5 Ways Startups Can Get Started with AI

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AI (artificial intelligence) has fast become one of the best tools for growing a business — and in some cases, has even been the launchpad for new businesses in and of itself. As companies look for new, innovative ways to leverage the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, they can solve new problems and create new market opportunities.

These applications of AI help prove that it is more than a buzzword. It is a legitimate basis for building a successful business that can have a significant impact on the market.

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  1. Conversational AI

Conversational AI is designed to help machines simulate real, human conversations. Most people have already encountered this in some form through chatbots or voice assistants like Alexa.

However, many startups are working to take conversational AI well beyond these basic functions. By incorporating natural language understanding and probabilistic machine learning, conversational AI applications can be tailored to more specific use cases.

For example, Moveworks uses conversational AI and machine learning to provide multilingual support and create a single conversational interface where employees can easily access their employer’s tech stack solutions.

Another application of conversational AI in action comes from Observe, which uses AI to evaluate call center conversations and then provide personalized coaching to improve customer service.

  1. Lidar

More than 80 companies are testing self-driving cars, from major tech corporations to small startups. It should be no surprise that a wide variety of AI tools are being used to develop autonomous vehicles that can safely and efficiently transport their passengers.

One key tool being used for this application is lidar (light detection and ranging). Lidar equipment uses lasers, scanners and GPS receivers to generate 3D information about a vehicle’s surroundings. This information is then processed by AI to make driving decisions.

With autonomous vehicles, the ability to achieve high-resolution imagery, detect low-reflectivity objects and increase the range of the sensors is key to ensuring the vehicles have the information needed to make safe driving decisions. While it will likely still be some time before autonomous vehicles dominate the roadways, the billions being invested in this area show its potential.

  1. Computer vision

Computer vision is an AI field in which computers can learn to identify and process objects based on images and other visual inputs. The use of cameras and algorithms enables AI to process and understand this data quickly so that it can apply data or actions to the objects that it “sees.”

One key use of this comes from Shopic, a clip-on device that attaches to standard grocery carts. As items are added to the cart, the device uses computer vision to scan each item and generate a running tally of the customer’s cart total. Customers can then use the Shopic device to check out when they are finished shopping.

In a case study, Israeli grocery chain Shufersal was able to increase grocery store customers’ average shopping basket value by 78 percent in comparison to shoppers who did not use the device. Shoppers also reported 89 percent satisfaction, which in turn helped enhance customer loyalty. In this case, AI helped streamline the shopping experience, ultimately encouraging customers to spend more while making the store a preferred shopping location.

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  1. Predictive intelligence

Cybersecurity is a growing concern for businesses of all sizes. One analysis estimated that in June 2022 alone, nearly 35 million records were compromised in data breaches. Fortunately, AI is well-equipped to mitigate these threats thanks to the use of predictive intelligence.

As Gaurav Belani writes for the IEEE Computer Society, “By using sophisticated algorithms, AI systems are being trained to detect malware, run pattern recognition, and detect even the minutest behaviors of malware or ransomware attacks before it enters the system. AI allows for superior predictive intelligence with natural language processing which curates data on its own by scraping through articles, news, and studies on cyber threats. This can give intelligence of new anomalies, cyberattacks and prevention strategies.”

Predictive intelligence offered by AI cybersecurity startups ensures that these systems won’t just help fight known threats — they will also be better equipped to protect against new and emerging threats that standard software wouldn’t be aware of.

  1. Sentiment analysis

Businesses rely on data to understand their customers — and AI tools go a long way in helping brands achieve deeper and more reliable insights. AI and machine learning can monitor emotions and opinions as expressed in comments, customer reviews, social media posts and more.

Sentiment analysis makes it easier for companies to collect this information and track how customers perceive their brand. When collected and analyzed at scale, this can provide valuable insights — even turning qualitative statements into quantitate data points that can be used to improve service quality or address a recurring issue.

Startups like Frame build their B2B offering on this premise, using AI sentiment analysis to score customer sentiments across multiple channels to provide data-driven insights to help brands improve the customer experience.

How will you use AI?

As these examples reveal, AI’s potential applications are seemingly limitless.

Whether AI becomes the basis for what your company offers its customers or simply a way to streamline your operations, it is clear that this technology is poised to play an ever-increasing role in the future of business. By becoming an early adopter, you can give your business a key advantage and stand out from the competition.

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