AI is hyped, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t reality. If your business collects data, there’s probably an application for AI. And it can speed up the process and reduce errors.

So here are five things you should know about AI.

  1. Humans are key. You need proper recruiting to do AI right. Not everybody who says they are good at it really is. Finding experienced developers and data scientists in AI may be your biggest challenge.
  2. The tech itself is not that expensive. There are several open source AI developer tools like CAFFE, TensorFlow, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, NLTK… the list goes on.
  3. AI is an application not an end in itself. It’s the addition of greater computer power to all your data that makes it useful.
  4. AI is not as smart as you might fear. It is only as good as the data you put into it. You should collect and structure your data with an eye toward AI applications. AI will be more useful if you have the proper data to train it.
  5. AI isn’t for every problem. Decide what your need is and then discuss with someone you trust to decide if it really applies. Don’t just fall for the buzzword.

So, yeah, AI needs data. But remember AI uses lots of data that isn’t personal. Think sensors in industrial settings, weather data, shipping numbers, etc.

Hopefully these tips help you wrap your human head around machine intelligence.