WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - According to a new study, 52% of small business owners say AI enables them to increase or retain their employees and this is just one of the benefits of this futuristic tech. 

“Every year we do a small business survey where we go across the country and talk to our customers about the things that are concerning them and their business right now,” said Ashley Perkins, Vice President Cox Business for Kansas. 

 

This year the center of Cox’s survey was artificial intelligence and how it can be used in the small business workplace. 

“So there are companies that are out there now where you can literally put in your website and maybe upload some marketing materials and it will instantly produce a television commercial for your business in a few minutes,” said Duane Barnes, RapidScale president. 

Industry and local government leaders gathered in Wichita on Thursday to discuss AI and how it's being utilized currently in small businesses. 

“Business owners aren’t looking to AI to replace their staff, to replace their employees it's about improving the employee experience. Improving the customer experience and actually helping their employees get their job done better,” said Mark Greatrex, Cox Communications president. 

Cox’s survey says 85% of small business owners feel comfortable using AI tools in their business. 2 Beatz Boutique has been open for a year in downtown Wichita and the owner tells KAKE even she uses artificial intelligence. 

“So I use Canva a lot, so I’ll tap into their AI as well as like ChatGPT,” said owner Phylicia Thompson. 

She says it makes sense for many small businesses to be utilizing budding technologies to streamline the day to day work because entrepreneurs have so much on their plate already.

“We’re every part of our business as it’s trying to grow so if I can tap into AI and have a description of an item real quick versus me taking the time to type up 30 or 40 descriptions of items and it takes me all day so yes absolutely it can be beneficial,” said Thompson. 

The industry leaders also mentioned a need to always double check AI, keep up to date on the latest cyber security updates, and try to always protect sensitive personal information or intellectual property when using AI programs.