There are many trends within Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that are making huge waves. Let’s take a look at what 2019 has in store and what you should be watching out for your business:
Ever since Alexa’s popularity has soared, marketers have realized the untapped potential of voice-activated customer services. From finding information on the web to carry out tasks around the home, speech recognition tool can accomplish a lot and 2019 will see further innovation on that front.
There are already TVs launched by Sony, TiVo, and Hisense that are voice-controlled. The home appliance market is not far behind either with brands like Delta, LG, and Whirlpool adding Alexa’s voice recognition to their devices. This allows people to control everything by voice commands from microwaves, refrigerators and faucets and the highly futuristic ‘smart’ homes.
Virtual Customer Service Agents
Chatbots are again a hugely successful AI feature and in recent years businesses have started using this tool to streamline several online processes. For example, answering website visitor queries, qualifying sales leads, helping customers checkout, alerting customers of items in their basket and many more.
2019 promises to take this game several notches up. Because the good old chatbot will reinvent itself to be a customer service virtual agent – with a personality and face to boot. The new agent will be able to accomplish much more in terms of customer service for your business.
As an example, Autodesk has created a virtual agent called AVA. AVA has a female persona with a voice that lines up with the overall branding. It is hugely successful because of the human element and also because of the company’s research to build a believable persona.
We will see more such life-like virtual agents in 2019.
Enhanced Retail Recommendations
AI and ML are already famous for predictive product recommendations when shopping online. You might recall Amazon’s product recommendation algorithm.
In 2019, these retail recommendations will be much smarter and customer-oriented.
AI will be able to now suggest products using tone/sentiment as well user’s browsing trends. More companies are now adopting more personalized and guided shopping experiences for customers. In fact, this trend will not stop online but will extend to physical outlets where shoppers can get product recommendations from AI-enabled displays.
Analysis of Reviews and Insightful Marketing
AI and ML have caused significant marketing shifts. Businesses now don’t need to rely on their wit and judgment to forecast sales. AI-enabled smarter prediction of sales helps retailers manage their stock and logistics costs better, finding the right balance in demand and supply.
Take, for example, Rakuten Institute of Technology that has created an algorithm to analyze nearly 200 million products that are traded on Rakuten Ichiba. This algorithm provides highly accurate sales volume forecasts. Not only that, it uses fact-based segmentation of consumers using wider criteria like product preferences, shopping behavior etc.
One upcoming trend in 2019, is the analysis of customer feedback and reviews. This will allow companies to respond to both negative and positive reviews to enhance customer loyalty and mitigate negative publicity. ML algorithms can carry out perfect sentiment analysis of reviews and extract valuable information from these pages.
AI-powered computers can not only understand speech but also understand visual patterns and images. Technology has made it possible for computers to acquire, process and understand data from visual patterns – known as image recognition.
This has great use in all spheres of life – from diagnosis of diseases to detection of license plates, photo analysis for id verification and so on. Businesses can use image recognition to improve their marketing. Many companies are now using proprietary image recognition software to scan images/videos from several million web pages so that brands can place ads where users are most likely to see them. Image recognition is definitely a trend to watch out for.
We have only scratched the surface of what AI and ML can achieve for business improvement and customer satisfaction. There are sure to be many other trends that will surface as the uses evolve and organizations unravel their benefits.