THREE WAYS AI AND MACHINE LEARNING CAN IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE: Why artificial intelligence is a friend to franchising.

Author:Guimaraes, Gustavo

Emerging technologies around artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cognitive computing have the capacity to help your business tremendously, not harm it. There are so many stories about how AI could one day bring chaos upon humanity after an "awakening." While that has spawned some great movies, the fear of self-aware robots taking over the planet is--at best--science fiction. A much more accurate view of artificial intelligence and machine learning can be found in the docile and helpful products that we already use today. Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and other personal assistants are shaping the perception that AI is a tool for positive change, and not a threat to society.

Even if you aren't fully aware of it, AI is already a big part of your daily life. In addition to the more well-known uses of AI in smartphones and chatbots offering product recommendations from the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Pinterest, machine learning is expanding into areas such as mobile banking, fraud prevention, navigation, self-driving cars, video games and smart home devices.

AI is leading to advancements across several fields, including digital marketing, data science, research, government and the legal and teaching professions. It is also impacting call centers, logistics and information hubs.

AI has the power to create better, higher-paying jobs. Viewing automation as a negative to employment growth overlooks its potential to create innovation that spurs new job growth. The situation is similar to the Internet, which at first was viewed as a threat to workers. Instead, the Internet has spawned millions of new jobs and reinvigorated the technology industry. This phenomenon also occurred with the early release of smartphones--why would anyone want to carry around a device that tracks your data for big brother? Fast forward to now, and the smartphone has become an indispensable tool for both business and personal health. AI has the similar capacity to transform the landscape of job creation.

If you haven't already, why should you take advantage of AI for your franchise business? First, remember that AI won't hurt you or work against you. It is a business tool that can transform seemingly unrelated data points into meaningful insights that improve operations, drive profitability and steer growth. The only thing you should be afraid of regarding AI is what your competitors are doing with it. How can it help your franchise? With...

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