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4 Ways Businesses Are Using AI To Empower Innovation and Enhance Productivity

4 Ways Businesses Are Using AI To Empower Innovation and Enhance Productivity

If we can get more Canadians on board with AI, we can get more businesses on board too, and that’s good news for our economy.

Canadians interact with artificial intelligence (AI) every day — often without realizing. AI refers to technology that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, language translation, etc. From showing us more of the content we like on social media to popping up as a chat bot that helps us find the answer to our question faster, AI is now part of our everyday lives. 

Not only does it make the daily activities of Canadians easier and possible, but it also makes businesses better at doing business by empowering innovation and enhancing productivity. 

But compared to other countries, Canada is slower to adopt AI and Canadians are less knowledgeable and more nervous about it. Public interest and attitudes toward AI are likely positively correlated with a country’s business adoption rates. So, if we can get more Canadians on board with AI, we can get more businesses on board too, and that’s good news for our economy.

AI, Business and You

First, let’s dispel the myth that businesses want to use AI to replace workers. In fact, only 13% of businesses are interested in this outcome, with most businesses using AI to simplify and streamline operations and create better outcomes for customers. 

Here are some the most common reasons that businesses are using AI and why it’s a good thing for Canadians:

1. To accelerate the development of content

By far the most popular business use for AI is creating content. Social media is an excellent and popular connection point between business and customer, as well as an important source of information on promotions, events, special offers, hours, etc. But it’s also a huge time commitment and can often be neglected due to other pressing priorities. By using AI to create content faster, businesses can produce more of what their customers want. 

2. To increase automation in tasks

Workers often have to manage daily tasks that, while urgent or necessary, are of lower value to the overall business goals, such as tracking sales metrics or monitoring suppliers. Being able to hand these sorts of tasks off to AI frees workers up for more strategic and profitable work — like improving products for consumers.

3. To improve customer experience

AI-powered chat bots are an example of how businesses are improving customer experience. By using a chat bot to answer common queries, businesses can cut down on wait times for customers, leading to greater customer satisfaction instead of frustration. 

4. To make data-driven decisions

Data allows businesses to make informed decisions but sifting through the data for insights — especially for micro firms with four employees or less — isn’t always possible. Using AI to assist with finding and delivering insights is a win-win for businesses and their customers. Better decisions make for better products, service and delivery.

Empowering Innovation, Enhancing Productivity

Labour productivity is the amount of gross domestic product (GDP) created per hour worked. Productivity is closely related to a country’s prosperity and long-term standard of living. Rising productivity improves wages, lowers prices, and increases the tax revenue that supports the public services that Canadians rely on. But Canada is in the middle of a productivity emergency. We haven’t experienced productivity growth in the past six years. 

More businesses adopting AI will empower innovation and enhance productivity across our economy. Our Business Data Lab’s recent report on generative AI adoption by Canadian businesses found that, depending on how fast businesses adopt AI, we could improve our productivity levels by up to 6% over the next 10 years!

While 14% of businesses are early adopters of AI, almost three-quarters of businesses are hesitant. To see the economic benefits, more businesses need to start implementing AI, and fast.

What can businesses do to get started?

  1. Try out AI with small pilot projects first and measure the before and after performance for accurate comparisons. 
  2. Align adoption with overall business goals. Identify where AI can enhance existing processes, improve customer experience and drive innovation. 
  3. Leverage public resources like the federal government’s guide on the use of generative AI or tap available funding

But most importantly, businesses should experiment! 

The Canadian Chamber’s Work

The Canadian Chamber’s Future of Artificial Intelligence Council plays a leading role in advocating for policies that will establish AI as a positive economic force through the responsible development, deployment and use of AI in business.

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