‘Buzzword Bingo’ Obscures Where True Value of AI Technology Actually Lies

artificial intelligence

Baptized by the hype cycle du-jour, artificial intelligence (AI) is taking the world by storm.

This, as Microsoft is integrating the buzzy, headline-grabbing conversational AI tool ChatGPT across its potent suite of enterprise software platforms to help businesses craft emails with the click of a button. Meanwhile, publisher The Arena Group, owner of media brands including Sports Illustrated, TheStreet, Parade and Men’s Journal, announced the two newest additions to its writers’ room, the AI tools called Jasper and Nota.

Per a recent Bloomberg report, AI is Silicon Valley’s latest obsession.

Startups across industries are clamoring to add AI to their pitch decks and press releases in order to stand out in a dampened funding environment where checks are increasingly hard to come by.

For some of those startups, like slide-deck disrupter turned AI-storyteller Tome, the buzzword bolt-on approach is even working.

“There has been so much capital deployed in FinTech building out solutions that don’t actually solve real world problems,” Philip Fayer, CEO and chair of Nuvei, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in a conversation Wednesday (Feb. 1).

Still, AI tech’s most valuable near-term applications are likely much more pedestrian than the moonshots currently claiming it.

Eking out Efficiencies Is Key

Amidst the strong economic headwinds swirling around today’s business environment, it is increasingly mission critical for organizations to focus on controlling what they can.

That requires a renewed focus on optimizing back-office operations, an area where cloud-based tools and next-generation AI software solutions shine.

Businesses of all sizes have a need for realizing back-office efficiency. The enormous hurdles faced by businesses over the past few years have only highlighted the benefits automated, AI-powered tools provide in helping organizations accelerate key operational wins across departments and initiatives.

PYMNTS has previously reported on how those organizational leaders who spent 2022 modernizing their businesses expect to reap further data-driven benefits in 2023. Automated digital tools that leverage AI capabilities to parse and streamline vast sets of data will play a key role in helping businesses realize those expectations and optimize internal workflows.

Alloy Chief Financial Officer Kiran Hebbar told PYMNTS that he uses AI and machine learning solutions, along with “170 different data partners,” to help set up better decisioning on a “transaction-by-transaction, company-by-company basis.”

As pressure mounts on organizations to do more with less, at least until market conditions improve, many businesses are turning to AI-enabled automation strategies to drive growth while realizing working capital efficiencies.

With the world becoming increasingly digital, AI tools will also play a key role in stemming the predicted floodgates of fraud that certain skeptics see this new online operating landscape as bringing with it.

The January edition of PYMNTS’ “B2B Payments Fraud Tracker®” found that organizations continuing to rely on manual and reactive anti-fraud tools consistently experience slower growth than those using proactive and automated solutions.

However, additional PYMNTS research showed that while 95% of executives are focused on embracing modern technologies to combat money laundering and other digital fraud schemes, 85% of these executives harbor concerns about the complexity of integrating new technologies.

AI and Payments

Yes, AI can write poems, work emails, and even respond to dating app prompts, but it can also reduce payment delays and help finance teams improve their days sales outstanding (DSO) with digitized and automated systems that leverage AI to innovate transaction settlements times, replace the need for manual reconciliations, and provide more easy wins for the accounting office.

Delegating common day-to-day processes across payables, invoice processing, and record-keeping to AI-based solutions can significantly reduce the capacity for human error by accelerating complex calculations that are often tedious and time-consuming.

As reported by PYMNTS, AI tools are increasingly taking over the tasks that human accountants no longer want to do.

Studies project that by 2025, half of all B2B invoices across the globe will be issued, processed and paid without any human intervention.

The business benefits of modernizing through automation are clear, with 70% of marketplaces expecting their vendor relationships to improve as they innovate their AP platforms, especially when it comes to payment processing speed, which can directly limit growth expectations and have downstream consequences that damage businesses’ relationships with their vendors and suppliers.

Finding the right AI-powered solution tailored to an organization’s needs can take historical paper-based processes out of the equation and give businesses more control and operational transparency, setting them up for success in both the near term and long term.