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AI vs. AI for your business


Artificial Intelligence (AI) drives transformative results for business, whether its with faster and deeper analytics for stronger supply chains, heightened cybersecurity defense, or improved customer service. Still, we are at a pivotal moment for how AI is – and will be – used for cross-industry, cross-enterprise. For some, there is a lack of clarity as to what impact it can have. Business leaders can feel overwhelmed, underprepared, and unsure how to best utilize AI, but know they need accurate results they can trust that can easily be adapted to new scenarios and use cases. ChatGPT and other generative AI capabilities have woken businesses up to the possibilities that AI offers, but consumer use cases are not where the real transformational powers lie.

AI technologies have made impressive advances over the past decade – but until now, it has been difficult to scale and operationalize, placing it out of reach for many companies. In Canada, its use is growing steadily, with companies already using or planning to use AI. In fact, nearly 30% of Canadian companies have actively deployed AI, and nearly half (48%) say their company is exploring AI but have not deployed it into their business operations yet.

For businesses looking for ways to increase employee productivity by enabling teams to focus on higher-value work, there are a few entry points for leaders to consider with AI and automation: 1) automate processes and individual tasks, freeing up space for focus on more complex situations; 2) create individual and outcome-oriented experiences for customers; and 3) give employees the information and insights they need so they can deliver successful outcomes faster. And, with the announcement of watsonx in May, IBM has created the foundation to make AI more widely accessible to all enterprises, not just those with advanced technical expertise.

When used effectively, AI and data have the power to deliver smarter public services, reduce fraud and human error, catalyze massive operational efficiencies, and unlock new commercial benefits – all while controlling costs and safeguarding privacy. One example in a municipal government setting is Elections Markham's work with IBM Canada in the delivery of a virtual assistant to answer questions pertaining to topics such as the local election. Using a conversational AI platform with natural language processing, the virtual assistants can effectively handle repetitive, administrative, and information-seeking queries and allow customer care employees to focus on more complex queries.

Finally, as with any technology, it is critical to pay attention to the security of data. The use of AI in security operations through incident detection, investigation and response is needed now more than ever as security teams are overwhelmed and under pressure. With data breaches costing Canadian companies CA$7.05 million per incident on average (an all-time high), the financial stakes are significant.

While there are numerous current use cases for AI, the applications for this technology are growing every day, and the possibilities of AI for business are endless. You can learn more here.

About the author:

Bobby Aujla is an Associate Partner for IBM Canada Ltd., a professional services and consulting organization with capabilities spanning strategy and management consulting, experience design, technology, and systems integration. Bobby specializes in Government and Public Sector industries and provides strategic advisory services to organizations, helping them accelerate value driven business outcomes and execute innovative and connected digital transformation initiatives.

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