Skynet, are we getting closer?

August 27, 2020

I enjoy the Terminator franchise, in all its versions, but I’ve never been worried that it was a realistic prediction of the future. Even though I love a gadget, so far I’ve been unimpressed by Artificial Intelligence [AI]. I can never get Siri or Alexa to do what I want and predictive text seems to choose the wrong word every time! Alexa can’t even play the right song, so I’ve never been worried that a super-intelligent AI could bring the human race to its knees!

Until now…

Let me explain; this isn’t the start of some dystopian teen novel. I’ve been experimenting with software that scans your purchase invoices, extracts the key information, and then presents it to you with suggested posting. Over time it learns and remembers what you normally do and alters its suggestions. You end up with a personalised piece of software that knows you and your business personally!

Based on my experience with Siri and Alexa, I was very doubtful as to whether it could accomplish its grand claims. Many people have been recommending this type of technology to me for a while, so I thought I should give it a go.

I have to admit, I was wrong.

I was able to process a large number of transactions in an amazingly short time. When I checked the results, they were very accurate. They had even dismissed one duplicate item and another that was a statement and not an invoice! This is going to be a way to dramatically increase the efficiency of transaction processing – for clients and us! In fact, as a business, I think it will open up new markets for us.

We’ve only really done ‘outsourcing’ for clients with a low number of transactions in the past. It’s not cost-effective for clients to pay us to do large volumes – they may as well employ a bookkeeper directly. This new type of software will enable us to carry out outsourcing for clients with lots of transactions at a reasonable rate. It will also allow us to get much closer to clients and allow us to better advise them. That’s right, the time made available will allow us to spend more time helping our clients improve their businesses and make a difference!

I’ve been working on our 5-year plan and there’s big news coming. I have ambitions to add a small number of clients to the portfolio for whom we work very closely and apply our Business Transformation Service. This technology is the missing link that will make savings to help clients fund this valuable service.

That’s assuming that Skynet doesn’t become self-aware by then.

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