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The thing about data: this will be the year that AI transforms business

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been the subject of regular conversations in recent years, but never to the extent that it is now. There is little doubt that AI will significantly alter the business landscape. Which business wouldn’t want to adopt a solution that generates revenue, makes it possible to solve problems and produces data-driven insights?

In this article, we ask executives from several industries how AI is affecting their fields.

AI capability for competitive advantage

A report by Mckinsey and Company states that revenues from fintech solutions will grow by eight times, reaching $30 billion by 2025. According to the same report, fintech solutions are 80% cheaper and have savings returns of three times higher. The findings make it clear that the growth of the industry will not slow down for anyone. This is also indicative of how innovative technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning will continue into every part of business processes. AI will continue to play a growing role in the payments sector, especially when it comes to its increasing consumerisation. 

‘Financial institutions already employ AI-driven technology for fraud protection, credit decisioning and loan default prediction purposes. Soon, we predict that most apps in a consumer’s mobile app will be powered by AI and the use cases of AI-powered products will be extended into every aspect of a consumer’s life,’ says Olaseni Alabede, Chief Technology Officer at MFS Africa’s Global Technology Partners

Ultimately, all product solutions in fintech will have AI capability embedded in them for them to remain competitive.

AI to improve the customer experience

AI is set to transform the investment industry and directly impact the customer experience. By utilising complex algorithms, AI can analyse large amounts of data to make investment decisions and provide personalised recommendations, resulting in improved returns and increased transparency. 

‘This is particularly true of ChatGPT. It’s a tool that will allow retail investors to analyse financial data in ways that have not been possible before. It can delve into huge volumes of data, which provides us with far more information about companies and shares, moves in the markets and so on. All in all, it means that an investor will have greater access to information and access to insights that are more credible,’ says Heloise Greeff, Director of Greeff Invest. 

AI-powered virtual financial advisors and chatbots can offer 24/7 access to investment advice and support, improving speed and efficiency.

‘Additionally, AI can help investment companies gain insights into market trends and customer preferences, allowing them to make data-driven decisions that improve the overall customer experience. By addressing individual needs and preferences, providing greater visibility into investments, and improving the speed and efficiency of the investment process, AI has the potential to significantly enhance the customer experience in the investment industry,’ says Greeff. 

AI to transform the way we live and work

‘Generative AI has the power to transform the way we live and work, but we must explore these technologies inclusively and responsibly. Like all AI innovations, we’re building trusted AI capabilities with embedded guardrails and guidance to help catch potential problems before they happen,’ says Zuko Mdwaba, Country Leader and Area Vice President at Salesforce South Africa.

The generative AI era is only at its inception and it is important that these technologies align with specific business needs and specific business applications.

If we can approach generative AI responsibly, there’s no doubt that these news technologies have the potential to change the world. ‘At Salesforce, for example, we reach billions of people through sales, service, marketing, commerce and IT technology, and serve industries that touch every facet of society.  Everything that is deployed, no matter how revolutionary, has to also offer mission critical reliability. So, while the capabilities of generative AI belong at the top of our minds, so do their limitations,’ he explains. 

‘Generative AI introduces new and big ideas, and the complexity lurking beneath the surface will likely challenge the most innovative companies for years to come. But there’s a simple idea connecting them all, and it’s a core Salesforce value: trust. The world must be given good reasons to trust these models at every level: trusting the content they create, trusting the things they say and trusting the platforms on which they run,’ concludes Mdwaba.

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