In a moment of frustration, you might have wished your organization had two superpowers. First, the ability to put your most time-consuming, labor-intensive, and detail-oriented processes on autopilot so you could focus on improving your growth outcomes. Second, the ability to answer questions that seem too complicated, confusing, or contradictory to make sense of.
With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), teams are accomplishing what used to seem impossible and learning what was once thought unknowable. And it’s happening now throughout public organizations, private companies, and higher education institutions — not just at tech giants — pushing expectations for innovation and excellence to new heights.
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Let’s dig into why AI and ML are such transformative technologies. Then, we’ll illustrate how diverse (and unexpected) industries are using these technologies to solve their biggest challenges and unlock opportunities.
Let’s start with some basic definitions:
Artificial intelligence — AI allows digital systems to think as a human would, applying reason, logic, and deductive thinking to data in order to complete complex workloads or accomplish massive feats of analysis.
Machine learning — Machine learning is an application of AI. It gives digital systems the ability to learn from repeated analysis, gaining new knowledge and capabilities without having them “programmed” in.
These technologies don’t just support the work humans do; they replicate that work and multiply it many times over to operate on a speed and scale even a team of seasoned professionals can’t match.
And while many people are excited, there are plenty who are hesitant. With tools as novel as AI and ML, it’s easy to assume they are too technical, expensive, or niche to apply in most settings. But technology that thinks and learns on its own is more accessible than people realize — and it’s already in action in many places.
Any organization with data (which is every organization) can leverage AI and ML. Several industries are already using it to their advantage:
Higher education — Colleges and universities are using ML to discover indicators that a student may be at risk of leaving, then using AI to provide advanced warning so they can intervene early and improve retention rates.
Recruiting — Hiring managers have used machine learning to better understand what their ideal candidate looks like and relied upon AI to search through massive talent pools for people who match those same criteria to expedite and improve recruiting efforts.
Nonprofit — Nonprofits have applied machine learning to donor data to learn what works and what doesn’t with their fundraising efforts, then asked AI to improve when, where, and how they target donation requests.
These use cases are just the beginning. There are few things AI and ML can’t transform, few organizations that can’t benefit, and few industries where these technologies don’t apply. Now may be the time to look into what artificial intelligence and machine learning can do for your organization.
For more information, contact Troy Hollings at [email protected] or 317-569-6123. For more information about CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, visit CLAconnect.com.
This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: artificial intelligence, machine learning aren’t just for tech giants