It’s quite fascinating to live in a world of disruptive innovation when the futuristic images from science fiction movies step-by-step become our everyday reality. Rapid digitalization opens up unexplored opportunities and makes organizations rethink the way they develop their businesses.
Among the top 10 strategic technology trends to pay special attention to in 2017 are the artificial intelligence apps powered by AI technologies. As the report states: over the next 10 years, virtually every app, application, and service will incorporate some level of AI.
Well, these tools have already started infiltrating our lives with lightning speed, since they simply allow one to do everyday tasks easier and faster. Nowadays, you won’t surprise anyone with a chatbot or a witty virtual assistant such as Siri, Cortana and Google Now, a handwriting recognition app or a security AI tool allowing you to monitor computer networks and even predict any potential issues that occur.
According to Gartner, by 2018 most of the world’s largest 200 companies will use intelligent apps and apply the full toolkit of Big Data and analytics instruments to refine their offers and improve customer experience. Around 40 AI-related acquisitions happened just in 2016, and the number tends to grow. No surprise that among the enterprises investing in and acquiring AI startups are such corporations as Google, IBM, Salesforce, and Apple. But it’s not just an affair for giant corporations, any company regardless of the size can benefit from integrating high tech AI solutions into their business.
One may think that such shift requires a significant investment of efforts and resources. However, introducing AI to your business is much easier than you may have thought. It is both affordable and beneficial for every business, presuming a right approach is in place.
So, you’ll probably ask, where to start and how to make AI technology actually pay off?
To help you answer this question, consider the advantages that your business can gain. They are actually quite diverse. AI solutions can not only bring you closer to your customer but also can provide data-driven predictions and analysis, helping the business grow faster.
Why it’s worth giving AI a try?
At ELEKS, we are among those early adopters, keeping track of all the major novelties that emerge on the tech horizon. Our R&D team is constantly experimenting to create a better and smarter user experience, helping our customers reach and interact with their target audience in new ways. Recently we did a number of interesting demos featuring intelligent apps, created to cover the most opportunistic business cases. Read on to learn more about the experiments we did and the results we achieved.
Basically, we aimed to test the benefits such solutions can actually offer. Below we summarized the key ones.
1. It adds more personalization to customer services
For businesses today, a human-centered approach to every customer is one of the top priorities. Especially in our hyper-saturated with technologies world, where every person owns at least 3–4 gadgets, businesses are facing a myriad of challenges.
How to solve a client’s pain points and deliver a user experience that is not only smooth and pleasant but also carefully tailored to meet the need in the best way? What tools and solutions to apply to make the finest offers to their customers? How to boost sales and at the same time win more clients’ hearts? Well, these are the well-known questions, but how can AI be of help here?
The answer is in personalization. Imagine yourself a tool helping its users to choose a perfect gift for a kid. At least once in your life, you have to pick a present for a child, and no doubt, you face the same challenges every customer does — a lack of time, no idea what kids like, depending on if it’s a gift for a girl or a boy and what is trendy among kids right now. Recently, we did an experiment and created a smart Gift Recommender.
The user only has to indicate such parameters as the child’s age, gender, and favorite activities (e.g. skiing, drawing, camping, etc.), and in a few seconds, this personal virtual assistant displays the final list of gifts with the prices and descriptions. Yes, it’s that simple.
Powering customer recommender systems with AI is a use-case definitely worth considering, since this approach can help businesses significantly boost sales as well as nurture brand new relationships with their customers. What’s more, a better and smarter user experience by default means greater loyalty to your services.
Looking for some creative ideas and promising technology use cases to transform your customer services? Check out this whitepaper on retail innovation.
2. It offers a completely new level of user experience
With the fast rise of AI-powered tools, the notion of the user experience also undergoes immense transformations. Everything suggests that the voice-based technologies will be a new stage in the interface design. The already mentioned report by Gartner states that by 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse — e.g. via conversational user interfaces, video doorbells, video watch applications, etc. Also, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen.
We can now see diverse examples of how this trend has already touched on various areas of our everyday lives. More and more, smart devices augmented with digital conversational interfaces have been hitting the market recently. We’re living in an age where even fridges can connect to the internet and offer you some interactive digital experience. One of such gadgets, Samsung’s Family Hub™, caught our attention after the release of the new open source toolkit allowing to build apps for Samsung’s IoT devices.
We decided to experiment complementing the usability of the smart fridge with some extra interactive features. So, we created our own voice-controlled smart assistant allowing user to shop foods right in front of the fridge using voice commands.
Imagine that customers could literally ask their smart fridges to do grocery shopping for them. No need to put together some endless shopping lists, stand in the queues and waste time on the way to the grocery shops. For retail businesses, such a streamlined and smooth shopping experience can become a windfall. Especially when targeting Millennials, the most demanding and tech-savvy audience, who represent 26.1% of the U.S. population and whose purchasing power is predicted to grow to $290B of CPG by 2020.
3. It helps improve work efficiency, accuracy and cost effectiveness
When it comes to the automation of time-consuming tasks, a smart bot assistant can make a real difference. Bots can be easily integrated into different fields (customer support, workforce management, marketing, security, etc.). They can help teams save time by faster accomplishing daily routine tasks such adding events to a calendar, applying for leaves, assigning tasks to employees, approving different requests, and reporting on problems. Furthermore, this technology allows one to improve the usability of the navigation through online resources. For example, an online shop can benefit from a bot, since customers could easily navigate through an online store using voice commands and receive the answers for their request faster.
The artificial intelligence chatbot can also help add personality to digital customer support services, answering user requests quickly and with a great degree of precision. Furthermore, it would help minimize the probability of mistakes, as the virtual assistant is led by the data and follows some predefined algorithms. Experimenting to implement this use case, our R&D team developed a virtual assistant facilitating website search.
Our bot is connected to the company’s official website eleks.com. In short, the assistant recognizes human speech, analyzes the user’s requests, and provides them with the information they are searching for. What we saw is that such bots are quite efficient at conducting Q&A sessions with website users, saving them time on the search of the proper answers.
You can visit our R&D blog to find more details on how we did the experiment and what we got as a result.
Apparently, the future is already here
Well, we have seen the examples of the recent promising AI use-cases and a number of interesting smart gadgets hitting the market lately. So, it is very likely that intelligent assistants will become an essential part of our everyday life soon. The greatest advantage of AI apps is that they are flexible, on-demand, human-centered, and even capable of solving various problems that seemed a big challenge before.
At ELEKS, we believe that intelligent apps have a great potential to transform our lives in the nearest future. So, we are trying to catch every single opportunity to try and test all the promising tech novelties through our R&D experiments and demos. We don’t rest on our laurels; we continue experimenting with the new functionalities of personal assistants, giving them some human-like features and skills.
Looking for the ways to deliver a smarter and more personalized experience for your customers? We are keen on solving such cases, making the most of what the latest tech landscape can offer.
Get in touch with us.