With technology changing at such a rapid pace, it can be tough to stay ahead of the curve. Whether you’re an executive looking to bring innovation to your organization, a small business owner trying to keep up with emerging trends, or a student trying to determine where to focus your studies, you want to make sure that you’re investing your time and money in technology that’s here to stay.

If you’ve been reading up on the top trend lists for 2018, you’ve probably seen the term “machine learning” popping up on almost all of them. Machine learning refers to a type of artificial intelligence in which computers are programmed to learn and improve from experience as they’re exposed to more data. So, what does this mean for the future of business? Here’s what the executive, the business owner and the student will want to know.

The Executive

Organizations around the world are already using this technology to transform their business. For example, Kanetix partnered with Integrate.ai on a project that leveraged machine learning to provide a tailored buying experience to their customers by predicting which users were likely to convert and determining a customer’s preferred method of transacting. The results? Kanetix.ca increased the conversion rates of their auto insurance by 13 percent and generated 2.3x the ROI on their marketing efforts. This is just one of the many ways machine learning can be used to build a better business, so as an executive it’s your job to determine how this technology can help you meet and exceed your organizational goals.

The Small Business Owner

If you’re a small business owner with a tight budget and a non-existent IT team, you’re probably wondering how you’ll be able to keep up with advances in machine learning. While partnering with a tech firm might not be on the horizon, you can capitalize on the trend by investing in a chatbot. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation, and they’re being used by businesses globally to provide around-the-clock customer service. Does your business have a Facebook page? If so, that could be the best place to start with a simple chatbot: more than 30,000 bots have been built on the Facebook Messenger platform since April 2016.

The Student

If you’re a tech-minded student wondering where you should invest your time, machine learning is looking like a solid career path. The role of Machine Learning Engineer was listed as one of the top five jobs expected to be vital for Canada’s economy in 2018 for a few reasons. First, The Canadian government’s Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy pledged $125 million for research into AI technology. Second, job postings for machine learning engineer grew by 150 percent in 2017. And finally, machine learning is relevant in several industries, making it an in-demand skill.

So what’s the key takeaway when it comes to machine learning? This top trend isn’t just “one to watch” – it’s something that is already changing the way that we do business every day and a solid technology to get behind in 2018 and beyond.

Incredible Planet Staff

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