Although artificial intelligence (AI) has been utilized for quite some time, its revolutionary impact is becoming increasingly pronounced. Thanks to mesmerizing technological advances such as data analytics and cloud computing, the opportunities for growth and influence are incalculable. Giants like Facebook, Microsoft and Google are investing zealously in AI. Gartner estimates that artificial intelligence-related spending will leap at an average compound rate of 18% annually to reach almost $384 billion by 2020.

What is the best way for entrepreneurs to tap into this powerhouse? It is difficult to recommend absolute best practices or methods. Rather, it is crucial to be flexible, giving plenty of space for inevitable hits and misses. Understanding what AI entails is an ideal place to start. Andreas Roell of Analytics Ventures defines artificial intelligence as bringing smart thinking to computing by giving computers algorithms instead of specific formulas to process data.

It is imperative to note that AI differs from machine learnings (ML), although it is still considered to be an element of the technology. Artificial intelligence utilizes computers to enhance the performance of the output, often including cumbersome processes such as language translation and image recognition.

Proper interpretation of data is ideal for computing in this information-saturated society. Therefore, artificial intelligence can help a business gain a stronger competitive edge with precise recommendations, visualizations, predictions, and risk detection. In some respects, AI is a progression beyond the Internet. AI will enable users to gain increasingly clearer insights from information collected.

How, then, can impresarios leverage AI? Bear in mind that there are no “genie-in-a-bottle” solutions that will transfigure your business. Artificial intelligence is a perpetual work under construction. The technology’s ultimate success relies on continual inputting and assessment of accurate and usable data. Its effectiveness for any industry requires a targeted analysis of distinctive characteristics of that sector.

Artificial intelligence solutions also call for transparency regarding the algorithms. How is the decision-making process actually happening? Is it logical? What drives the reasoning behind the outcomes? Beware of any software provider that does not provide clear answers to this questions.

Lastly, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) need to be established to measure growth and the need for various improvements. By definition, KPIs are standards — such as recall and precision — by which to examine the performance of AI systems. Business owners generally will not need to entangle themselves in these intricacies. It is critical, however, to comprehend AI’s potential, ask hard questions, and zero in on real results.