In today’s world, businesses need to think broader than they ever have. With the internet, everything is moving faster and competition is fiercer than it’s ever been. It’s no wonder then that many businesses are considering advances in machine learning. It is important then to consider what machine learning is and how companies can use machine learning applications to aid production and customer relations.

What is machine learning?

Machine learning often crops up in discussions about artificial intelligence. However, it’s important to differentiate between the two. Broadly speaking, AI refers to that area of computer science about creating intelligent programs. You will often find it in discussions about handling large amounts of data, in ways that seem to emulate human intelligence. Digital assistants like Google Now, Siri, and Cortana are examples of AI people use every day. These programs wade through large amounts of data to deliver on a required task (such as answering how to get to an address).

Machine learning is related to AI but is not equated with it. Forbes provides a helpful definition: “Machine learning is a current application of AI based around the idea that we should really just be able to give machines access to data and let them learn for themselves.”

What then is the application for business?

Machine learning in business

Businesses benefit from any application that can help organize, interpret and use large amounts of data. As the Harvard Business Review notes:

“Building upon the business intelligence revolution of the past years, machine learning will turbocharge finding patterns and automate value extraction in many areas. Data will increasingly drive a real-time economy, where resources are marshaled more efficiently, and the production of goods and services becomes on-demand, with lower failure rates and much better predictability.”

As indicated, the widespread adoption of the internet has meant consumers expect fast, sometimes immediate responses to their needs. The modern business landscape is one where people summon taxis with the touch of a button and can shop from their couches. The amount of data is enormous, so machines which have greater capacity will obviously do better than any human analyst. You can already see this demonstrated today.

Pinterest, for example, uses machine learning to show you more interesting content. Disqus is using machine learning to weed out comments considered to be spam. Yelp uses machine learning to sort through photos uploaded by users while NextDoor uses it to sort through user-generated content on their message boards.

Computers can obviously be programmed to be smarter and more efficient than people when it comes to analyzing data. Furthermore, businesses don’t have to worry about these programs working overtime, nor needing salaries or other human benefits.

We’ve highlighted before how businesses can benefit from artificial intelligence. Businesses that don’t act now to prepare for AI and machine learning will most certainly be left behind, while the world marches on. If you're ready to start putting artificial intelligence and machine learning to work for your business, read more about Clickatell Touch or watch this video to see it in action. Touch combines machine learning, workflow automation, chatbot technology, and human-in-the-loop to deliver on-demand customer service. Activities like making appointments, receiving invoices or tracking deliveries, for example, can all be streamlined using Clickatell Touch.

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