There is no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming how we do business. AI holds much promise but is often misunderstood. A recent LivePerson and Forrester webinar got me thinking about common questions and misconceptions that people often have about AI and its role in the industry. Here I break down some of the biggest misconceptions.
AI is self-learning and can be “plug-and-play.”
False! Forrester brought up this big issue in the webinar. AI models need to be built, need time to learn, and must be supervised (optimized) before they can be “plug-and-play.” AI is dependent on very detailed and organized (aka “structured”) data sets and careful training.
Companies need to diverge from the traditional approach of creating a strategic plan that solves for the here and now. Incorporating AI will take time, and it’s one of those things where you can’t really skip ahead. Unless you start the process now, you may find yourself woefully behind your competition in just a few years.
Forrester emphasizes the 5 stages of technology adoption: Innovator, Early Adopter, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggard. In the near future you will no longer afford to be “just a few years behind the competition,” because, in the AI world, you might as well be light years away. You’ll never catch up. Those that continually fall in the Laggard category will be at serious risk.
AI investment only makes sense for businesses doing really sophisticated data analysis.
False. Manufacturing has already been integrating artificial intelligence in the form of robots and “co-bots” for decades, and we can learn from their successes and failures. For a lot of businesses, there’s going to be amazing value in delivering people-facing services such as email and SMS interactions via chatbots. AI can also help agents do their jobs with higher efficiency and customer satisfaction by using predictive analytics and recommender engines.
Forrester is predicting two waves. Wave I will see AI replacing many of the process automation jobs. These are repetitive tasks that could be easily replicated by a machine with some basic infused human intelligence. Wave II will see a resurgence of the agent. The average agent will be up-trained and actually begin demanding a higher salary. Instead of this role being used for simple, repetitive customer service interactions, it’ll be focused on complex problems and issue resolution.
Routine jobs will disappear. Jobs that require insight and analysis will expand. Jobs such as data scientist, model builder, and journey manager will expand exponentially.
AI is transforming the world we live in.
Gotcha! This one is not a misconception. It’s very true. Look at trailblazing companies like WAZE, Google (Maps), Lyft, Amazon (recommender system), and Netflix (recommender system).
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