Understanding AI Basics for Business Growth



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Pharm. Sesan Kareem


“The playing field is poised to become a lot more competitive, and businesses that don’t deploy AI and data to help them innovate in everything they do will be at a disadvantage.”

– Paul Daugherty, chief technology and innovation officer, Accenture


Welcome to the world of artificial intelligence (AI), where the possibilities for small businesses are endless. In this article, we will explore how AI can revolutionise your small business, drive growth, enhance efficiency, and spur innovation. With Artificial Intelligence, you have the potential to take your business to new heights, outperform competitors, and meet the ever-evolving demands of your customers.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that aims to develop machines that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. These tasks include speech recognition, problem-solving, decision-making, learning, and language translation. AI has the potential to revolutionise various industries, including small businesses, by automating processes, enabling advanced data analysis, and enhancing customer experiences.

In the context of small and large businesses, AI can be applied in numerous ways. It can optimise operations, by automating repetitive tasks; streamline customer interactions through chatbots or virtual assistants, improve decision-making, through data analysis and predictive modelling; personalise marketing campaigns, and enhance product recommendations. The applications of AI are limited only by imagination and the specific needs of each business.

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Types of AI technologies relevant to small businesses

Machine learning (ML): Machine learning is a subset of AI that focuses on training machines to learn from data and make predictions or decisions, without being explicitly programmed. Small businesses can utilize ML algorithms to analyse large datasets, detect patterns, and make accurate predictions. Examples include fraud detection, customer segmentation, and demand forecasting.

Natural language processing (NLP): NLP enables machines to understand and interpret human language. Small businesses can leverage NLP to automate customer support through chatbots, extract insights from customer feedback, or analyse sentiment in social media data. NLP can also power voice assistants and facilitate voice-based interactions with customers.

Computer vision: Computer vision enables machines to understand and interpret visual information from images or videos. Small businesses can utilise computer vision to automate quality control processes, analyse images for object recognition or classification, or develop augmented reality applications. For example, a small business in the fashion industry can use computer vision to recommend outfits based on customer preferences.

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Robotic process automation (RPA): RPA involves automating repetitive and rule-based tasks typically performed by humans. Small businesses can use RPA to automate data entry, invoice processing, or inventory management. By implementing RPA, small businesses can improve accuracy, speed, and efficiency in their operations.

Expert systems: Expert systems are AI systems that mimic human expertise in specific domains. Small businesses can leverage expert systems to provide personalised recommendations, automate decision-making processes, or offer expert-level advice to customers. For example, a small business in the financial sector can use an expert system to provide personalised investment recommendations to clients.

Predictive analytics: Predictive analytics involves using historical data and statistical algorithms to make predictions about future events or behaviours. Small businesses can apply predictive analytics to forecast demand, identify customer churn risk, optimise pricing strategies, or anticipate maintenance needs. By leveraging predictive analytics, small businesses can make data-driven decisions and gain a competitive advantage.

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These are just few examples of AI technologies that small businesses can explore and leverage. The choice of AI technology depends on the specific needs and objectives of each small business. It is important to carefully evaluate the potential benefits, costs, and implementation requirements before adopting any AI technology.

By understanding the basics of AI and the various AI technologies available, small business-owners can make informed decisions about leveraging AI to drive growth, efficiency, and innovation.


(Culled from the book, Unlock the Power of AI, by Sesan Kareem)


ACTION PLAN: Learn more about how to leverage AI for business growth, innovation and profitability. Invest in AI solutions to increase your company’s performance and productivity.

AFFIRMATION: Every day in every way I am getting better and better. I am blessed and highly favoured.


Sesan Kareem is the founder of HubPharm Africa, a digital pharmacy that provides medicine delivery and extraordinary care, www.hubpharmafrica.com, and the principal consultant of SK Institute, www.sesankareem.com.ng.


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