9 Artificial Intelligence Developments Helping Small Businesses Grow

November 28, 2017

6:30 pm

Artificial intelligence is creeping it's way into our lives and businesses. Whether it's through our voice assistant gadgets like Alexa, shopping apps or smart devices, AI will be involved in our life one way or another. And now this tech is helping small businesses. We asked entrepreneurs about the most exciting development they've seen in AI that can help businesses grow.

Facial Expression Decoding

The face is the window into the buying soul. Companies like Emotient and Affectiva are developing AI technology to read and decode people's faces. Imagine being able to read your customer's emotions as they use your product or service. Or being able to target ads to people when they make a sad or angry face. This is the future of business to customer interaction.

-Vanessa Van Edwards of Science of People

Virtual Assistants

The virtual assistant Amy, or, is the most exciting and beneficial use of artificial intelligence I've seen for entrepreneurs. “Amy” is an AI assistant that schedules meetings but interacts with your contacts like a human. It's fantastic and saves me hours each week while delighting my contacts. The best part is that the service is completely free.

-Brittany Hodak of Zinepak

Natural Language Processing

We use a software that leverages natural language processing to make suggestions on how our sales representatives should communicate with customers. The software analyzes existing information about a person's email communication and classifies their personality. Based on the personality, the software recommends the tone and style our sales rep should use in their emails to the recipient.

-Nanxi Liu of Enplug

artificial intelligence cyber security

Deep Learning

Deep learning is a form of AI in which a machine can learn through data representations. The machine then produces algorithms that allow it to correctly identify faces, patterns, etc. Business applications include the obvious (like speech and image recognition) and the non-obvious (like what sales approaches will work best for particular customers).

-Alexandra Levit of PeopleResults

Universal Translators

The Skype Translator, which will debut in beta by year's end, translates speech in real-time, allowing anyone to talk naturally with anyone else. The AI software examines millions of translated sentences. For voice recognition, it breaks down samples of the spoken word, analyzing them until it achieves a sophisticated grasp of the ways sounds combine to form speech.

-Murray Newlands of Sighted

Desktop Voice Recognition

Microsoft introduced Cortana alongside Windows 10. This is the first Microsoft desktop platform to include voice recognition capabilities tied to the integral aspects of the platform. In the past, voice recognition was limited to minor dictation features.

-Lane Campbell of PolicyGuru 

Business Forecasting

AI is increasingly being used to bridge the gap between quantitative and qualitative analysis of marketing prospects. AI can identify which customers are likely to make similar purchases within a given time frame, automatically segment databases, and continually learn from their patterns of usage. By continually improving itself, AI helps make business forecasting both automatic and accurate.

-Dave Nevogt of Hubstaff

Nest Learning Thermostat

Temperature Regulation

Home automation isn't just cool, it's an opportunity for business owners to save serious money on heating and to also stay safe. Nest (a Google company) is a home automation producer of programmable, self-learning, sensor-driven, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, smoke detectors and security cameras. With Nest you can program your thermostat to reduce heat bills and install a camera to stay safe.

-Obinna Ekezie of

Healthcare Monitors

Healthcare costs are a major expense for lots of businesses. That's why it's so encouraging to see hundreds of startups working to make you the “CEO of your own health” (i.e. allowing you to manage your health, and in some cases even replace doctors and hospitals, with a combination of AI and personal smart monitors). You can self-diagnose anytime, anywhere.

-Brian David Crane of Caller Smart

Read more about artificial intelligence trends on TechCo

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