More Businesses Could Use Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are among the most significant technological developments in recent history. 
Few fields promise to “disrupt” life as we know it quite like machine learning, but many of the applications of machine learning technology go unseen. Machine learning is not a magic bullet, but it does have the potential to serve as a powerful extender of human cognition. 
In B2B and B2C businesses, this capability is proving to be particularly useful in identifying patterns across large swaths of customer and user data and helping drive better company outcomes: more influential content creation, a larger number of paid converters, saved marketing costs, and the list goes on.
A recent survey by MIT Sloan has shown that less than a third (23 per cent) of businesses have adopted any level of machine learning automation, and of those who have, only five percent are using it extensively. It’s a similar situation with its subset, deep learning; an advanced form of machine intelligence technology that is expected to take time to gain wider understanding and acceptance.“Machine learning is still something people are talking about, rather than using in any great numbers,” highlights Dorian Selz, Squirro CEO. “A lot of hype surrounds machine learning and AI but it’s still very early days so it’s mostly been embraced by early adopters and innovators. “But the potential is astonishing and as soon as organisations see the sizeable and tangible benefits it can bring, it will be deployed, in far greater numbers.”
However, things already look to be changing, with sectors such as cybersecurity, healthcare, retail and oil and gas pushing ahead with implementations. 
Analyst firm Forrester has also noted that the percentage of organisations using machine and deep learning had a steep increase from 2016 to 2017. “In 2017, 51 per cent of organisations surveyed implement, implemented or were expanding their use of AI over 40 per cent in 2016. Decision management (26 per cent), machine learning platforms (26 per cent) and deep learning (25 per cent) are the top AI building blocks in use,” says Diego Lo Giudice, VP and principal analyst at Forrester.
Machine Learning for Your Small Business
Software and tools with machine learning can look at a lot of facts (customer demographics, product reviews, sales figures), summarise those facts into concepts and insights, and communicate those insights to you, so you can do business, better.
Machine learning is already in use in some high-profile projects. Here are a few examples you’ll probably recognise:
• Autonomous vehicles (probably the most commonly cited example of ML)
• The “did you mean” function when you misspell something in Google
• The ranking of “top things to do” in a Google search for a given topic
• Speech recognition capabilities (such as Siri)
IDGConnect:        Wordstream:        Captera:       HuffPo
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