The Pros and Cons of Artificial Intelligence

Technology is an integral part of economic and societal growth. AI is at the forefront as an enabler of digital transformation. From Machine Learning (ML) and smart robots to self-driving vehicles, it has become a part of our everyday lives. As a trending debate topic, technical experts often come across questions about the pros and cons of Artificial Intelligence.

Is Artificial Intelligence a threat? Some perceive it as a disaster, while others believe that the limitations of Artificial Intelligence exceed its positives. Nothing could be further from the truth, considering the increasing dependence on AI and its application, especially in business.

So, why AI is good? Here’s one of the key reasons. It leverages ML and Natural Language Processing (NLP) that enable machines to sense, understand, act, as well as learn. Consider the well-known examples of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. These digital voice assistants utilize ML and NLP to operate effectively and improve performance over time. They offer the convenience of daily life by carrying out standard, personal tasks with advanced efficiencies. Whether we have recommendation engines to help us choose specific products, Google Map analyzing options for the best routes, or AI answering abstract questions, one thing is clear. AI is paving the way for greater efficiency and productivity.

Now, let’s have a look at the benefits of Artificial Intelligence.

Reduces Human Error

As humans, it is easy to make mistakes from time to time especially if we are exhausted, stressed out, or aging, and these factors directly reflect on our decision-making. For instance, a doctor or pilot operating in time and mission-critical scenarios may make fatal mistakes that lead to tragedies.

If we program AI computers properly, they are error-free. These computers make decisions based on previous data records they collect by using a specific set of algorithms. These minimize errors and increase the chances of reaching accuracy with remarkable precision. You can solve problems involving complex calculations without any scope of error. Also, artificial thinkers do not display human emotions, which means they reach logical conclusions with zero distractions. This makes them more efficient as they can make rational decisions in minimal time.
This is useful in industries that must ensure a high level of correctness in their daily operations. Eliminating costly errors leads to higher output and saves money in the long run. Let’s look at two common examples. In the customer service sector, companies use digital assistants to interact with users efficiently. When it comes to weather forecasting, AI reduces human error and increases accuracy. Let’s not forget the forex and stock markets where applying AI has become a common practice. AI-driven machines work with scores of data points in real-time to identify relevant patterns and facilitate profitable trades.

Zero Slowdown

Machines do not get tired even if they function for continuous hours. This is a major benefit over humans who require rest to maintain efficiency. Let’s look at some statistics. An average person can work at least 4-5 hours a day excluding breaks. We have to take some time off for work or refresh ourselves every once in a while. Then, we prepare ourselves for a new day of work while keeping our personal and professional lives separate. With AI, we can make machines work 24 x 7 and unlike us humans, they do not even get bored.

What happens when AI augments human capabilities? Its computing power bypasses humans in both speed and quality of work. This is because AI is stronger in terms of modeling, forecasting, and combining massive data sets. Let’s look at some examples. Artificial Intelligence reduces the time of evaluating insurance claims. Instead of having an insurer take days to reach a decision, an AI system can manage within minutes. Moreover, the oil and gas industry uses AI applications to digitize records, tackle exploration or production challenges, conduct precision drilling, improve productivity with predictive maintenance, etc. Not to mention how helpline centers leverage AI to manage bulk queries and issues.

Lessens Routine Chores

We perform repetitive tasks in our routine, such as making calls, sending emails, verifying documents for errors, etc. These can be monotonous and time-consuming, so why not let AI handle them? We can productively automate such tasks and free ourselves for more creative projects or assignments. There are lots of options to explore. For example, Apple, and Google offer free access to assistants that can take care of basic tasks for busy people.

Some AI assistants can even interpret the context of a request and synchronize information across various devices, including smartphones, cars, TVs, refrigerators, etc. Users can easily control them from any location inside or outside the house. Look up AI-powered smartphones that reduce energy and water consumption, and improve our overall lifestyles.

Let’s look at some applications. With just a single tap, Siri listens to us and performs a task, and GPS helps us reach an out-of-town job interview. When we use our mobile phones, AI predicts the words we are going to type, and even uses autocorrect if we make an error. What about banks and financial services that review customer documents to approve loans? More often than not, this can be a repetitive task for professionals who would rather convince customers to buy bank products or apply for credit cards. Using cognitive automation, banks can speed up document verification processes to save time for everyone.

AI

Improves Customer Experiences

Many companies leverage digital assistants to interact with users to eliminate the need for hiring, onboarding, and training human resources. eCommerce stores also use digital assistants on their websites to guide users and help them with the product selection process. Let’s consider an example.

Not long ago, forecasting website traffic levels or customer buying preferences were based on experience. Business analysts learned from past experiences to make judgments. Although this still happens, enterprises are most likely to factor AI into their calculations. Today, most businesses have dedicated customer support teams for answering customer queries, resolving complaints, or clarifying doubts. Using AI, organizations can set up chatbots or voice bots to manage customer questions, and these are common on mobile applications as well as websites.

Furthermore, Artificial Intelligence decreases costs, improves agility, promotes productivity, minimizes failure, and enhances customer satisfaction. Consider how the ability to predict customer preferences and behavior represents a competitive edge. AI algorithms can predict what a specific customer is most likely to purchase, as Amazon has shown us. The giant uses Machine Learning to predict consumer behavior and this is one of the reasons behind its incredible success today.

This is not all. AI maintains top quality standards, making it possible to reduce waste and boost customer happiness. Related Innovations deliver more value with less input, allowing businesses to achieve sustainable growth.

Medical Applications

Artificial Intelligence powers creativity and innovation in the medical field which is one of the best things during these difficult times. This enables doctors and nurses to resolve complex and possibly life-threatening problems. Let’s look at a scenario. Doctors review the health risks of patients with machine intelligence. Applications educate machines about the side effects of different medicines which is a good practice in prescribing medicines. Artificial surgery simulators also use applications for tasks like detecting and tracking neurological diseases and stimulating brain functions. This is useful in practical situations such as radiosurgery.

Other than identifying potential neurological disorders and cancer risk, what is the impact of Artificial Intelligence on society? Let’s approach it in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AI-based technologies allow healthcare specialists to share critical data about the pandemic. This includes information related to clinical trials, insights into how the virus is developing, etc. Now, it is possible to share real-time details with medical staff, research labs, and scientists across the globe. Healthcare practitioners from virtually anywhere in the world can access databases and have all the latest insights within seconds. AI solutions also contribute to vaccine development by identifying molecules, compiling data about related diseases like SARS and test subjects, etc.

IT Outsourcing – The Best Survival Strategy In COVID19 For Businesses

The global COVID-19 pandemic has dynamically transformed the way startups and enterprises operate. Practically every company is revisiting and revising its budget to put itself in a position of financial stability. There is an added focus on revenue-generating activities and mitigating the effects of COVID-19 through IT outsourcing services.
According to CompareCamp, the international outsourcing market was $92.5b in 2019, and we can expect BPO to reach $262.2b in 2022 globally. These are fascinating figures, and something worth looking into. In this post, we shall explore IT outsourcing as an approach to survival during COVID-19 for both startups and enterprises.

IT Outsourcing Trends

WFH is the new reality for most companies as almost everyone performs their job duties online. The truth is: with the variety of available technologies today, businesses were already progressing towards remote working. It is just that they found themselves embracing digital transformation sooner than expected because of COVID-19. Apart from addressing more complex IT demands, ensuring business continuity is vital due to this sudden change. This means capitalizing on key areas to reduce costs and strategizing so that human resources can improve efficiency and productivity. The solution is to work with top IT outsourcing companies.
Why? Let’s find out next.

