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Throughout its rise to prominence over the past two decades, digital advertising has achieved wild success and is—perhaps unsurprisingly now to most of us —poised to surpass traditional advertising in dollars spent.
When I was growing up, talking cars were the stuff of science fiction. On the show Knight Rider, Michael Knight worked alongside his car, KITT, to solve crimes across the highways and byways of America. Long before Knight Rider, we had Dick Tracy. His two-way radio wristwatch might just be on your arm today, paired to your smartphone.
“The 19th century was a century of empires, the 20th century was a century of nation states. The 21st century will be a century of cities.” - Wellington Webb
Most people love a good podcast. They make the drive home feel shorter and the mindless house chores seem less of a bore. You can listen to an entire true crime documentary, enjoy a comedy standup, and keep up with the latest trends in any subject you like.
Emotion underpins most human interaction. Even for the briefest conversation, you instinctively analyze their facial expression, body language, tone of voice, and what kind of mood they're in so you can adjust your approach. When someone is sad, you react sympathetically, when your friend is angry, you speak to them calmly, when your mother-in-law is angry, you leave the house immediately. (You get our point.)
AI has already wriggled its way into the business world with dedicated Alexa Skills that automate office tasks, an "intelligent agent" designed to boost workplace productivity, and even a personal AI analyst that digs up company data for you.
Using your phone or tablet to follow a recipe can be more stressful than the cooking itself. If it's a video, you'll spend half the time rushing to pause it or repeatedly replay the previous step. If it's a written recipe, well, we hope you like food smudged all over your screen.
People often ask me to give them a brief, non-technical definition of "Conversational AI". And indeed, because I am passionate about this topic, I give it a try.
Conversational AI is about reducing the gulf between humans and machines. The most innate way to achieve this is through language, either in written or spoken form. The most common examples of this are Chatbots or Voice Assistants. Once our communication with machines is done in a cooperative manner beyond simple commands, we call this “Conversational AI,” where “AI” means both “Artificial” and “Augmented” intelligence. This describes the overall idea: We want to augment human capabilities in a smart way.
To picture this, think of a worker in the hospitality industry who has practiced the profession for years and ends up giving out key cards and recommending restaurants nearby. Thanks to Conversational AI, thanks to a Bot taking over these routine tasks, the receptionist can now do more sophisticated things which might need human empathy like taking care of individual guest’s needs and up-selling better rooms. The bot does what computers can do better and faster—like looking up restaurants and timetables.
In short: We want to have a world where Conversational AI works alongside humans.
Conversations can be achieved through various channels—whatever you want to name it: Cross-Channel, Multi-Channel, or Omnichannel. Indeed, there are differences, but all in all this simply describes the need to have a strategy for bi-directional communication in and across your customers’ channels of choice. And that’s for a simple reason: Users are not willing to find you anymore, to search for websites, to install apps.
This means that you need to be where your target audience is.
That’s one of the many reasons I like working with a Conversational AI Platform which is channel-agnostic. Literally, you build a conversation once and use it throughout all relevant channels. Yes, some channels support different media while others don’t and, in some aspects, even the conversation design differs.