By Carie Ferg, Manta Contributor
January 21, 2019

Artificial Intelligence is one aspect of quickly changing and growing tech small business owners will want to pay attention to this year and beyond.

The business landscape is ever-changing, and trends pop up that might help you build your small business. It’s no surprise that technology tends to drive these trends. Artificial intelligence is one aspect of quickly changing and growing tech small business owners will want to pay attention to this year and beyond.

AI and Small Business

Like is common with most technology, artificial intelligence has evolved and become increasingly accessible and cost-effective for small business owners, according to Joey Penick, vice president of marketing for CenturyLink’s government, education, medium and small business unit. Penick believes artificial intelligence is at the point where it’s delivering real value. “It can be used to expand how businesses find new customers, as well as interacting with current customers,” he said.

Chatbots

One example of artificial intelligence that might boost your small business is artificial intelligence-powered chatbots. Chatbots can be used for customer support, according to Penick, and offer a consistency of message that can’t be guaranteed with humans. “These chatbots have become so lifelike that many customers don’t even know the difference, but they offer the added benefit of being able to gather, analyze, and provide actionable data that can be used to improve the customer experience,” said Penick.

Voice Activated Search

Another product of artificial intelligence worth exploring is voice-activated search, according to Ivana Taylor of DIY Marketers. These include the likes of Alexa, Google Home, Siri, Bixby, etc., that answer questions verbally for you. “If your business isn’t positioned to be an answer to a voice-activated question–you will not get that business,” Taylor said.

Stay tuned for more tips on trends to pay attention to in 2019, as well as goal-setting ideas for the new year.