AI Consulting: How to use AI to scale your business plus the best AI consultants

Artificial intelligence is a concept that has been around for decades. Though many might have only come across it in science fiction novels and movies, artificial intelligence (AI) is now something in the real world. 

Companies are using it to improve their business practices, often with the support of AI consultants

Despite the transformative potential of AI, companies can struggle because they get matched to the wrong solution for their needs, leading to wasted time, effort, and funds. And that’s why AI consultants are here: to help businesses create the right AI strategy for their organization, culture, and problem areas so that companies can truly leverage the power and virtually limitless potential of artificial intelligence.

What is AI Consulting? 

Although AI has the ability to change businesses for the better, many companies still find using AI solutions difficult, so a crucial first step to using AI to improve your business is getting your AI strategy right. Developing your AI strategy will allow you to get a solution that’s the best fit for your environment and organizational culture and getting an AI consultant makes that a lot easier. 

AI consulting is the business of helping companies use AI technologies to improve their businesses. AI consultants support artificial intelligence endeavors to help companies scale and grow at rates they just couldn’t without this technology. 

At AI Guides, we use our experience and vast network of AI technologies and professionals to translate artificial intelligence services into usable, actionable information for you and your team. 

Benefits of AI Consulting 

AI consultants take away the guess work involved in AI solutions. AI consultants allow you to approach your business problems in a strategic fashion. Instead of trying to fit an AI solution to your problem–and then have it not work–you’ll be able to determine what AI program is best for the problem, and whether or not AI is a good fit at all. 

AI consulting can not only help you find an AI solution for your company, but also help you to:  

  • Understand how AI can benefit company growth
  • Take full advantage of the data you already have
  • Determine which AI businesses are legitimate and which are not
  • Remove repetitive, time-consuming tasks from your team’s workload
  • Negotiate with AI vendors 
  • Build out a data team 
  • Create your own artificial intelligence application 
  • Provide employee training  
  • Estimate the ROI of a project, and get you there 

Overall, AI consultants help you see the ROI in your artificial intelligence projects, so you can choose the right solution for your company, and know how to follow through to make AI work for you. 

How much does AI Consulting cost?

AI consultants pricing will vary on what services they provide, the size of the project, and the length of engagement. Hourly consultants charge between $200-$300 on average, while flat-rate for smaller range from approximately $5000 – $10,000. 

Pricing can also depend on the type of consulting company you use: are you working with a big four firm? Or a specified AI-consultancy that can customize itself for your AI needs? 

AI Guides provides an initial assessment that lets you know if your business has the potential to use AI, a discovery report using research and analysis to determine where and how your business can best take advantage of artificial intelligence, and a solutions report reviewing how you will reach those objectives using the right AI vendors.  

The Best AI Consultants

There are a number of consulting firms that help businesses ideate on and implement AI solutions, perform due diligence, and train employees on best practices. 

1. AI Guides

AI Guides serves as your independent AI guide, giving you the leadership and technical expertise to get you an ROI on your AI projects. Founders John Stroud and Jen Schellinck work directly with leadership teams to identify and vet AI solutions for the biggest business problems. The team gives actionable roadmaps for reaching AI objectives across industries like legal, finance, and the public sector. 

2. Neural Rays AI

Neural Rays AI helps teams develop solutions and automate tasks with AI. Founders, Tony Scott and Senthil Loganathan have worked across industries including electric vehicles, environmental risk reduction, remote health monitoring, and engineering. Neural Rays is a supporter of the ethical use of AI and equips corporate teams to take advantage of the power of AI. 

3. Epinote

Epinote helps companies in a broad range of AI and Data Science projects. They help with data annotation of 3D & 2D images, videos, text & voice and provide supplementary data services: tabular data management, data collection, cleansing, structuring and analysis. Founder, Mateusz Wiklo draws from his experience with Accenture, The Boston Consulting Group and EY to deliver bespoke advice and solutions to clients. 

4. Adastra

Adastra helps clients introduce and scale digital products and services across a number of industries. Since its inception in 2000, Adastra has focused on data processing, analysis and warehousing.They also help businesses execute and scale solutions in new and existing tech stacks and advise on AI M&A and due diligence. 

What is artificial intelligence? 

Artificial intelligence are machines and software applications that mimic human thinking and learning through programming. Incorporating machine learning, deep learning, computer programming, cognitive science, and more, artificial intelligence is a concept with a lot of hype that is finally becoming a reality. “Artificial” refers to the fact that it’s machines–not humans–that are displaying intelligence. 

