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  • Writer's pictureDanielle van Hout

Eye on AI - January 20th, 2023

Welcome to Aigora's "Eye on AI" series, where we round up exciting news at the intersection of consumer science and artificial intelligence!


This week, we’ll be addressing the ways in which entrepreneurs can utilize a more advanced form of AI called machine learning to improve business efficiencies before shifting gears to look at the first image-generating AI designed to help restaurants boost digital conversions (by up to 70%).


How AI & Machine Learning Help Entrepreneurs Boost Efficiencies

The recent emergence of chatGPT has highlighted the ways in which machine learning-powered tech can be easily accessed to assist with business processes. Yet most entrepreneurs don’t understand what machine learning is, much less the variety of ways it can utilize. The article “9 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Leverage Machine Learning To Elevate Their Business” breaks down the most accessible ways businesses can leverage ML to quickly improve efficiencies and charge ahead of the competition.

Machine learning (ML), which today accounts for the biggest share of AI funding, is a branch of artificial intelligence that allows machines to train themselves to get smarter over time. This is a step beyond more traditional forms of AI that learn on programmed input. Unlike traditional AI, machine learning is constantly re-training itself as new data arrives (i.e. it trains on old and new data simultaneously without the need to program), thus making it a much more powerful form of AI for businesses that rely on the in-the-moment interpretation of data. One of the most essential ways businesses can utilize this technology is to better understand data as it arrives without having to constantly retrain the AI model.

“Machine learning applications can analyze… data to find insights you can leverage for more targeted and compelling marketing campaigns and better product ideas,” writes Forbes contributor Prabhat Sharma. “For example, you might find an entirely new group of consumers who use your product in a way you hadn't anticipated. Armed with this information, you can begin to target this new customer segment.”

Not only can ML help businesses understand their data, but it can also make that data actionable. This is essentially what chatGPT does with language: it trains itself on language data as it arrives, then provides relevant, coherent answers back to each user’s specific enquiry, learning how to better respond with each additional input. Businesses can utilize ML in the same way for business functions. For instance, suppose your marketing team wants to create more targeted campaigns that speak directly to a specific segment of your customer base. There are now available ML-based solutions that can help you do that while removing most of the guesswork. Similarly, ML can be leveraged for things like real-time sales forecasting, business planning, and price or promotion optimization.

“Machine learning tools leverage historical and real-time data to make highly accurate predictions about consumer behavior,” continues Sharma. “These tools can predict which days, weeks and months in the year will result in the highest sales. They can also analyze holiday effects (special days) for both positive and negative impacts.”

For routine tasks and simple customer service queries, businesses can leverage ML chatbots to expedite processes and save essential time.

“Repetitive, rules-based tasks can eat up a considerable amount of time when done manually,” continues Sharma. “These tasks include invoice creation and processing, backing up data and responding to simple customer queries… most of this tedious work can be handled by smart bots… intelligent ML-driven bots get better over time, finding new ways to improve efficiencies and decrease your workload.”

We’d recommend reading the article in full (link above) for a more complete list of ways ML can help small businesses. And for anyone seeking direction on how to best utilize ML for their specific business needs, feel free to book a quick consultation!

New Tool That Uses AI Helps Restaurants Generate High-Quality Images

Switching gears: you’ve likely heard of DALLE-2, but did you know there’s now an AI-generating solution for restaurants? According to the article “Introducing the First AI Photo Generator for Restaurants,” a photo-generating solution created by an enterprise ordering system called LunchBox was recently unveiled to help restaurants boost digital sales by up to 70%.

“What LunchBox built… is the industry’s first AI food photo generator for restaurants,” writes QSR contributor Danny Klein. “It takes quick aim at common roadblocks like ‘coming soon’ photos, photos for social, modifier pictures, and the other common setbacks for digital sites… every image is uniquely generated by artificial intelligence.”

To utilize the solution, users specify their photo requirements within three tiers: Search (3-layer pastrami sandwich on wheat with pickles and mustard, for instance); Background (blue, green, etc.); and Style (painting, cartoon, realistic, etc.), then the AI goes to work generating high-quality images (they’re really quite exceptional). This allows users to promote image-less products pre-photo without the need for overused stock photography.

LunchBox developed their solution using OpenAI’s source code, then made it public and free of charge to restaurants and tech partners. Their AI is constantly learning what works best for customers (i.e. which photo types get the most conversions, views, etc.) to help it develop more appealing images. CEO Nabeel Alamgir said that he plans to add more AI-driven products each month.

“While [Alamgir is] a self-described ‘late bloomer’ to tech trends, electing instead to see what sticks and what fades, AI is one arena Alamgir wants to go all-in on,” continues Klein. “One beta test the company is trialing now, in one example, is a weather-based menu that bumps relevant information up top. So if it’s cold in New York City, a call to action—warm up with soup—will pop to engage customers.”

Yet another example of what forward-thinking brands can do with open-source AI to stand out. Again, check out the link above to see the photos LunchBox’s AI is generating in action – they really are quite impressive.

Other News


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