Of 2017, PV Kannan, CEO of 7.ai writes “AI was everywhere. It seemed like every company added “AI” to their software whether it truly leveraged Artificial Intelligence or not.
Starting with a definition of AI, Merriam-Webster defines it as
And, says Kannan, “…put through that basic filter, I believe we will see a big ‘AI Shakeout’ in 2018...”
The report says that 2018 will expose the imposters as businesses will take a very critical look at anything calling itself AI. Companies will ask whether the technology they’re buying will truly improve human capabilities and could potentially augment the human workforce or not.
While some view the future of AI with fear, Kannan says, “…I have spent much of the past year encouraging everyone to look at AI with a more open and positive mind… consumers expect smarter forms of transaction and interaction with businesses… AI offers a way for businesses to deliver faster and more personalized experiences…”
Some of the anticipated uses of Artificial Intelligence in 2018, continues the report, include these highlights detailed by Kannan:
Multiple AI systems will co-exist in the enterprise, says the report...each serving a specific purpose, but don’t need to interact with each other to be successful. However, watch for some of these key players to form strategic partnerships. Expect powerful alliances to emerge in this space, with different capabilities coming together to create a better world.
AI-powered chatbots will gain enterprise momentum, with a jump in large enterprises deploying virtual agents. These VAs will solve many issues working hand in hand with humans, though human agents will become far more effective because they will be augmented with automated sequences.
Large enterprises will discover new ways to use AI to develop user profiles that help them determine, with great accuracy, who the consumer is and how to treat them. This will become the way that companies authenticate users for everything but financial transactions.
AI is helping companies analyze huge amount of data in order to predict customer intent and therefore create personalized solutions, says the report. Kannan says… “ the way forward is blended AI., a collaboration between human agents and AI to augment what human agents are doing…”
Kannan goes on to say “… Conversations, not channels, become the focus. We have friends with whom we don’t talk for weeks or months but when we do, we pick up exactly where we left off… this is what customer and brand interactions should be like… we will see large companies taking this approach to e-commerce and customer service… (and) consumers will be able to pick up a conversation exactly where they left off…customer interactions will have to focus on those conversations and not on channels in which they take place…”
Finally, Kannan sees “…machine learning in all forms of automated conversations in order to improve with time… computers will learn to interpret many forms of organic, unstructured human expression more easily and better understand what the consumer wants… unlike most of today’s systems… interactions will grow smarter over time…”
Concluding, the report expects to “see the New Year with great hope, and a golden year for AI and customer experience.: