If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
If you call Verizon looking for support, don't be surprised when Google answers the phone. This week, Verizon announced that it has started piloting Google's Cloud Contact Center Artificial Intelligence in a bid to deliver, "a more natural and streamlined digital experience." Verizon believes using Google's tech will lead to shorter call times and more satisfied customers, with the added bonus of the company being able to deal with more customers calling each day. Shankar Arumugavelu, global CIO & SVP, Verizon, commented, "Verizon's commitment to innovation extends to all aspects of the customer experience ... These customer service enhancements, powered by the Verizon collaboration with Google Cloud, offer a faster and more personalized digital experience for our customers while empowering our customer support agents to provide a higher level of service." Google's Contact Center AI is built around an end-to-end development suite called Dialogflow.
Historically, banks focused on providing a trusted service to customers and relied on messaging and reputation for this trust to gain market share and build sustained customer loyalty. The equation here was simple: trust equals loyalty equals customer lifetime value (CLV). In the world of Bank 1.0, trust was established by the fact that banking activities were carried out purely in a physical world. Customers would visit branches to physically deposit and withdraw funds, request a loan or discuss financial needs. The explosive growth of digital technologies has changed this dramatically – it's more complex and far more competitive.
The personalized digital experience is all about communication The back and forth between companies and consumers is changing from the traditional outbound push strategy, to the more empowering experience that pulls users into the inbound interaction when they want to engage. Consumers are becoming more savvy but ultimately want to be understood, educated and not sold to. In order to do that, the digital experience needs to evolve towards “human”-like intelligence. Here’s what a personalized digital experience should communicate to a user: “Talk to me! I am listening!” “You don’t need special skills to talk to me. I am designed
Much has been written in the past few weeks about the COVID-19 crisis and the ripple effects that will impact human society. Beyond the immediate effect of the virus on health and mortality, it is clear that we are also facing a global, massive financial crisis that is likely to affect our lives for years to come. These changes, along with the expected prolonged social isolation, are bound to have a devastating effect on our mental health, collectively and individually, and, in turn, cause a dramatic deterioration in overall health and an increase in the prevalence of chronic illness. From research conducted by the World Health Organization, we know that most people affected by emergency situations experience immediate psychological distress, hopelessness and sleep issues -- and that 22% of people are expected to develop depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. This escalation comes on top of a baseline of 19.1% of U.S. adults experiencing mental illness (47.6 million people in 2018, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
It's not just consumers who expect brands to be always-on. Business customers want to be able to get things done 24/7, quickly and easily. They expect to have digital channels in place to get routine tasks done on their own, without needing to speak to an agent. In fact, about 86% of business decision makers said they prefer to use self-service tools for reordering, rather than talk to a sales representative, a survey by McKinsey found. More and more companies are looking to new technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), to provide customers with faster, more efficient service.
With the digital world of data becoming the focal point of discussions and innovation, there is unparalleled hype over what it takes to be a digital enterprise in this day and age. Data sits at the center of the digital revolution, and companies that have determined the best possible way to extract meaning out of data are well on their way to glory. An organization takes its first steps into the digital world of change when it realizes and utilizes the importance of cloud based technologies like AI and IoT. These services are used to better manage data and to generate the best possible insights from it on a real-time basis. The insights generated from your data through cloud based services like IoT and AI can help improve business processes, automate tasks, design new products and manage operations in an efficient manner.
The new year promises abundant potential for advancement across the broad swath of Federal government IT. Industry leaders shared their predictions for 2020 and beyond with MeriTalk, indicating the path to progress will often track uphill, and around plenty of curves. The big Federal IT issues for 2020 proper? How about multi-cloud architecture, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) adoption, 5G mobile and related security implications, and workforce upskilling, just to name a few. Asked to jump two years into the future and identify the biggest Federal IT areas we should have been looking at more closely in 2020, many of the broader security and infrastructure themes run in a similar vein.
Forward-looking insurers are using AI to innovate insurance processes like claims to keep up with customer demand for a 24/7 digital experience, while boosting operational efficiency. And conversational assistants, such as chatbots, are one of the most prevalent applications of AI used to accomplish this. But for customers to embrace the tech, chatbots need to drive a good conversational experience that mimics human agents, and bots must have access to relevant customer information to successfully address their requests. To that end, insurer Zurich UK worked with white-label chatbot provider Spixii to expand its initially limited digital capabilities to provide customers with an immediate way of declaring claims. The insurer knew it had to meet customer demand for an "always-on" digital experience around claims, and while it likely identified chatbots as a good solution from both a time-to-market and budgeting perspective, it needed to ensure the tech would provide a cohesive experience across online and offline channels.
For nearly three decades, IBM has partnered with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to bring this prestigious sporting event to life for millions of fans, players, coaches, and even the media. This year players from Roger Federer to Serena Williams, along with their coaches, will be utilising IBM AI-powered tools to sharpen their game plan and skill. Better still, IBM Watson is also reinventing how fans experience the US Open, taking it far beyond simply reporting the very latest Novak Djokovic news. Watson Virtual Assistant will help the hundreds of thousands of fans visiting the tournament to successfully navigate everything from maps to dining options, along with making the US Open Schedule seem so much less daunting. IBM Watson's AI capacity enables it to see, hear, and understand the most exciting moments recorded on video.