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Drew Turney
Technology Journalist

Drew Turney writes about technology, science, film, books, pop culture and the crossroads between any or all of them

Drew Turney
Technology Journalist

Drew Turney writes about technology, science, film, books, pop culture and the crossroads between any or all of them

Since computers were invented, we've given them information and told them what to do. What if they could decide what to do with the data themselves and become smarter in the bargain? Welcome to the world of artificial intelligence (AI).

Smartphone with AI assistant technology

Computers! take note

Computers are about accurate calculations of huge, absolute numbers. They also don’t get bored with repetitive, process-driven, tasks that people tend to put off for as long as possible.

Our powers fall down when it comes to huge maths problems, or tedious tasklists – but we better our mechanical counterparts when it comes to abstract thinking and pulling meaning from data. 

Artificial intelligence, as the name suggests, is the effort to make computers more like us. Instead of just feeding in huge amounts of information and telling them what we want to do with it, the point of an AI system is to use the information available, with some directives, and let it do the hard yards of organising that data into something that can be analysed for a range of business uses.

There are significant benefits to AI’s integration with the way our businesses operate, particularly when you’re in an industry that’s data heavy, or at least has the potential to be.

Data scientists, and analysts can use AI systems like machine learning to design rules for software to follow to gather seemingly infinite data and curate it into digestible chunks that can be pulled apart and used as evidence for solid business decisions.

Consider a supermarket and the sheer volume of data that would be recorded in just a single day: the number of customers, the most popular and least popular areas of the store, what people bought, what’s in stock and what needs to be ordered. The list is very long, with many variables and business impacts to be considered.

However, with the assistance of machine learning, you can boil down the data to insights that influence how that supermarket looks, what it stocks, how it prices, and how it orders. AI not only reduces manual work, but also  often presents information that may not have been possible (or accurate) to collect previously.

With data able to be coordinated like this, it’s never been easier to make objective, evidence-based business decisions instead of relying on gut feelings.

Search for great AI apps and software for your business

Explore Telstra’s range of business tools for a great range of options that use artificial intelligence systems, like machine learning, that can make presently inefficient and repetitive business systems an automated dream.

Originally published 28th January. Updated 5th August 2019.

Are you looking to integrate AI into your business?

Talk to Telstra’s tech advisor about the right options for you.

Find out more

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