27 Apr, 2017 AI DOESN’T MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS
As the world moves more and more towards complete automation, many wonder what the role of humans will be in the workforce. Will there be any jobs left for us to do? And if so, what will they look like?
Fortunately, I don’t think most of us have to worry about being replaced by machines any time soon. Certainly, some of the more basic jobs are in danger of being taken over by smart machines that can handle repetitive, simple transactions, but the majority of people are safe, at for least the next 20 years or so.
As we love to highlight on our blog, technology is advancing at an unbelievable pace. A world of nearly limitless possibility has been opened up to us through many developments and inventions that we couldn’t even fathom 5 years ago. However, while technology has accomplished so much, there are still gaps in its capabilities.
Humans still have an integral role to place in the workforce. Why is that? Because humans are the only ones that can provide that personalized touch, something that has not been able to be recreated with the same emotional effect through automated process. This key distinction between man and machine is the reason why we must shift our thinking on the current state of technology. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language understanding, etc. are all just elements of what can be considered augmented intelligence: tools that are used to better equip humans to do their jobs.
In our space, augmented intelligence can unlock the potential for a new level of customer engagement. Customer expectations are changing, but we have to make sure we don’t jump the gun on technology and force it as the solution to these shifting demands. While AI, machine learning, etc. are all incredible developments, they are not yet equipped to be able to handle the spontaneity and complexity of many customer engagements.
There might be instances where a customer might not know whether they are talking to a human or a machine, yet the escalation level for virtually all automation is to escalate to a human because smart machines simply haven’t had enough time to develop.
What happens, though, during those escalations is that the machines then become the support team for the agent. Throughout the customer interaction, the smart machines have been collecting information on the customer’s preferences, tastes, interests, purchase history, and many other details. That knowledge can then be passed to the agent so that issues can be resolved quickly and effectively, leading to a more satisfied patron and, more importantly, reduced effort for both the customer and the agent. Using automation tools, brands can get closer to customers than ever before, and this leads to better and better customer experiences through more detailed predictive analytics and prescriptive offers for these customers in the future.
This won’t be the case forever; machines will be refined and developed so they will be able to handle this process on their own. For the time being, though, they are not ready to handle complex interactions without human guidance. While smart machines might not be the standalone solution now, they still serve as an essential tool to augment human intelligence. By equipping agents with proper knowledge of the customers they are serving, your company will be able to deliver exceptional experiences and keep customers loyal.
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