The excitement for artificial intelligence has been ongoing since the beginning of the 2010s era. It’s growing faster than we can anticipate and the twists and turns are just as unpredictable even as we entered a new decade. Massive improvements can be seen as the technology is integrated into various industries, but we have yet to see the full extent of what artificial intelligence has to offer.

Analyst predicted that 85% of questions will be handled by chatbots by 2020. The data seems to be more believable considering how businesses have been utilizing artificial intelligence to enhance operations and customer experience. The rise is inevitable when we look at how automation has made interactions with customers faster and more efficient. However, has that always been the case for everyone? If so, what can we expect from this sophisticated technology as we move forward into a new age?

 

Artificial Intelligence: Addressing Customer Plights

Let’s face the fact – not everyone prefers going through IVRs, especially when they are in a hurry to get the information they need. In a report by CCW Digital, among the top pain points in digital experience for customers are long wait times, being forced to repeat information that have been provided, problems with finding the right channel to address their issues and having to be transferred several times between CX mediums before finally getting a solution.

Engaging with businesses should not be difficult for anyone. More than anything, customers want interactions with businesses to be convenient and consistent, regardless of which channel they are using. 

 

Artificial Intelligence: Creating a Seamless Experience for Businesses and Customers

Artificial intelligence offers more than just automating IVRs. For contact centers, it’s capable of improving the experience for both agents and customers. In a webinar held by Enghouse Interactive, Alex Black, CTO of Enghouse Interactive mentioned that the technology should be able to accomplish more than simply matching customers to agents based on previous interactions.

The technology should also be able to include customers’ psychometric profiles to match them with suitable agents for their concerns. It is a good option to decide what are the best ways to serve customers – whether the customer prefers self service or direct interaction with a human agent.

Besides that, the system can be set to monitor the interaction between agents and customers in a call. The system will then assist agents by popping up any relevant information that could increase the value and quality of conversations. Customers will enjoy faster and better experience through a seamless automation from bots to agents.

 

Expectations for a New Age

The implications go beyond optimizing business performance and customer experience. As development and implementation of this technology continue to improve, the debate goes on to see what this technology has to offer.

 

AI for AI

What’s better than artificial intelligence? Another artificial intelligence for the previous system. Through combining statistical data-driven approaches with powerful knowledge (neuro-symbolic AI), machine learning process can be simplified, making it more accessible for wider audiences.

Sriram Raghavan, VP of IBM Research AI stated that 2020 will unveil the emergence of significant new AI innovations to help automate the steps and processes involved in the life cycle of creating, deploying, managing, and operating AI models. These innovations will help with solving ongoing problems of the current AI models such as large data requirements and lack of explainability.

 

Between Human and Machine

Until now, identifying whether we are interacting with a bot or a human has been easy. However, as the implementation becomes increasingly efficient and accurate, the moment where we could interact with an AI without realizing it for the first time could be closer than ever. 

The emergence of deep learning and semi supervised models of machine learning such as reinforcement learning has made improvements to the mechanics involved on the attempts to imitate human speech patterns. Yes, some of us still prefer to talk to humans because of our ability to project empathy. But, what if in the near future, this technology has the same capacity to process and convey emotional interactions? Would we still choose to talk to humans over machines?

 

AI for Industries

Embracing AI in various industries will bring about great change towards the way operations are managed and executed. However, organizations should not implement the technology just for the sake of being able to say that ‘they have it’.

In an article for Harvard Business Review by Nathan Furr and Shipilov, professors at INSEAD, stated that digital transformation shouldn’t just be about bringing technological change, but the change itself should bring improvements on how customers’ needs are fulfilled through effective operations, mass customizations or new offers.

Suiting AI technology to fit the business will result in more accurate and cost effective solutions for all technical aspects. As an example, optimizing scheduling, automated reporting and automatic initialization of equipment settings can improve patient and staff experience in healthcare centers. The improvements should benefit both customers and users alike.

 

The Shield That Guards the Cyber Realm

The coming of 5G and other advancement in the wireless environment brings new opportunities to be explored. But along with all the excitement surrounding these progresses, it also opened up new possibilities for cyber-attacks to occur as these attacks become increasingly sophisticated. 

AI technology should be more present in cyber security. By using AI to detect signs of suspicious activities to breach security will be one step forward in the effort to counter cyber-attacks. Investments to improve cyber security will keep coming in while organizations remain to look out for those with talents in this area.

 

Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence is continuously reshaping and redefining our lives. Developments should be made not to simply implement AI, but to have an AI that can improve lives. And as the technology progresses, it will become more involved in the way we work with simplified automation and other tools that help create improved experience for both users and customers.

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