AI is Everywhere – Now’s the Time for Small Business to Get in on It

If you’ve been anywhere online this year, it’s impossible to overlook the articles and posts talking about AI. The generative language model that powers ChatGPT has changed the way we think about what AI is and all it can do.

But take a closer look. AI is already all around your personal and professional life – and that holds true for small businesses, too.

Where in the Wild is AI?

Modern AI is not the stuff of science fiction books; rather, it’s often used to make our lives easier. You’re more likely to notice it when it’s not doing its job than when it is. However, in many cases, what we’re witnessing is a combination of AI and machine learning.

What’s the difference between the two? Machine learning is, at its core, a set of rules or an algorithm designed to learn based on experience. In contrast, true AI is learning on the fly, problem-solving, and using logic, similar to how you or I would.

Can (A)I Make a Suggestion?

Picture this: You’re sitting on your couch, scrolling Netflix, unsure of what to watch. As you scroll past an unknown comedy, the trailer starts playing and makes you LOL (literally), and you hit “watch now.”

AI just impacted your decision. Here’s how: Netflix is using an AI-powered trailer creation tool to pick and choose parts of shows or movies to create personalized trailers for each user. Basically, it knows what scenes are most likely to get you to stop scrolling and start watching.

In addition to custom trailers, streaming platforms use machine learning to pick the shows that are popping up within your recommended feed. In truth, AI could tell you what shows you should watch across any platform, but streaming services aren’t looking to send you to their competitors.

Content Creation with ChatGPT

With more than 100 million monthly users, you’ve likely seen copy written by ChatGPT out in the wild, allowing almost anyone to sound as eloquent as Steven King. This could be anything from corporate website content to a casual acquaintance’s social media captions. 

Plus, in addition to the base tools like ChatGPT or Bard, tech providers are developing tools with this AI power baked in.

For instance, LinkedIn’s recent beta feature can help you get your idea across even if you don’t know exactly what to say. Based on your prompt, LinkedIn will generate a post that may be even more effective than what you could have composed yourself.

“You know what you want to say, but with AI, you no longer have to know how to say it.”

Here is where the benefits of AI for small businesses come into play. Producing high-quality content at a rapid pace is a huge plus. Unlike larger competitors, hiring writers may be out of your budget. But with AI, smaller companies can easily generate content like product descriptions, blogs, or social posts without the additional headcount. 

AI-Powered Marketing Insights

Ever freak out when a Facebook ad pops up that feels a little too specific to that new grill you were just researching or that conversation you were having? That’s when AI-powered marketing insights are at play. It analyzes past data from your online purchases, search queries, current location, and social media feeds to determine which ads are most likely to strike your fancy.

This is another way AI can super-charge your small business, saving you both time and money.

Given the ever-evolving landscape of marketing tactics and channels, the challenge lies in ensuring your advertisements reach the appropriate audience for your business. The last thing you want is to invest in ads that get served to an irrelevant audience.

What’s particularly useful about AI is its capacity for continuous learning through each campaign you run. With every successive ad, the effectiveness of your ad placements grows, ultimately providing better results over time.

Everyone is Contributing to AI – Even You

What makes today’s AI really cool is its ability to learn and adapt continually. As you can see from the examples above, AI is learning to provide the best quality content and experiences. And the most fascinating part is that we are all collectively responsible for its improvement.

Whether we realize it or not, we all contribute to the development of AI through our interactions with technology. Every online search, every app you use, and even every review you leave feeds into helping it learn.

Meaning: You’re not just using the technology; you’re also contributing to its evolution.

AI for Small Business – Is it Worth the Hype?

Ready for the best news? As AI evolves and more tools using this technology become available, the manpower required to do certain tasks will reduce.

“Meaning: You are no longer an army of one – saving your business time and money.”

Bottom line: Now is the time to get started with AI. Engineers are developing and launching free AI tools and programs every day. It’s a brave new world out there, and AI is handing you the keys.

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