Most of today’s AI is considered Weak AI or Narrow AI, meaning AI that is created and trained to perform very specific tasks. Let’s take a look at a simplified example to illustrate: 

Source: AI Guides

We began with data–a picture of a cat–and then input that data into the AI. The AI takes the data, and depending on what you want it to do, will begin computing. In this case, let’s say we have a picture identification AI. 

That means the AI must ask “what is this?” and then move to the last step: providing an answer, or output, which was correct in this example. But really, the remarkable thing about AI is that its guesses will get better over time with practice and feedback. The more pictures of cats that you share with the AI, the better it gets at recognizing them.

There is also Strong AI, which is made up of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI). The idea behind AGI is that machines can have intelligence and self-awareness like humans, while in the case of ASI have intelligence that would surpass humans. 

Think of Strong AI as the AI you see in science fiction, while Narrow AI is the AI we’re using with Siri, self-driving vehicles, and IBM’s Watson. 

How can you use AI in your business? 

The idea that artificial intelligence will improve business is not a new one; in fact, it has been around for decades. AI is able to complete tasks that humans cannot do, or tasks that would take too long and be too costly for humans to do. This is making businesses more efficient, saving them time, money, and a lot of effort. 

Businesses can use AI to:  

  • Automate repetitive tasks in an intelligent fashion, allowing for smaller teams to have greater capabilities, and for business owners to lead better
  • Manage supply chain and purchasing processes
  • Make recommendations for the future based on data–a quickly and more accurately than humans can 
  • Review documentation, research, and contracts with faster analysis and extraction 
  • Boost creativity by suggesting more effective ways to carry out many familiar tasks,
  • Provide new ideas for marketing material and copy, and analyze marketing intelligence 
  • Improve products and workflows by embedding AI within them
  • Engage customers and employees via chatbots and AI phone agents
  • Provide quality assurance using quality control software 
  • Make better hiring decisions and expedite training
  • Improve cybersecurity using behavior analysis to recognize atypical usage 

Experts say that by 2030 there will be two kinds of businesses: those that use AI and those that are bankrupt. This means that businesses can either start to adopt AI on their own or be forced to by a competitor, and AI adoption has increased dramatically in the past year, with 52% of companies accelerating their AI adoption plans because of the Covid crisis, 86% saying that AI is becoming a “mainstream technology” at their company, and 67% expecting to further pick up their AI strategy in the following years.

At the same time, AI is risky. Some 80% of projects fail because people get connected to the wrong solutions, or aren’t sure how to truly take advantage of the right solutions. So before you spend anything on AI, we believe you should ask these 7 questions:

  1. What is a problem worth solving?
  2. Do I have data that I can access?
  3. What are the biggest benefits of AI (for my company)?
  4. What are the biggest risks of AI?
  5. How much is AI going to cost?
  6. How is ROI (Return on Investments) of AI Calculated?
  7. What are the Next Steps?

Luckily, an AI consultant can help with all of these needs. Whether you feel like you could be improving your project workflows, want to use AI but don’t know how, or have had a bad experience with AI tools in the past, AI consultants help you understand how AI could help your business, and what the right software is to use. 

At AI Guides, we offer three levels of service to businesses that are either just starting to look into artificial intelligence or are ready to make a purchasing decision. We’re an independent, vendor-agnostic consultancy that offers unbiased artificial intelligence support no matter what stage you’re at in the process. 

Conclusion: Turn AI into ROI with an AI Consultant 

AI is changing the way organizations work, and in the coming years, it’s going to change the way we live. AI consulting can help your organization make the shift.

The best way to maximize ROI when working with artificial intelligence is to stop thinking about AI as a technology problem and start thinking about it as a people problem. Leaders need to bring their teams together and focus on the right questions, and AI consultants guide teams to do this. 

At AI Guides, we ensure the successful use of artificial intelligence in your business, providing the leadership and technical expertise you need to mitigate the risk of AI investment and move forward with confidence in your AI project. 

Artificial intelligence and AI Guides are here to make your life a lot simpler, whether you have a case in mind, want to learn more, or would like to accelerate AI adoption at your company. Schedule your consultation with our AI experts today so we can help you use AI to take your business to the next level. 

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John Stroud

John Stroud

John is a certified OpenExO consultant in exponential technologies. Prior to launching AI Guides, John served as Vice President, Strategy at a federal crown corporation ($600M budget and 8000+ workforce) with responsibilities for Governance, Human Resources, Communications, Legal, Performance Measurement and Risk.

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