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26 February 2020

Artificial Intelligence, Also for SMEs

Auteur : Marc-Henri Faure

To mark its 10th anniversary, Sherbrooke Innopole is publishing 10 columns related to business and innovation in the daily newspaper, La Tribune.

Through voice assistants such as Google or Alexa, artificial intelligence (AI) has entered our homes. What about in our SMEs? This booming technology is slowly – but surely – establishing its place in both the industrial and commercial sectors.

Is your company generating massive data? This data, once properly organized, could contribute to personalizing your customer service, increasing sales, improving operations, or optimizing the sorting of defective parts, thus reducing errors.

How can AI help SMEs in concrete terms? The main fields of application are as follows.

A “bionic” eye that analyzes your production

Do you produce high volumes or high value parts where it is difficult to see defects in the final product? Not only can the computer process images faster and more efficiently than the human eye, but it can, through analysis, learn how to recognize what is a defect or not, where the problem comes from, and how to apply corrective measures, in short become almost or more self-sufficient in terms of quality assurance. All of this is through deep learning, a sub-field of AI where the computer is learning on its own, helping the business more every day.

An assistant listening to your needs

Opportunities with voice recognition include simplifying warehouse operations, the AI system taking over to send the necessary information to prepare orders, adjust inventory, etc. No need to search the computer to see if a room is available, just ask!

Speech or text recognition can also be used to answer, at any time and effectively, different questions your customers ask on your website or in a chat, by drawing answers from your site, in instruction manuals, etc.

The perfect ally of automated–and personalized–marketing

Based on your customer data–what they like, what they have already bought from you, what they have looked at on your site, etc.–an artificial intelligence system can predict their buying behaviour and thus offer them products or discounts to prompt them to actually buy. Hard to find any faster and more efficient assistance!

AI is also happening in the #SherbyValley 😉

In Sherbrooke, there are about 10 companies working in the field of artificial intelligence or working with AI. In addition, some 60 university researchers and students are also conducting work and are available to collaborate with businesses from the region that want to implement AI systems.

Is your company ready to make the leap? You don’t have to do it alone. Companies in the industrial and high-value-added services sectors wishing to integrate AI into their processes can rely on the support of Sherbrooke Innopole to guide them in the process. As for the two levels of government, they offer financial assistance, which could help you take your first steps toward the future.

Contact your expert :

Marc-Henri Faure
Director, Business Services – Information Technologies
819 821-5577 ext. 130 / mhfaure@sherbrooke-innopole.com

Text published in La Tribune of February 26, 2020, page 6

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