If there are major, competitive advantages to combining artificial intelligence and human intuitiveness, there are also limitations. The limitations are not just confined to the enterprise though – they are also obvious when customers interact with the digital workplaces that have been created by organizations to make those organizations more productive.
Recently, Adobe and Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Invoca , which develops an AI-powered call tracking and analytics platform, carried out research to find out exactly what consumers expect in the age of AI. The research surveyed 1,000 US adults to find out what the importance of a brand’s emotional quotient (EQ) on a consumer's’ experience might be and how consumers anticipate AI will impact those brand interactions.
It found that many organizations with highly developed workplaces were automating their customer experience efforts and using AI to communicate with their consumers. This, however, goes against what a consumer actually wants — a human to human
connection. The report showed that:
- Nearly seven in 10 consumers believe brands will mostly use AI for communications five years from now.
- However the convenience of AI may not win over the appeal of connecting with people — consumers overwhelmingly still believe that human to human connection serves up better EQ.
- Two-thirds of consumers (69 percent) anticipate AI will handle the majority of brand-based communications in the next five years.
- 61 percent of respondents envision AI making shopping faster, most think it will be more frustrating (51 percent) and less personal (61 percent).
In sum, while it is clear that most digitally driven organizations are starting to pull AI into the enterprise, there are still weaknesses that are impacting on the users' experience these organizations are offering their customers. “Machines, at least for today, are still lacking in the creativity department. A.I. can gather data and use it to create something, but it’s not yet at the level of human beings,” Steve Kurniawan content specialist and growth strategist at Ontario-based Nine Peaks media said.
The main strength and uniqueness of humans is the ability to tell fiction, to lie, to create something in their mind they never see beforehand. This is simply something a machine (even, other animals) can’t do. In short, to create human customer and user experiences.
So, machines, with the ability to have “unlimited” energy, can do our tiring routines for us, while on the other hand, we can focus on tasks that require creativity, the tasks that the machines can’t do like building emotion-driven experiences.
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Limitations of AI
Akshita Puram from Somerville,Mass.-based SmartBear said that while humans and machines must work together to build humanized technology grounded by diverse socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives, AI is limited by the information it is fed. “Artificial intelligence is only as good as the data it is trained on and without humans advocating for the voice of every type of customer, technology will not be able to avoid biased, black-box algorithms or account for niche use cases that have a broader cultural and global impact," he said.
He cites the example of Facebook which, when loved ones inquired about survivors after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia, they received celebratory balloons and confetti in Facebook images messages because the word selamat means both congrats and to survive.
The solution, he argues is for organizations to build diverse product teams that marries liberal arts such as linguistics and poets with STEM-focused studies to drive emotional intelligence in AI. The goal, he said, should be humanized technology. “In addition to an increase in liberal art fields found in technology-driven teams, diversity will originate from many different areas and will define an AI's ability to be successful in today's volatile and complex world,” he said. For better user experience, then, both humans and AI should be a core part of the user experience.
“The right approach towards a better future of user experience is through a hybrid approach of man (human) and Machines (AI), he said. "Because of the sheer volume of data, AI technologies are getting better at handling repetitive and predictable workflows, which are mundane and time-consuming for a human to handle on daily basis,”
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AI and High-Value Tasks
There is a major advantage to this Ajeet Kushwaha, San Bruno, Calif.-based Freshworks’ director of bots and automation, said. AI will free humans to perform higher-value tasks as the technology gains widespread adoption — looking specifically at a customer service use case.
The technology allows humans (support/sales agents) to focus more on the interactions that require not only human intelligence/judgment, but also human empathy. For example, in a customer interaction where a customer’s laptop isn’t booting, AI has the ability to offer a host of common solutions (e.g. restarting the computer). “If this does not work for the customer, AI can forward this issue to a live human agent, along with the context of what this customer has already tried, and how long the customer has been experiencing this problem — helping the human agent provide a more personalized customer experience,” he said. Ultimately, this is a win-win for both customer and business, which eventually leads to better customer- and business-user satisfaction.
Ireland-based Voxpro CEO Dan Kiely, as a final thought, believes that there are certain instances where businesses should not use AI to drive revenues. While bots, AI and machine learning complement many aspects of the customer experience — enriching insights, improving processes, and increasing personalization, to name but a few — humans will still primarily want to engage with humans in many situations.
Psychological studies have shown that have a preference for communicating with others person-to-person despite all of the communication technology at our fingertips. Moreover, in today’s "attention economy," where people’s attention is treated as a scarce resource, customers want their issues solved as quickly and comprehensively as possible. While bots can handle the basic issues by themselves, more complex ones must be solved by humans.