When you’re running a global company – or two in my case – Bouquet or Squid Solutions – you know how important it is to have your employees able to communicate easily and instantly. And not just with each other – they need to be able to tap into intelligence too.
With the need to communicate with so many people – all at once – technology has been hard-pressed to come up with a viable solution. But times are changing and now the world of a conversational interface is taking off to new heights.
Just what is a conversational interface (CI)? It’s a UI that talks to a human in the form of either voice assistants (which you talk to) or chatbots (which you type to). There’s a third form that has the appearance of a chatbot but is actually just a GUI.
According to the Internet Trends Report, by 2030, almost half of the jobs we do today will be replaced by robots. And Baidu Chief Scientist Andrew Ng says that when “speech recognition goes [to] 99%, all of us will [be] using it all the time. Most people underestimate the difference between 95% and 99% accuracy – 99% is a game-changer.’ Baidu, for those who don’t know, is China’s most popular search engine.
Ng, reports in Technology Review, that CI may soon be trustworthy enough to be used with all sorts of devices such as robots or home appliances. So much so that Baidu has global research teams focused exclusively on the AI + BI = CI equation and is “working to make computers better at parsing the meaning of sentences.”
There is currently any number of conversational interfaces that people interact with on a daily basis. On the voice assistant front, you have Siri, OK Google, Echo, and Cortana. Chatbots include Facebook’s M, and Slack’s Slackbot or Howdy.
So why are companies entering this space as quickly as possible? CI’s are cross-platform engines; working on everything from a smartphone to a smartwatch, including platforms like Echo that don’t have screens. They can even run on platforms from Facebook to Snapchat. The latest means to enhance conversational interface (CI) is by marrying artificial intelligence (AI) with business intelligence (BI). That means AI projects such as Wolfram Alpha enable CI’s to not just understand human syntax but to grasp the meaning.
According to Web Designer Depot, CI design requires a basic change in the way we look at design; there have to be fewer visual elements and far greater use of language.
As Matty Mariansky, co-founder of Meekan, puts it “Content becomes the Style”.
When the equation becomes AI+BI=CI, we begin moving into a much more dynamic world – indeed, one of dynamic intelligence. According to Digital Marketing Magazine, “it brings together the best of traditional research methodologies with real-time machine learning to create a continuous feed of actionable and precise insights, allowing marketers not only to better serve audiences in the present moment but also to predict their next need and behavior.”
Complex visualizations are becoming more and more obsolete as the volume of information grows with technology and becomes more precise. We need stripped-down simplified voice visualizations to sift through data quicker and this is what CI brings to the table.
The secret sauce to dynamic intelligence is what AI and BI bring to the table. AI is a combination of machine learning and data. BI is about computations, not visualizations. That allows the conversational interface to combine both AI and BI to give us the answers we are looking for in the most concise way possible.
What this means for the consumer is an easier way to communicate. Look at Mitsuku, which won the Loebner Prize for its conversational skills. The creator, Steve Worswick, says people tell him “how Mitsuku has helped them with a situation whether it was dating advice, being bullied at school, coping with illness or even advice about job interviews. I also get many elderly people who talk to her for companionship.”
According to Botsociety, the CEO of Kik, Ted Livingston, believes conversational interfaces should be less bothered with creating traditional conversations and more on focused user experience. Livingston said, “People are still experimenting with how bots should work, how they should design the experience, how they should grow. I think the big distraction right now is people really focus on natural language processing.”
The processing speed of a CI is also exponentially increased and now allows split-second decision making to occur. Yes, humans still need to make the ultimate decision, but the AI+BI presence cuts down on error.
Here’s an example for marketers: As we all know, AI lets marketers run a myriad of goal-oriented experiments in real-time in order to discover the moments that lead to conversion. BI, however, uses the results of historical financial data as well as current business operations that utilize modeling techniques to ultimately predict the performance and outcome of business decisions.
And it’s not just for marketers. Doctors can and do utilize AI during surgeries and the results are phenomenal. Imagine it this way; when you’re standing over a person who’s under anesthesia, their body cut open for you to operate on them, there’s not much time to open a book and find an answer to a question that’s just popped up. No, instead you can use a CI that’s borne of AI and BI and get your answer in seconds.
One example showed that the likelihood of cancer diagnosis error is 3.5% from humans, a bigger 7.5% if diagnosed by AI – but when AI combines with human intelligence, the number drops to just 0.5%.
According to Mirabeau, “the next revolution is sure to be a conversational interface. It’s certain to disrupt the business landscape in unimaginable ways.” And Web Designer Depot adds “We say with confidence that future AI-powered chatbots will have human-like conversation perfectly. Until then, play by the chatbot design rules to ensure successful chatbot design and deployment which in turn ensures successful customer engagement.”
I’m making sure that we’re adopting the latest tech as soon as it becomes available; I’m also seeing how we can grow that tech ourselves. Because that’s where we’ll find that AI plus BI equals CI.
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