For decades, we have been fascinated with the idea of artificial intelligence (AI) and, in more recent years, Machine Learning (ML), or, the ability for a computer to learn without instructions.

What are the limits of AI? What will AI look like a thousand years from now? Will AI eventually have the capability to rival humanity? For the time being, these questions do not have answers. While no one is one hundred percent sure just how advanced AI will become, we do know that AI, in its current form, is changing the way we conduct business around the world.

Cisco’s “Transforming Businesses with Artificial Intelligence” report highlights five crucial areas and explains how AI is helping businesses grow and become smarter:

As data becomes an even more integral part of any organization’s success, a smart infrastructure that can gather data on current customers, identify and target new customers, and discover emerging markets provides a substantial competitive advantage.

In Deloitte’s “State of AI Enterprise, Second Edition” survey of 1,900 AI early adaptors, 57% of the executives believe that their business will change significantly over the next three years due to advancements in AI. While this is great news, sustaining a competitive advantage via AI will only become more challenging as more and more people begin to realize how beneficial AI technologies can be if utilized properly.

With billions of connected devices in the world, security for those devices is quickly becoming a major headache for many organizations. AI is beginning to assist companies with their security needs by allowing them to design and implement complex programs that detect, track, and prevent cyberattacks.

Capgemini’s “Reinventing Cybersecurity with Artificial Intelligence” found that 69% of organizations believe that responding to cyberattacks will not be possible without AI to combat it. This is in large part because cyberthreats are constantly evolving and ML plays and integral role in detecting changes in the threats as they come in.

Customer Experience
Customer, customer, customer. We hear the phrase “Customer Experience” all the time and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. With so many products on the market and new businesses popping up daily, failing to satisfy the customer and not using AI to create a personalized customer experience will result in the customer choosing the competition.

In fact, AI systems will be leading the way in the retail industry where it is expected that $5.9 billion will be spent this year (2019) on automated customer service agents, shopping advisors, and product recommendations according to The Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending guide by IDC.

Transforming Business Models
AI allows organizations to take full control over their business and gain valuable insights into areas where they need improvement.  For example, if a company can detect when a machine is on the verge of breaking down or in need of repairs, the problems can be addressed before unexpected downtime occurs.

According to the Accenture report, “How Artificial Intelligence Can Increase Your Productivity,” AI will have the power to boost productivity by 40% by the year 2035.          

Hiring and Retaining Talent
When it comes to hiring talent today, companies have begun to implement AI in order to thin out their application pools. Companies using AI technologies can scan thousands of applications looking for specific skills that demonstrate what the company is looking for in a new hire. In an interview at CNBC’s @Work Talent + HR Summit, IBM’s CEO said that IBM receives a staggering 8,000 applications a day – far too many to analyze properly.

IBM also acknowledges the importance of retaining employees. IBM’s CEO has discussed how they can now predict, with 95% accuracy, which employees are planning on leaving their jobs. With this kind of information, IBM can target specific employees to try and keep them within the company.

The consensus across all industries is that artificial intelligence is changing the way organizations do business. With AI working overtime behind the scenes, it is easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. The time to look for AI use cases in the enterprise is now: AI is poised to disrupt and transform the technological landscape.