Five AI Trends that will Shape the Workplace in 2018
Artificial Intelligence has been a key buzzword of 2017, and there’s no doubt that it’s making waves in industry. There’s no sign of the AI train slowing down, though – here are five Artificial Intelligence trends to watch out for in 2018, making their way to a business near you.
Trend No. 1: Personal Workplace Assistants
Workplace assistants bridge the gap between people and systems. By doing the heavy lifting of mundane day to day tasks, and reducing the time taken to perform more complex actions, these applications can drastically increase productivity in the workplace. AI naturally integrates seamlessly with workplace assistants – natural language searches, user personalization and data aggregation and analysis can significantly improve the user experience of managing their day to day duties. The smarter your workplace assistant is, the more effectively people are able to work. More productivity directly relates to an improved ROI; it’s no surprise that the use of personal AI workplace assistants is on the rise.
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Trend No. 2: Customer Service
Call centres and online live chats have traditionally been mainstays of customer support for enterprises. Expect things to change in 2018; the proliferation of artificial intelligence is shifting focus onto automated customer service bots, which can provide 24/7 first-line support for users. For web applications, this could provide a significant advantage over competitors; by monitoring in-app activity, an AI system could identify users who are experiencing difficulty and respond instantly, offering help in the form of a virtual agent or on-site support pages. On top of this, customer interactions could become more reliably positive – AI bots can’t get angry with a customer. A recent study by Zendesk showed that 52% of B2C customers stopped purchasing after only one poor customer service interaction; happy users are engaged, retained users.
Trend No. 3: AI integrated UIs
User experience is overwhelmingly important. If a task is complex, a user is less inclined to follow through with that task. Businesses know this, and invest a lot of time into ensuring user interface usability has been researched, implemented and optimized. But what if we did away with the concept of a user interface all together? AIs which operate as a user interface are on the horizon – users could interact with the AI naturally, through speech or otherwise, to perform tasks. You wouldn’t need to understand every aspect of the underlying software – the AI does the understanding for you. You’d just need to ask. In fact, by 2020, Gartner predicts that zero-touch UIs will be available on 2 billion devices and IoT endpoints.
Trend No. 4: Augmented data analytics
On average, the US creates 2,657,700 gigabytes of data every minute on the internet. And 90% of data online was created between 2016 and now. It’s enough to make your head spin, and it’s no wonder we’re not capable of processing all of it. The secrets of market trends, disease proliferation and crime reduction are hidden within this data – and these secrets could be uncovered by AI augmented data analytics. On a smaller scale, businesses themselves can profit greatly from understanding trends within the market they operate in, as well as customer behaviour or even supply chain logistics. AI can help make large amounts of data manageable, by preparing data for human analysis or even performing analytics on the data and showing trends and suggestions. By this merit, AI can assist in the decision-making process– so you can make more informed and more timely decisions.
Trend No. 5: Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) allows businesses to automate repeatable tasks on a large scale. This could include processing business transactions, manipulating data or channelling information between existing systems. Any business which utilizes high-volume repeatable processes can benefit from RPA, saving money and time – the robot is capable of completing the same work as a person significantly quicker, allowing the person to complete more high-level involved tasks instead. McKinsey report a first-year ROI of between 30 and 200%; given this, many businesses either currently utilise or have plans to implement RPA in their workflow.
Do you have any predictions for 2018 trends? Are you planning to implement any of these trends in your business in the coming year? Tweet us and let us know your thoughts.