How is artificial intelligence applied in companies?

Using artificial intelligence, companies can automate decisions and increase sales — discover how this solution applies to business here.

Models that learn to make decisions can be used in any business, experts explain

When we talk about artificial intelligence, there are people who visualize those robots from science fiction works, which do everything we do. The use of this technology, however, is not always so complex, and also applies to the day-to-day life of companies.

Artificial intelligence can be used to carry out just one specific action, such as writing a text or recommending a restaurant, explain the experts invited to the live “AI How to Differentiate Business”, carried out by iFood and available on the iFood Universo channel.

They began by explaining that artificial intelligence (or AI) is an area of computer science that studies how to create more intelligent programs. “The idea is to build systems with characteristics that we, as human beings, consider intelligent, such as recognizing areas and patterns, understanding language, making predictions or identifying emotions”, explains Vicenzo Pegado, AI project manager at iFood.

The first step towards this is to collect a large amount of data. Then, through machine learning, the AI will learn for itself. To do this, an algorithm is created, which is a kind of recipe that shows how the AI will learn what it needs, based on the database provided. “This generates a model, which is the worldview, or the brain, of your AI. When you ask a question, she will give you an answer based on this worldview”, adds Vicenzo.

How iFood uses AI

The iFood app is an example of how this applies to business, comments Ana Coelho, the company's AI leader. Based on each customer's data, such as the time of ordering and preferred type of food, the model anticipates to offer each person what they like most. “I, for example, have lunch at 12:30. At 11:50 am I receive a notification with a coupon that has a personalized message and discount according to my consumption”, he explains.

Still based on this data, the application's AI shows the restaurant categories in a different order for each person, according to their preferences. It also performs other functions, such as automatically classifying dishes from registered establishments. “If the restaurant sells pasta and sweets, it will appear in both Italian Food and Dessert, even if it has not made this classification”, says Ana.

Furthermore, iFood's AI was trained to detect fraud, such as ghost restaurants, fake reviews, actions that violate intellectual property (such as using images from another author) and even attempts to sell items that are prohibited on the platform.

And it is the AI that decides which delivery person will be sent to deliver. “When a customer places an order, the machine makes dozens of decisions in real time. Automating decisions helps us increase the number of orders, reduce fraud and shorten the distances traveled by delivery people”, concludes Ana.

Robots also create content

AI can also help with digital marketing, says David Mendes, founder and CEO of the startup Agenzia Marketing, which produces content for bars and restaurants who want to promote their services online.

Your agency has a tool that uses AI to create posts on social networks — yes, it is the robot that writes the texts and chooses the hashtags and images, following the visual identity and criteria that the AI has learned. “We have a model for content creation,” says David. “Artificial intelligence democratizes digital marketing and brings this solution to more people.”

Every business, says Vicenzo, can use artificial intelligence to speed up decision-making or to better understand the public's preferences. “Think about which key company decisions are very slow and could be better with the use of AI”, he proposes. “Or how AI could help improve sales conversion or user happiness.”

Afterwards, he suggests considering whether this solution is worth it for the business. “You need a lot of data to train a model that is really intelligent. Furthermore, there are ready-made tools, but it may be necessary to have a team of data scientists or even a professional who understands AI.”

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