Working Smart

From IT to sales, marketing, HR, and accounting, outsourcing offers limitless opportunities to help your company work smarter, not harder. SMBs lacking the capital for dedicated, in-house departments such as finance, HR, and software engineering will find this useful. Outsourcing brings valuable, one-time opportunities arising from the disruption of the pandemic. Organizations can create a pool of extra funds by eliminating the expenses they would otherwise incur of managing activities that IT outsourcing companies can handle. This leads to greater potential for growth and you can innovate products or services that effectively meet customer needs. There is no need to hire and train new employees that would increase investment in additional office space and equipment. Not to mention how outsourcing as a COVID-19 survival strategy makes better use of existing talent and increases team morale.
There are other benefits of IT outsourcing and reasons why you should opt for it as we shall see next

Access To Latest Technologies

In addition to saving time and money, what can IT support outsourcing do for you? To begin with, it offers access to modern technologies including systems and best practices. As we expect technology to evolve further in the coming years, businesses will be spending on state-of-the-art solutions for maximum success. This even applies to small business IT outsourcing that makes sophisticated technologies easily available and accessible. Companies can then encourage unique thinking, innovative capabilities, and the freedom to scale when necessary.

What About COVID-19 ?

With organizations operating in a rapidly evolving landscape during COVID-19, authorities are introducing regulatory changes and continuous tech developments. We are essentially looking into two aspects here. The first one is simple. We have to keep up with tech advancements to stay relevant and competitive. However, when pandemics like COVID-19 strike, there is uncertainty everywhere. While such situations make it difficult to take risks, we can rely on outsourcing for uninterrupted access to relevant knowledge and tools. Technology-driven business models are more responsive to evolving market demands and trends.
Also, IT partners offer next-generation tech solutions at reasonable prices so that economies can stay afloat. You can collaborate with them to build a team of skilled experts with hands-on experience in technologies that define the future of work. These include AI, ML, Big Data, IoT, and cloud computing.

Infrastructure Development

Outsourcing goes beyond reducing costs and providing access to modern tech solutions. It ensures that your in-house employees invest their time, energy, and resources in core competencies. When you outsource, you no longer have to manage tasks like daily functions, payroll, customer support, digital marketing, etc. While these play a critical role in business success, they require time to execute, so why not leave it to a trusted company? You can then focus on what your in-house teams do best.
What we have discussed so far is practical, but here’s some food for thought. When you shift to WFH because of COVID-19, building IT infrastructure for remote communication and collaboration is the top concern. Chief information, business, and marketing officers must highlight remote working training and solutions as everyone moves away from on-prem models. The answer is simple. Outsource IT to companies who are familiar with remote development and working in distributed teams. Ideally, they will have information related to industry best practices that they can replicate to set the benchmark for high productivity from the very beginning.

Remote Working

Companies are making remote working arrangements to support the future of work. When you do the same, you will integrate the appropriate information and data security measures into your outsourcing plan. This means considering electronic access control and technical controls to prevent data exfiltration from private systems.
You will also be in a position to control the level of performance you require from your service provider’s team. This is helpful especially when physical supervision is not possible. So, your IT provider can electronically track individual productivity and create an output-driven model for teams to follow. In this way, you delegate service delivery and the potential risks of reduced efficiency of a remote environment to your IT partner.
A good service provider works with you to scale up key enablers in a remote work setup. These consist of job responsibilities, workflows, communications, VPN, network bandwidth, collaboration platforms, etc. It is also possible to create an in-depth plan with your IT provider to cater to network, data center, and server support. You can ensure maximum uptime and proactively identify as well as resolve bottlenecks without affecting service quality or levels.

Talent Pool

Outsourcing IT management is one of the wisest decisions you can make. There is potential to tap into a skilled global talent pool with a lower cost base. This is useful especially if there your business needs a specific set of skills that your home country Businesses often ask about outsourcing IT pros and cons in this case.
There is no drawback even if your business needs specific skills that are not available in your country. With outsourcing, it is possible to gain access to a pool of global talent, and this is useful when you conduct operations within a certain budget. During COVID-19, companies are offering the services of resourceful experts who can accept new opportunities at reasonable prices. Your business can hire them for your projects at the best rates, and it is a win-win for both sides.

Conclusion

COVID-19 has seen a significant impact on healthcare IT outsourcing and other forms of arrangements in the short run. Even then, we can expect an increasing and sustained demand for these services in the long run as part of digital transformation initiatives. Take steps to ensure that your CIO works with your outsourcing partner to continuously improve IT services delivery and power your business forward

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