce hours spent pouring over spreadsheets, and troubleshoot away crucial calculations.
Technology offers a way to increase productivity and think outside the box, without getting tired or distracted like humans. It can even provide creative suggestions when fresh ideas are lacking. As such, AI can be a valuable tool for small businesses looking to broaden their horizons.
For instance, job adverts can be tailored to different audiences or written in varying styles using tools like Chat GPT. This can facilitate recruitment efforts by widening the net and attracting new talent to your company.
AI has the potential to enhance work quality and save time. It can enable individuals to focus on valuable tasks that interest them and benefit the business, rather than the monotonous or manual ones. Such a shift can boost employee engagement levels.
Moreover, AI can use diverse sets of data for trend analysis and interpretation. For instance, ChatGPT can process large datasets that could take considerable time for humans to handle. It can analyze data, detect errors, automate tasks, and even help with scheduling tasks from a HR perspective.
We've already established the main benefits of Artificial Intelligence, but what potential impact can it have on businesses? To help you get started, here are some frequently asked questions based on our research:
Where should a small business begin when implementing AI?
They may struggle with understanding where to start, particularly if AI has never been used before, or if costs are a concern.
To optimize processes, consider where streamlining would have the greatest impact. Begin by conducting a cost-benefit analysis to determine the potential return on investment, like assessing whether more efficient customer service is likely to retain customers and increase revenue. Exploring accessible forms of AI, such as chatbots that customer service teams can train, could be a good starting point.
While the benefits of using AI might seem unattainable for small companies, there are cost-effective options on the market.
For example, ChatGPT is an information generation tool that is currently free to use. Even businesses can give the software a try. It offers templates for various HR policies and areas. All you have to do is ask the software to create a policy around a particular area and it will populate the content for you.
Although the software is not expected to replace HR departments any time soon, it can help small and medium-sized enterprises that may be tight on budgets to get started with a project.
For instance, AI-generated HR templates still need human verification to ensure that all the information is correct. AI can generate a framework, but whoever reviews it must know what they're looking at and double check the material.
Small and medium-sized enterprises can gain access to information and resources typically only available to larger enterprises with bigger budgets, thanks to this head-start.
According to a study conducted by PWC, the impact of AI on job redundancy will be offset by the equivalent influx of new jobs. Therefore, it can be inferred that AI won't result in a net loss of jobs. However, as with any new technological development with a far-reaching impact on the realm of work, AI will likely modify the volume or types of jobs available in certain areas, experts caution.
Although ChatGPT is still reliant on humans to input and review the data it produces, it is important to note that the need for humans in the workplace is not diminishing anytime soon.
Artificial intelligence is transforming the world of work but people remain an SME’s most valuable asset. While being cognizant of potential ethical concerns, it is undeniable that AI is the way forward. Although AI cannot replace human interaction, the pandemic has shown us that some news has to be delivered in person. Time-saving HR software revolutionized the way HR managed holiday & people admin about ten years ago. Now, we are at the beginning of a new technological chapter with AI leading the way.
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