6 Ways Associations Can Benefit From AI

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May 31, 2023

If you're in a leadership position or are just trying to improve the way your association works, you've probably heard about the many benefits of artificial intelligence. Until recently, AI hasn't been widely used in the business world, but that's quickly changing. As AI becomes more sophisticated and better able to manage complex tasks, it's poised to greatly impact how organizations operate.

A Brief History of AI

Believe it or not, AI has been around for a long time. One of the first times it was mentioned was in 1956 when John McCarthy, an American professor and computer scientist, coined the term "artificial intelligence." The term refers to machines that are capable of thinking and learning as humans do.

One of the original AI applications was created in 1956 by Arthur Samuel, who designed a computer program to play checkers by making decisions based on how it thought humans would play checkers.

The 1980s is when AI really took off. IBM released its supercomputer “Deep Blue” which went on to defeat chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. Since then, we've seen an explosion of interest in AI algorithms. Now, companies are using AI to aide in everything from customer service to software development and robotics.

The Future of AI for Associations

There are a variety of ways trade and professional associations can use AI technology to enhance the value they provide to the industry and their members. Here are a few examples:

  1. Data Cleansing: When you're working with incomplete data sets, it can be hard to figure out what you're missing. And even once you've identified those gaps, it's not always easy to fill them in. You might not know where to start or what kind of data will help—and that's where artificial intelligence comes in. AI programming analyzes massive amounts of data and then learns from that analysis. It's able to make connections between pieces of information, which is exactly what you need when dealing with incomplete data sets. 

  2. Better Decision-Making: If your data is set and complete, then AI can help make better decisions by analyzing data to find patterns and trends that humans may not notice or consider when making decisions. For example, an organization might use data analysis tools to identify which countries its donors are from, which could help them determine where they should focus their attention to reach more donors from those countries.

  3. Personalized Content: Associations can supply more personalized recommendations for membership benefits through AI. For example, if you're an active member and you've shown interest in a particular product or service, it will be suggested to you when you log in next time. This helps trade associations keep their members happy and engaged with their offerings.

  4. Streamlining Processes: Associations can use AI to automate certain tasks and streamline processes. If your organization has an annual meeting, why not automate the sign-up process for guests? That way, you can focus on making sure everyone gets taken care of instead of trying to remember who needs what before the meeting starts.

  5. Customer Service: The ability for organizations to reach out and connect with their members online is becoming increasingly important for customer service. Chatbots are a convenient way for associations to interact with members without having to constantly check messages. They can be used for answering questions about products, services, and organization history. They supply quick answers without requiring users to make an appointment or wait on a phone call.

  6. Staffing Support: Some organizations have limited resources and need as many people working for them as possible to maximize their impact within the industry. AI can help with this by performing tasks that require basic judgment but don't require a lot of time or effort. For example, using machine learning algorithms, an organization could predict which donors will most likely give again based on past behavior and then use this information to determine which donors they should focus on.

AI has the potential to revolutionize the way associations and non-profits operate. Now’s the time to do some research and see what capabilities could be useful for your organization!


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