Artificial Intelligence (AI) is used to describe a lot of different analytical technologies and procedures. Some are related while some are isolated uses. The area is way to broad to assume that everyone knows what I am talking about. There are too many AI services being offered, software being touted, and press releases being sent for there to be true commonality of terminology.
Despite the confusion in definitions, AI is definitely being used in large companies in almost every industry. Midsize companies see a lot of potential but are at a loss in how to start because they don’t have the resources to play with AI. They need concrete uses and real business cases to invest time and money.
Chatbots are a great example. While being used in customer service they have potential in other areas. To most people the little box that pops up on the website is the customer service representative. Increasingly, there is no person on the other end – it is a chatbot. An AI powered service which customers interact with. On the server side chatbots are powered by natural language processing which interprets the input and can guide a response. This is the AI part of chatbots.
A lot of business people think of automated customer service as a series of menus to go through when calling banks or airlines before they can get to a person. It is frustrating having to wait through the system reading the menu of options to be able to get the next menu of options and so on. Automated chatbots biggest improvement is taking the menu part of the interaction out by being able to interpret the tone and subject matter of the customers input. That is how natural language processing within the subject of AI is used in chatbots for customer service.
Generically, midsize companies are going to need to automate some of their customer service needs due to a lack of knowledgeable workers, time zone differences with customers, and a few other reasons.
I bring up the idea that chatbots, being clearly based in AI, are a gateway for other AI being deployed by the company. There is a clear business case for many companies to use chatbots for customer service. Once executives are comfortable with customer interactions they start to look for other uses of AI in the organization.
Could this be how AI gets mainstream in midsized companies?