The advent of AI and cognitive intelligence is one of those self-fulfilling prophesies that we’ve simultaneously worked for and dreaded. It is at once too fantastical and too scary, an idea that could snowball into something amazing.

But now that we may finally have an inkling of its abilities, how do we take it further? How can AI change the way we do business? Or is it already changing it?

When it comes to AI software development in India, the perception can vary quite wildly. Some see it as the super solution, capable of answering all our problems, while some see it as a dud idea, a flash in the pan destined to fizzle out. They see it as an over reach, too fantastic to ever be truly useful. The truth, though, lies somewhere in between.

Not quite there, the truth in AI technology still lies somewhere between the imaginative and the pessimist. To say that AI does not exist is foolish. Cloud computing and cognitive intelligence solutions are a reality. But to claim that we’ll soon be taken over by super-machines and computers is just plain fanciful. The truth is that we are reaching the level of a super-machine, but one that is just starting out.

Yes, autonomous machines like self-driving cars have made significant improvements, but they are far away from displacing actual drivers. So, do we junk the idea or wait for the real deal? Or do we learn from what we have and apply it where we can? In business, automation itself can be a success, But only if it is applied at the right place. For instance, we may not get a self-driving truck to the go down, but we can use automated delivery pods within a controlled environment.

In short, there is a definite merit in AI systems. But it is still very far away from a fix-it to all our problems. Right now it is more useful as augmenting our business intelligence, a useful assistant in some cases, but still far from an enterprise-wide program. So, for a business that wants to utilize AI, it is important to understand its limitations and benefits before implementing it.

Do we need it?

The first and foremost question is, of course, whether you actually need it. If the good old methods and tools are giving us the answers we seek, do we really need to invest millions on an AI breakthrough which will give us the same results?

Cognitive intelligence is today working with a mass of data and information to find solutions that are hidden within. But if regular analytics can achieve the results, AI is probably just an overkill. Sure, we can learn something important from it, but not every business process is on a learning curve!

It is also important to keep in mind that business AI makes considerable demands on organizational resources. It will have an impact on almost all processes — from manufacturing to HR. This technology also needs a significant outlay of finance. First, there is the implementation of often expensive technology tools. Then comes the people requirement. This is a highly skilled field and even a small team can be expensive for a medium-sized business.

What to expect?

 So, obviously, there is still a lot to be gained by investing in AI software development in India. More importantly, it may soon become a necessity. For the SME sector, the trick may lie in a phased implementation, going for specific function-oriented AI and cognitive computing technology. For instance, the role of AI in Big Data analytics is irrefutable.

We can use AI solutions to cull data, understand patterns, create reasonable predictions while mitigating the risks involved. A lot of these functions can be achieved through traditional tools. But AI solutions are faster and less prone to errors.

In marketing, we can pinpoint repetitive tasks, automate them, predict more accurate sales, and even predict the effect of promotional videos on people. In customer services, it is already helping us to reach out through multiple channels to multiple markets at the same time. In communications, we have developed a faster, multichannel approach and in healthcare, we are closer to personalized care than ever before.

In short, AI software development in India is no longer a far-fetched fantasy. With IoT and cognitive intelligence, we are already in the AI era. It may not be a fix-all, but it is an efficient assistant that has already changed the way we are doing business.