Let’s Get Things Straight with AI-powered Digital Assistants
Since we are not robots, we can't always perform well.
Let’s get a few things straight. We’ve got a couple of people at the workplace that dislike not knowing, or worse – knowing something and not knowing it’s wrong; more importantly – you’re also wrong in the process. “Pet peeves” our friendly SEO specialist, George whispers under his breath.
“With all our resources, our availability to information and innovative technology at our fingertips, we’re still grossly misinformed and misunderstood, it really grinds my gears.”
George is clearly unhappy – and I can understand why. He’s a reasonable person, but what’s Georges’ strength has also left him handicapped. George loves numbers. He’s a data dude. Less is always more and 9 out of 10 times he’ll pick the same meal for lunch. Kerala meals.
He who knows not. Knows not.
He adores familiarity and basks in the comfort of his own knowledge based on the literature he's read regarding his field. However, what happens when everything you’re faced is something that you’ve never learned about, or you haven’t had the time, inclination and opportunity to access this sort of information.
“Myths. Myths and rumors are spread when such things happen” said George as he placed his lunch order on UberEats. Kerala meals. As always.
I grew up curious about most things. I needed to know where then ants went once they disappeared into the walls. Cue two hours later, I had gone through my father’s makeshift toolkit. I liked going through the bag more than I liked looking for the hammer to peel away the distemper, in hope of finding out – ‘where do the ants go!’
I later learned this bag was part of the existing load-carrying ensembles also known as ELCEs. An ELCE consists of various bags worn by a soldier typically, these various ensembles (bags) help you to distribute weight evenly, or at least that’s what they’re supposed to do. They included your backpack, a haversack, a web bag that you wore in the front near your abdomen and then the entire ensemble even included your rifle in hand, which weighed a gorgeous 4.2 kgs. All in all, you were to carry 21.4 kgs. That’s the official listing on the DRDO manual anyway.
As you can see, I could have left the ants to go where they wanted to, and simply played with, rummaged through and eventually left alone the olive-green bag that could hold a payload of up to 4.4 kgs and was to be worn at your waist region. But I am and grew up curious about most things.
My workplace knows this too. A couple of them visited my desk a few days back and before I knew it, I found myself penning down an article with the intention of, ‘getting things straight’.
Let’s get one thing straight:
When it comes to big businesses, almost all of them, if not everyone will soon have to adopt a digital assistant.
Keeping in mind reader interest and time, we’ll try and keep our points short, sweet and to make sure they’re credible – we’ll be quoting from some of the best minds and individuals within the AI space.
If you’d like a detailed understanding of IVA’s (intelligent virtual assistants), check out here.
“What started as an isolated app on the iPhone has evolved. Intelligent assistants constitute an entirely new network of activity. No longer confined to our personal computing devices, assistants are being embedded within every object of interest in the cloud and the internet of things.”
–Peter Sweeney, Founder, Primal.com| Medium
Designed to work a lot more efficiently and effectively; digital assistants powered by the best AI money can buy is quickly phasing out humans when it comes to repetitive tasks. Today's conversational digital assistants have the capabilities and functions that have given them greater access to larger computing skills.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that humans and chatbots will have to compete with each other, but machines and humans will share a symbiotic relationship.
Digital assistants are not here to replace us, but they help us better augment the tasks we perform; ensuring that we can spend our time working on things that require a higher degree of expertise and innovation.
Let’s get another thing straight:
Digital assistants share a similar fabric to humans, but they aren’t people.
There are lots of examples of routine, middle-skilled jobs that involve relatively structured tasks, and those are the jobs that are being eliminated the fastest. Those kinds of jobs are easier for our friends in the artificial intelligence community to design robots to handle them. They could be software robots; they could be physical robots. - Erik Brynjolfsson
As similar and as effective as virtual assistants may seem, what undisputed is that they aren’t people and on a nuclear level aren’t able to innovate the way people do.
If you’re an e-commerce brand, rest assured that your customers' services are set to soar if you choose to implement AI-powered digital assistants into your business. You’re looking at quality customer service, in record time and at a fraction of the price! The math on this one is a no brainer.
Daniel Thomas from Chatbot Magazine summarized my thoughts perfectly, he says, “The employee learns invaluable skills while exercising them in tasks that actually demand his/her attention, while the employer can use chatbots to perform menial and repetitive tasks.”
Leaders in various finance firms have looked towards the power of integrated digital assistants when it comes to handling such advances. Recently, TDECU, Houston’s largest credit union with the help of interface, used MAX – their very own digital assistant to increases customer acquisition by 5x!
While we’re at it, let’s get this straight too:
Digital assistants are experiential and provide personalized user experiences
"Chatbots will replace the search window. There will be a rapid decline in app usage. The last three years, we have gone from brands' desire to have mobile-friendly websites, then apps, and we now expect to see app activity get cannibalized by bots."
- Will Wiseman, chief strategy officer of PHD U.S
Digital assistants can leverage data to their advantage. Based on FAQ’s your digital assistant can solve your customers' queries at a much faster pace; directly proportional to increased customer delight. It’s 2019 – whether you’re in banking, e-commerce, retail, insurance of software; the requirement for personalized services has never been higher. A recent survey by a Deloitte study found that people don’t just want personalized communication, but products and services that are also tailored to them. 36% of consumers expressed an interest in purchasing personalized products or services, while 48% said they’d be willing to wait longer in order to receive it.
Let’s get one last thing this straight:
The power of Digital assistants has almost quadrupled in a very very short time.
“U.K.-based Juniper Research announced it forecasts 8 billion digital voice assistants will be in use by 2023.”
With a tidal shift in NLP AI; the potential and effectiveness at which digital assistants perform have multiplied and magnified in a very short time. While a few are skeptical when it comes to the adoption of this technology, every other business – big or small- is jumping on board the AI-powered digital assistant train with little to no doubts in their minds.
Learning is active and no longer passive. Digital assistants are armed with the technology that allows them to continuously learn from their mistakes, elevating conversations with customers while simultaneously making informed and better decisions for them.
For the record, let’s get this straight.
72 percent of business executives believe digital assistants help make their lives easier
AI integrated into our businesses is something that inevitable. It makes little to no sense to persist. Acceptance and movers’ advantage is what you should be looking at when it comes to AI integration, not resistance and that proverbial risk of being left behind.
Chatbots are expected to cut business costs by $8 billion by 2022.
From service providers, big industries, small industries; everyone’s bound to see a drastic change in how their businesses function and perform with the adoption of digital assistants. What’s left to see is whether companies and more importantly customers can make this seamless transition and coexist in a space that thrives on innovation; allowing man and machine to grow, together.
Whether you’re a startup or a business that’s arrived, what’s always held true is that every business wants to streamline its process; improving the productivity of its sales and marketing along with better management of resources, maybe artificial intelligence is the answer. Maybe interface is the answer.