From virtual assistant-enabled smart speakers through to customer service bots used by mobile operators, artificial intelligence (AI) is already part of our everyday lives. This is only going to grow as solutions become more sophisticated.
The technology has great potential – including the ability to improve collaboration and operational efficiency for businesses. It's all around us, yet many of the ways we are using AI aren’t immediately obvious. Here are five ways we are using the technology in our everyday lives, at home, and in the workplace.
1. AI for more productive meetings
AI enabled voice-controlled interfaces are already being used to facilitate meetings with tools like Webex Assistant able to start, end and control meetings using just the power of your voice. Cisco Webex room series also uses artificial intelligence to reduce everyday background noise - think dogs barking, sirens blaring, the tap tap tap of someone multitasking in the background. This is already starting to expand as AI assistance technologies support truly collaborative meetings, transforming the way colleagues interact – as well as boosting productivity. Take a listen to our podcast for more on how AI will transform meetings in the future.
2. AI-enabled customer service
AI is being used by many companies to improve the customer experience through chatbots. The AI-enabled bots are currently able to solve simple issues, freeing up the human agents for more complex tasks or customer queries.
These chatbots are having an impact across multiple sectors, from telecoms operators through to high street banks and more. Gartner predicts they will power 85% of customer service interactions by 2020. They are predominantly being used by larger firms, but as businesses realise the benefits including brand loyalty, there’s no doubt their popularity will increase further.
3. AI personal assistants
Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are taking the market by storm. Many consumers have one of these devices in their home right now, which they are using to perform everyday tasks like setting a timer, or adding an event to their calendar. At the same time, the Siri assistant appears on all Apple smartphones.
Already able to connect to a smart home ecosystem, the voice-activated systems behind personal assistants are becoming more sophisticated every day.
4. AI for email and IT security
It might not be obvious, but your email spam filter is using AI to spot rogue messages. Indeed, spam filters are continuously learning, using the words in the message, as well as the metadata – including where the email has been sent from and who sent it.
In the future, this capability is set to increase further, with your email client able to reply to messages on your behalf. Some email providers already offer a ‘smart reply’ service to suggest answers to your email.
If you're curious about how artificial intelligence will help with your IT security, read our blog on how AI can secure your business from hackers.
5. AI for targeted advertising, recommendations, and online shopping
Retailers are already known for offering customers relevant products relating to their previous purchases. In addition, video streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are able to recommend content to users by learning from data detailing what they have previously viewed.
Enabled by AI, the ability to predict what consumers want is improving all the time, allowing companies to target users with specific content. Capabilities such as this have the potential to benefit businesses of all sizes, improving customer loyalty and ultimately, boosting sales.
And how will you use AI in the near future?
AI will improve lives at home and in the workplace further through adding operational efficiencies and equipping workers of the future. As part of this, smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo are set to become even more human-like – so much so that it may be impossible to tell them apart from a real person.
This could see AI making appointments on your behalf: For example, in the workplace, the AI assistant could be tasked with organising a client meeting; in your personal life, an AI assistant could phone and book an appointment with your the hairdresser, as you can see in this video below.
As you can see, AI has the potential to revolutionise the way we live and work and is already beginning to shape our daily lives. But we're only at the beginning. The Google example above hints at a future where AI blends in so well that it's indiscernible from working with people. And when we're not thinking about the technology, that's when we'll be able to just focus on the job at hand. Ultimately, the benefits AI will bring in operational efficiency will free your workforce from the mundane to realise its full potential.
From Amazon's Alexa to customer service bots, AI is already part of our lives. But how else do we use AI and what is its future in the workplace?