What AI Could Mean for Your Small Business

Artificial intelligence (AI) has taken major strides in recent years with progress hitting a milestone through the entry of ChatGPT 4.0, one of many promising large language models (LLMs). The idea that in the future computers could take over significant portions of computer-based work as well as that of skilled professionals has quickly gone from the realm of science fiction to legitimate practical application.

With AI becoming something practical that multitudes of professional people can use to enhance their work, questions are arising among small-business owners as to how exactly they can utilize this new tool and not be left behind in what top investors are suggesting is a productivity boom.

Small Businesses Should Learn About AI

Mark Cuban, famous tech billionaire and “shark” from the Shark Tank series, urges small businesses to learn about AI to survive. Cuban and other tech experts believe that businesses, big and small, that don’t adopt AI will be left behind by their competition.

While AI isn’t expected to take over everything overnight, powerful new business tools can easily become the main staple in business over a decade — and when dealing with technology, transitions can happen much faster when all that’s essentially needed are apps.

In theory, an AI can be set up to complete the work of several employees with a single user creating prompts in a fraction of the time. Once AI is implemented into daily operations, a small-business owner can leverage it as a tool to complete far more work than a single person is capable of in a given time, creating an entirely new realm of possibility for both business growth and profit margins.

How Good Is AI Currently?

With ChatGPT and other promising AI systems, it quickly became clear that AI was no longer a myth but rather a new technology unfolding before us. But what are the limits of the current models?

Since the models are trained on large data sets based on the information found on the internet, AI can now produce outputs that are the equivalent of what professionals in some fields can produce. While outputs generated by AI can be impressive for a machine, they still require delicate and meticulous prompting or instructions and careful monitoring to ensure that the output is correct.

Moreover, LLMs have been known to fudge information, such as fabricating a case that a lawyer mistakenly used in court to argue his case. However, while there are still limitations and considerations, AI is now at a point where it is capable of taking over large swathes of computer-based work that doesn’t always require a human touch, such as basic customer service and other routine cognitive work.

Potential Business Applications

As AI technology expands and improves, the average person might have their life enhanced through popular home appliances such as Alexa that continually improve. In business, however, the potential for AI applications is constantly evolving and expanding.

A few of the most notable potential business applications that AI programs can adopt include:
[*]Employee performance enhancement – For tasks that may not be automatable, AI assistants can still prove to be a valuable asset to employees, such as the popular Grammarly app that helps with grammar, spelling, and overall communication.
[*]Low-budget design and writing – AI content creation is not without its faults; AI is great at predicting the next best word but it may fabricate some information, and pictures may have some obvious mistakes in them.However, it can allow a small business to access unique pictures and articles that can be posted for the cost of a subscription to the relevant AI programs in seconds. It’s important to carefully proofread and inspect anything creative generated by AI to catch potential errors.
[*]Automating routine work – Tasks such as summarizing reports and sending the appropriate communication can be done by generative AI. The real power of the current generation of AI is that it is exceptional at the “grind,” which can free up considerable time for your employees.
[*]Information organization and access – If your business requires employees or customers to be able to search through piles of information, AI can find information much quicker than any standard search and then summarize the information. Information can be easily added to the database and accessed through the AI in real-time.
[*]Employee training – LLMs can be used to enhance employee training. It can adapt to the individual’s understanding, and will, with infinite patience, help with everything they need to learn.
[*]Creativity and ideas – AI can be useful in coming up with new creative ideas. It can help with the user’s creativity or in overcoming creative blocks that a person may have at the time.

The potential use of artificial intelligence in business is rapidly expanding. Becoming familiar with AI programs and how they can help will put your business in a favorable position as the world embraces the potential of AI. While every business may not be able to benefit from the technology just yet, entrepreneurs who can utilize it will undoubtedly be forerunners in what is being seen as the new “gold rush” in the tech world.