AI or artificial intelligence has long been somewhat of a buzzword, but for those who leverage the technology and even more for those who build AI instruments, it’s far more. Now, it appears in near aspects of our lives, from the drive-thru taking fast food orders; to contact centers, and assisting agents in taking post-meeting notes.
There is no shortage of what AI technology can do. For a technology built on (the concept of) constant training and learning to improve various experiences, there also seems to be no shortage of what it gets used for today.
That likely means improving customer and end-user experience, as it appears that AI is about enhancing experiences of all kinds.
Transforming the World as we Know it
According to the Brookings Institute, AI is transforming the world as we know it, with the institute noting: “Artificial intelligence is already altering the world and raising important questions for society, the economy, and governance.”
From finance to national security, healthcare and criminal justice, transportation, and even city planning, AI is not foolproof, and there are concerns regarding the ethics of it all.
Some argue that there needs to be far greater governance and regulation on the technology that is (pretty much) a free-for-all at the moment. As fast as you can build/train and implement it – new AI applications are penetrating the market at a record pace.
This speed has led some of the biggest names in technology to sign a letter asking for a freeze on AI tech for a few years.
And as of late, there’s been another AI tool introduced to the market – one that everyone can’t seem to get enough of – ChatGPT, which leverages generative AI technology. In the world of enterprise technologies, it has already (been) leveraged to enhance various business flows, including those performed by collaboration tools and even in the contact center with things like self-service.
Contact center tool providers and UCC tool developers like Dialpad, Zoom, Five9, and countless others have added the technology to their fleet of tools designed to enhance various experiences.
Business AI: A Growing Trend
Business AI is everything from chatbots used for self-service to IVR – interactive voice response also used for self-service. But business AI goes much deeper than that – as AI can also do things like gather insights from meetings to paint a wholistic photo of a business landscape.
Today, AI can schedule meetings by scanning a group of workers’ calendars so they don’t have to send near-endless emails back and forth, attempting to find the most optimal time to meet. Beyond that, AI can summarize meetings and even take notes.
It can frame the perfect shot in a virtual business meeting and even ensure quality assurance. That means: training and more occur because AI gets inserted into various business workflows.
For instance, using AI, more specifically, because of a tool called sentiment analysis: a contact center manager can be alerted to a bitter customer and step in to assist the agent in need, advising on the next steps or (to extend) a discount/coupon to rectify the situation.
Automation, Automation, Automation
According to a December 2022 survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, AI adoption has more than doubled since 2017. Then it was 20 percent, and today it sits at over 58 percent of businesses reporting: having adopted some form of AI.
That includes one of the most prolific ways AI’s helping to improve various experiences – process automation.
Essentially: automating (formerly) fully manual processes can save workers time if we consider a business application of process automation. This includes but is not limited to sales orders, accounting reconciliation, data entry, system queries, payroll, employee/vendor onboarding, invoicing; IT support tickets and customer support.
And all this automation, according to a 2023 Kissflow survey, is working to enhance and make working a better experience. It found that 94 percent of SMBs perform repetitive tasks. And automating those tasks, (on the other hand) cultivated a more suitable work environment for 90 percent of knowledge workers.
Productivity increased for 66 percent of workers surveyed – according to that same Kissflow survey.
The Future of AI
This is a bit of a difficult one, but so far, there is a lot of speculation.
The future of AI seems to be a bit fast and furious. What I mean by this is that there will be a lot of advancements made by way of the technology. And that will not always translate into something that makes humans comfortable. As the very nature of technology is that it constantly evolves – that is one of the realities we should prepare to cope with.
Human enhancement – something that sounds quite futuristic, is already here – at least via AI tools, and that is what AI is mostly doing now and making our jobs simpler to do. That is apparent in any (number of) fields, from manufacturing to the contact center sphere.
And for companies like OpenAI and DeepMind: which is owned by Google’s parent company: hope to push the technology beyond what anyone previously thought was possible – eventually making AI do anything a human brain could pull off.
That means processing complex thoughts, and dare I say it? Even emote? While I don’t think it will be possible for AI to emote – that does not mean that computer geeks won’t try.
Contrary to popular belief, AI is not the end-all-be-all; it is not the solution to humanity’s most pressing problems. It does, however, present a compelling case in many instances. It is more about choosing to implement it where (it is) best; and ethical.
Not just to be able to make the claim “we have AI.”
We must be careful not to straddle (the potentially) slippery slope of AI and to be hyper-aware of the possible hazards it presents when not implemented with care and a sense of ethics.
For now, the technology shows no signs of slowing down. And that means big money for those with a say in the future of said technology. Already, the AI world is worth 100 billion U.S. dollars, according to Statista.
That number is anticipated to reach a staggering two trillion dollars by 2030.