Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla was recently quoted saying: "There will be fewer and fewer jobs a robot cannot do better." In his impassioned speech he asked what meaning humans will have without jobs. This follows others including Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, who have made comments on the dangers of robotics and AI "destroying jobs".
Musk argued that if humans want to add value, they should embrace a "merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence". Although this might sound like a sci-fi movie in the works, Musk's suggestions really do extend to the symbiosis of man and machine. What's more, the sentiment of humans working together with artificial intelligence technology is an important issue for businesses and consumers. It's as much an ethical and moral judgement to consider as much as purely an issue of scientific development.
We have seen many jobs in history taken away by technology - this is a fact, and unfortunately part of evolution. The critical moment is when machines themselves develop other machines that can do new things and learn to be autonomously creative. Recent news of AI beating humans in Poker and even the highly complex game of Go are certainly noteworthy, yet the path to complete machine based independence remains somewhat unclear. While we must progress carefully using effective safeguards and industry education, it's time to take advantage of what the technology has to offer.
To date the focus of AI development has been on beating humans in logical intelligence, but not so much on emotional intelligence. This is especially clear, when it comes to communicating to people in a human and emotionally attentive way. In this regard AI has been of little use to date, yet the potential is there to have great impact in society in general, and businesses in particular.
When AI is applied and integrated intelligently within customer communication channels, it is capable of creating personalised and highly relevant dialogue between brand and consumer. It's about using data to help understand how we as customers behave and react, and then using this insight to adapt and create a better experience.
AI isn't something to be feared: machine learning and elements of AI are applied across many of the services we already use on a daily basis. The reason services like Netflix and Spotify are so popular is that they use data intelligently to provide relevant content to users based on their consumption, and this approach has already proved highly effective for the advertising industry.
More importantly, AI shouldn't be seen to replace humans, rather just enhance human ability and help the brands we love communicate with us, in a more personalised manner, and at scale. In an ideal world, brands would speak personally to each and every customer to provide the best possible experience. Businesses would be able to create an engaging interaction, supported by hyper personalised messages adapted to that customer and respond directly to their needs - much like a face to face interaction in store.
However, in this digital age, marketing teams would need to be hundreds of times the size they are to have this style of interaction while providing a seamless customer journey. This is primarily the fault of our multichannel habits. Email, phone, text, messaging apps, social platforms, traditional mail - there are so many communication channels that brands are over-messaging with and, as a result, customers are switching off.
Brands should be aware that AI is a useful tool, but it's important not to lose the human element. The technology is just about making humans the best version of themselves and not completely removing the human aspect of the interaction.
Moreover, with advancements in AI technology, it is now possible to retain that human aspect and be just as intelligent as a customer dialogue. Combining AI with customer data means brands can create intelligent service oriented communication, adapted to the customer's behaviour, in real-time. This creates a much more engaging and useful interaction for customers.
This much isn't the future, it's today. The tools are already available to enable brands to create messages and select channels that are relevant to customers' behaviour, in real-time. Take into account how you create a compelling message that speaks to customers' emotions.
Wiraya has helped a number of businesses to use AI driven pre-recorded voice calls alongside text messages that are individually personalised. These messages give the customer the opportunity to be connected with customer support, either immediately, or at a convenient time for them. We've carried out several studies on how the respondents perceive this type of communication and more than 90% say they prefer this way of being contacted.
Collecting such data is key, because as more consumption goes through digital channels, it creates a vital data resource for businesses. Helping peers expand their sphere of knowledge to include how to use algorithms, technology and artificial intelligence is the prerogative of every next-gen marketer.
Fundamentally consumers want brands to speak to them on their terms and in "their language". If the process of renewing your home insurance, or your mobile phone contract or even your mortgage was truly intuitive, tailored and personal - beyond simply a sales pitch - the increase in conversion would be truly dramatic.
It's clear that AI will become a major factor behind delivering a better experience between brands and consumers. There now exists a true opportunity for AI to make humans - and brands - smarter.
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