We are halfway through 2019, and so it’s a little hard for us to believe that there’s still a level of resistance from some businesses about undergoing a digital transformation or going digital. Many small business owners are relying on traditional marketing, social media, word of mouth, and their same old processes and interfaces because they have a loyal customer base. What many executives, managers and owners alike fail to realize, is that every day that they don’t take a step towards digital transformation, they are letting someone else get ahead of the curve and take more market share space away from them. We’ve been warning readers and customers alike for a while that those who don’t innovate will inevitably disappear, but many people still think that Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics Process Automation (RPA) or the umbrella that they all fall under – IPA – are all buzzwords and they will continue doing business as usual. This led us to gather some information on businesses or industries that you may not realize are using these technologies. Take a look at what may be some unexpected uses of technologies from businesses you might not have seen coming:
1. Barbershops that use AI and Machine Learning: have you ever heard of the Try Guys? They’re a group of men that used to work at the popular publication BuzzFeed, and ventured out to constantly try things together or on their own and show the world the results of these adventures. In one of their most recent episodes, Try Guy Zach revealed how he’s self-conscious about his balding, and through a renowned stylist friend he found the Barber Surgeons Guild – “an innovative new company that incorporates the best of style and grooming with advanced medical therapies.” In the video, the medical team and Zach reviewed the process of how through a robotic device that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, they could re-cultivate Zach’s hair to achieve natural-looking results and hair re-growth in less than a year. At minute 11:00 of the video you can see how the robot works and the doctor explains how the machine is able to make decisions in real-time depending on hair growth patterns and how the surgeons set their parameters.
Photo courtesy of The Try Guys on YouTube
2. Food and Beverage: there are many ways in which restaurants and retailers globally are using artificial intelligence and other kinds of technology that you probably expected, but this one might come as a surprise: for the past to years, food review site Yelp has been using machine learning to develop a photo understanding system which allows them to “create semantic data about individual photographs.” The data generated by the system has also powered their launch of tabbed photo browsing, as well as their first attempts at content-based photo diversification. As with every other technology, Yelp is very clear at the end of their statement in saying that no machine learning system is perfect, and they still appreciate human input if any mistakes are found.
Photo courtesy of Yelp
3. Customer Service: even though customer service is not an industry, we found it fitting to include it in this piece because it’s something that is necessary to implement across the board for all businesses, no matter what sector you’re in. According to this piece, while people still value human contact, they also hate long wait times and will do just about anything to get their time back. This is why companies are investing in virtual assistants and chatbots like never before, because if customers feel like they’re not getting fast, effective care and solutions when problems arise, then there’s no doubt you will lose them in the process.
With all of these businesses (or lines of business) taking leaps and bounds to disrupt their industries and get ahead of the curve, are you still doubting that technology, digital transformation, automation, etc. are here to stay? Don’t lose your customers because of fear of innovation. When you’re ready to disrupt with your business whether at a local or global level, give us a call.