Today, customers are at the heart of digitization. Smart companies are using artificial intelligence to better understand their customers, build engagement and offer a hyper-personalized experience. The smart speaker market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 48% between 2016 and 2020. And our research of over 10,000 consumers shows that more than two-thirds of consumers (69%) consumers are satisfied with their AI-enabled interactions. As Figure 1 shows, the top three attributes they prize are: first, greater control; second, 24/7 availability; and third, faster resolution.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is giving customer experience a shot in the arm. Organizations are increasingly adopting conversational chatbots for providing customer service. Airports around the world are investing in mobile androids that help travelers with directions. Hotels are experimenting with voice-assisted in-room controls.1 A Microsoft social chatbot in China, "Xaiolce," already has over 200 million users, with 600,000 calls made in the first ten months since its launch.
Convenience drives consumers' choices of channels and devices. I don't care how many market research stats you can find about consumers' use of branches, mobile devices, or voice-enabled technology, you will never sway my belief that consumers will use whatever channel or device is most convenient for them at the moment they want or need to interact. A Statista study found that only one in five bank customers have "warmed up" to conversing with chatbots, while another study from NewVoiceMedia revealed that just 13% of consumers prefer their customer service queries to be handled by a chatbot. Why in the world would you be "AI-first" when your customers are anything but? Technology isn't a panacea for ineffective business processes, practices, or policies.
For the past decade, New York has worked to overtake the Bay Area as the US's #1 startup hub. New York startups have doubled their relative share of dollar volume invested into new tech companies nationwide since 2006 (source: Mattermark), and are now potentially staring down the opportunity to carve out a larger slice of that pie. Recent breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence will enable tasks that were once thought impossible for a computer to accomplish. In the way that mobile made Uber (via GPS chips) and Snapchat (via front-facing cameras) possible, AI is believed to be the technology that will set off the next wave of massively successful start ups. The most interesting thing to see over the next few years is how New York's startup community will weather the hype surrounding artificial intelligence.
The cloud is no longer "the next big thing," with companies now looking at machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to make their products smarter, more efficient, and to release human operators from manual tasks where they can be intelligently automated. AI is becoming more accessible, breaking new ground, permitting new ways of working and increasing productivity. Just as we think about the benefits, we must also consider the impacts these new technologies can have, and how removing human operators from machinery such as weaponry and healthcare can compromise end results. AI introduces uncharted moral and ethical dilemmas and a new scale to risks. Adam-Gedge has been running Avanade Australia for three years.