This week a couple of hundred digital professionals gathered in Aarhus, Denmark to share experiences and learn about the latest tips, techniques, and trends. Participants represented large, well-known brands in the EU including Skanska, SAP, DHL, and Danske Bank. The program this year featured some excellent speakers covering practical, current concerns, such as content strategy, agile project management, and design thinking. However, there were also many exciting, well-attended discussions and workshops covering emerging technology including voice, AI, and immersive computing. However, the idea of AI-first was a favorite topic of conversation both formally and informally around the conference, throughout the week.
Google and the AI-first world
Some may remember Google announced their intention to go AI-first this year at IO. Nearly every presentation at that event talked about the use of Artificial Intelligence to solve problems in everyday life. Days later, Google CEO Sundar Pichai published an article entitled “Making AI work for everyone.” I highly recommend checking it out. Especially the video about the high school boy who used Tensor Flow, Google’s open source library of machine learning tools, to create an algorithm that helps radiologists detect and identify breast cancer in mammographic data.
“We are now witnessing a new shift in computing: the move from a mobile-first to an AI-first world. And as before, it is forcing us to re-imagine our products for a world that allows a more natural, seamless way of interacting with technology.” -Sundar Pichai
Google’s making significant investments in image and voice recognition as well as deep learning. It’s a safe bet our phones and Google home are about to get a whole lot more useful.
AI on A1 in Aarhus
Back in Aarhus, AI was the topic of discussion during a dedicated conversation about the AI and voice landscape on Tuesday afternoon, entitled “How to Capitalise on the Huge Potential Offered by Voice and AI” lead by none other than Janus Boye. In it, we discussed the overall landscape of voice-enabled AI experiences including a fun and interactive conversation with Amazon Alexa.
On Wednesday morning examples of AI were covered in my talk “Avoiding Disruption in the Age of Accelerating Change,” as one of the most important trends impacting digital and threatening more disruption. However, far from theoretical, my talk focused on a pair of existing, practical applications of this technology already in use.
Readers may remember the examples I used for my talk from this previous article exploring the current state of the practical application of AI in the customer experience.
Among the many digital leaders, I had an opportunity to talk with at J. Boye this year; a few were already using AI for back-office applications such as fraud detection and process optimization. The general consensus is that the time has come to start thinking about how to structure content and experiences earlier in the customer journey to be more readily accessible for users interacting through a conversational interface to the web. However, there were also unanswered questions about GDPR, and how it may impact the collection and storage of data necessary to make meaningful gains using machine learning to optimize the customer experience.
If you’ve got questions about the application of voice or AI to improve your customer’s path to purchase in a digital commerce experience, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us.