Lately, Big Tech has faced major challenges. Last year, tech stocks fell more than 30%—more than the overall stock market drop of 20%. Unfortunately, the impacts of this decline are being felt nationwide.
As more and more businesses are being hit with data privacy concerns, antitrust regulations, and other regulatory scrutiny, companies (especially startups) must take proactive steps to remain on top and get ahead. One of the most beneficial moves companies can take is implementing artificial intelligence.
The benefits of leveraging AI technology to fuel startup growth
Damian Mingle, president and CEO of LogicPlum—a machine learning platform that builds and co-manages aligned AI applications that fit businesses’ needs, budgets, and timelines—says there are several ways to use AI when it comes to increasing business success. “An easy way to leverage AI in your startup is to think about the first eight roles you are going to hire for,” he asserts. “These are chief executive officer, product manager, chief technology officer, chief marketing officer, sales manager, chief financial officer, business development manager, and customer service representative.”
Mingle recommends thinking of ways these roles can benefit from AI technology. “My general philosophy is to go as far as possible in business with technology, then layer people where needed,” he explains.
A CEO, for example, could benefit from an AI model that helps them identify trends and patterns in the organization, make predictions about what might happen in the future, and locate areas that need more focus in order to maximize performance, according to Mingle. “Startup CEOs should love the idea of making informed decisions about the company’s direction and how to manage resources best,” he says.
As another example, Mingle explains that an AI model that could help product managers is one that can analyze customer behavior and assist in making decisions about product features, pricing, and marketing campaigns.
Of course, there are several large tech companies that have already turned to AI technology and machine learning to help automate their processes and cut back on losses. They also utilize this technology to free up resources and become more efficient.
Mingle believes that one of the most notable companies using AI technology is Dropbox. “The company used AI and ML to develop a feature that automatically detects duplicate and low-resolution images, helping to save storage space,” he explains. “This allowed Dropbox to streamline its storage and increase efficiency for users.”
Common challenges startups face when implementing AI
Though AI has a plethora of benefits and use cases, it also comes with challenges.
One of the biggest problems Mingle sees among startups is a lack of data available to train their AI models effectively. “To combat this, they can employ data augmentation techniques, access open-source datasets, or collaborate with AI companies to generate synthetic data.”
The cost of implementing AI technology is another challenge. Mingle recommends opting for cost-effective cloud-based AI solutions (no hardware costs!) and seeking AI experts who prioritize business-first implementation, putting the focus on results rather than building AI for AI’s sake.
An additional problem can arise with compliance and trust. Mingle says that startups can ensure their AI solutions comply with relevant laws and regulations by partnering with legal experts and AI experts with a reputation for supporting compliance and eliminating the bias that is inherent in most data. “Startups should prioritize transparency, explainability, and fairness when building their AI systems,” he explains. “Doing so will establish a new level of trust within your startup with AI.”
How to identify the right AI technologies for your company
After reviewing the benefits and challenges of AI, there are still some factors to consider before implementing AI into your startup. Mingle’s business’s framework can help determine what type of AI technology will best suit your business:
· Beliefs: Determine what problems the AI can help you solve and what goals it can help you reach. What is your desired outcome?
· Investigation: Do your research on the types of AI technology out there—Mingle recommends focusing on the proven use cases—and determine which one is more likely to help you reach your goals.
· Zone: Focus on the required resources for implementing the technology. Is the AI cost-effective?
· Breakthrough: Consider the AI’s return on investment. Mingle says it’s important to weigh the time and effort needed to learn and implement the technology, as well as the costs to maintain it.
· Ramp: Look at the AI’s scalability to ensure it will grow as your company grows.
· Armor: Don’t forget security; the technology should have protocols to keep your data safe.
· Inventory: Consider the available training, support, and resources to help use the AI effectively.
· Navigate: Determine the impact that the technology will have on your team’s workload. Will it create extra work?
With Mingle’s framework in place, you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice of AI and reap the many benefits—from increasing automation of mundane tasks, enhancing data analysis, and improving customer service to reducing costs and providing increased access to personalized learning opportunities.
By intelligently leveraging both the positive and negative future consequences of AI’s impact on the startup ecosystem, Mingle asserts that entrepreneurs have great opportunities to profit from it.
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