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Choosing the Right Use Case for your AI Pilot

 

AI is already transforming the way organizations across industries conduct business, manage clients, and engage customers. Though the benefits of integrating AI are evident, there are still many companies that have yet to implement cognitive technologies as part of their business strategy or operations. We have found that many business leaders are hesitant to adopt AI technologies mainly because they are not sure how to begin. The key to success is starting small with an AI pilot project—one that will deliver value quickly and secure internal buy-in for future programs.

To help business leaders gain the competitive advantage that AI has to offer, we’ve put together a guide to choosing the right use case for your AI pilot.

Best Practices for Launching an AI Pilot Program

Begin with a dataset that is consistent and clean

Data is the foundation of any artificial intelligence systems. AI and machine learning rely on statistical methods to find patterns in data and predict outcomes. To ensure reliable analyses and successful AI implementation, organizations must select clear and consistent datasets, focusing on quality and thorough cataloging. If your business doesn’t have a clean dataset, consider beginning with some basic data cleansing and organizing before launching an AI pilot.


Virgin Holidays, a travel company, implemented an AI tool to generate engaging subject lines for the emails it sent out. Using the AI tool, the company was able to boost open/click rates by 2%, enough to increase revenue by a few million.

Select an Existing High-Resource, Medium-Value Challenge

It’s best to begin by focusing on a problem that can be easily solved through AI, while providing positive ROI and minimizing potential risks. That’s why we recommend you choose to automate a process or program that traditionally requires a lot of staff resources and is of medium-importance to the business. It is unwise to start with a mission-critical project, because the likelihood of hitting a few roadblocks during your first AI project are high.

We suggest implementing AI to relieve staff of labor intensive tasks that are subject to human error. For example, processes that require employees to sort through high volumes of data, persistent customer service issues, or tedious administrative tasks that do not require subject matter expertise, can all be automated.


Paypal uses AI to sort through millions of transactions between its 170 million customers to detect and prevent fraud. The cognitive technology compares new transactions with fraud patterns stored in its databases. The AI tool boosts security by providing quick decisions in real time.

Improve an existing application by adding machine learning capabilities

It can also be quick and beneficial to apply AI to existing technologies for increased functionality. Existing applications can become intelligent through the addition of cognitive technologies such as NLP, video search APIs, text-to-speech, data analytics, and image recognition.


Netflix incorporated AI algorithms into its app to increase user engagement and customer retention. The app utilizes deep learning software to predict user preferences and deliver personalized content recommendations. This AI implementation has saved the company an estimated $1 billion a year by driving 75% of user activity.

Solve a big pain point for a customer

Customer experience has quickly become the new battleground for businesses. In fact, by 2020, customer experience is expected to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. To keep a competitive edge in digital markets, businesses should focus on using artificial intelligence to solve major customer pain points and deliberately improve customer service interactions. Companies using AI tools, like chatbots, to improve customer experience will see increases in customer loyalty and engagement.


A single customer pain point can lead to significant decreases in customer engagement. North Face is one brand that became aware of this when it faced a lag in ecommerce/online sales due to difficulties faced by customers when navigating the site. In response, the company launched an AI powered shopping assistant that engaged customers in conversation before directing them to the product that fit their needs.

Whether you’re a large tech company, or a medium-sized enterprise, Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in the future of your business. If you haven’t already begun to review the ways in which AI will impact your industry, consider reading our AI E-book to learn more about specific case studies and key market predictions.