What will your customers want tomorrow? What strategic decisions should you make today to hit those metrics? Getting the answer to these questions may soon be as simple as asking your very smart digital assistant, thanks to an emerging technology — artificial intelligence (AI).
Perhaps the most prominent example of one of these platforms is IBM’s Watson. While not a personal assistant itself, Watson has a strong back-end rooted in AI problem solving, enabling enterprise developers to build chatbot-style applications on top of the platform. For example, the American Cancer Society is using Watson to mine data on Cancer.org to answer questions from patients in natural language. One IBM employee built Ana, a chatbot that explains complex insurance information, which can often take pages of searching to find, to customers.
Watson is even converging with other AI tools to leverage even more powerful insights than it can alone. Watson is working with Salesforce’s Einstein — the company’s own customer relationship management AI platform — to predict customer needs across sales, service, marketing and commerce. The AI platforms will comb both structured and unstructured data to provide decision-making power to Salesforce customers. Using AI platforms as a recommendation engine has powerful bottomline potential, making up about 35 percent of Amazon’s purchases and 75 percent of Netflix selections. But for democratized access to AI insights, companies need platforms that don’t just predict information, but share it with employees in an intuitive, simple way.
Smart personal assistants are primed to usher in an era of AI platforms that predict not just customer insights, but boardroom needs as well. Take, for example, Amazon’s Alexa for Business, which employees can integrate with business applications like Salesforce or Splunk to ask for real-time information updates on company data.
The potential for the types of predictions these personalized assistants can make will only grow as business continue to make new apps that integrate with these devices. This is likely to level the playing field for who at a company has access to predictive data, decentralized and democratizing business intelligence.
If everyone at a company has access to an AI-derived insights available through simply asking Siri or Alexa or Bixby, these platforms could quickly become the next business differentiator for companies seeking intuitive insights.