This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.
We are constantly bombarded with advertisements and articles touting the global use of artificial intelligence at work. And it’s true — AI offers huge advantages in marketing, recruiting, workforce management and other emerging areas. But while there are critical uses for AI-driven software at larger enterprise companies, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. AI is no small investment, and the decision to put funding toward it shouldn’t be made lightly.
But how do you know if — or when — AI is right for your startup? “AI-based software can do a surprising number of things for the business, from building products to finding customers to everything else,” says Vin Vashista, chief data scientist at Pocket Recruiter. “But it’s only a good fit if you have the right use case for it.”
Here are some things you should consider before investing in AI-driven software at your startup.
Determine if AI is a Good Fit for You
Before investing in expensive AI software, it’s important to know if it will actually be useful for your startup’s needs. For most local businesses — like restaurants or yoga studios — AI may not be a practical solution, Vashista says. “AI is marketed as a panacea,” he says. “But when you’re looking at everyday small business, AI-based products can be cost-prohibitive.” For companies like these, Vashista suggests using Facebook, Google or other sites that have analytic software embedded.
The best candidates for AI are tech-oriented startups that anticipate rapid growth, can afford the cost on the front end and are familiar with ways to use and manage AI-based software. “It has to fit within the business model,” Vashista says.