April 06, 2018 - 321 views|
More sophisticated than chatbots, conversational AI enables an innately human form of interaction between people and machines: natural language.
Conversational AI represents the most significant advancement yet in how people interact with technology. While punchcards, keyboards, GUIs and even touchscreens are all ways that we communicate with computers on their terms, conversational AI changes all that, as it finally enables an innately human form of interaction between people and machines: natural language.
More sophisticated than hard-coded/text-only chatbots, the AI technologies involved with full-featured conversational solutions include automated speech recognition, natural language processing, machine learning and, increasingly, image recognition, semantic and sentiment analysis, and smart analytics.
A conversational AI solution tends to encompass certain characteristics:
Coming into the Mainstream
The impact of conversational AI is just now coming into focus for digital commerce leaders, chief marketing officers and CIOs. Consumers today expect always available access to research, advice, commerce and support from any device, platform or channel they prefer. Conversational AI helps companies meet that expectation — providing interactive, knowledgeable, finely personalized and virtual sales and service across an increasing array of connections. Examples of this are appearing in all manner of products, including cars, speakers, appliances and kiosks, as well as services such as retail, travel, banking and healthcare.
Conversational AI Benefits
With conversational AI, customers can engage with websites, apps, mobile devices, smart speakers and a growing list of other objects in the same way they might interact with a salesperson or customer service agent. It represents a powerful new capability for marketing, customer experience and digital commerce leaders to enhance brand awareness, improve retention and further personalize their services. The benefits of conversational AI include:
Putting Conversational AI to Work
Within our conversational AI practice, we’ve helped clients evaluate, design, deploy and support cognitive solutions built on the most advanced smart technologies available. Examples of projects we’re currently delivering include:
What’s Next for Conversational AI
We’ll further explore where conversational AI is headed in the third blog in this series . But at a high level, consider this perspective from a recent Wired article, discussing Amazon’s vision for the future of this technology. “One day, Amazon believes, AIs will do much more than merely control lights and playlists. They will drive cars, diagnose diseases, and permeate every niche of our lives. Voice will be the predominant interface, and conversation itself – helpful, informative, companionable, entertaining – will be the ultimate product.”
What happens between now and this ultimate reality is going to be a thrilling and sometimes elusive test of creativity, skills and foresight for the innovator within each of us. In my next post, I’ll outline the lessons we’ve learned from our pilots and deployments, which can help businesses succeed in their conversational AI endeavors. In the last blog of this series, I'll detail 10 expected developments in this area over the next two years, which business leaders can use to design their conversational AI strategies.