The technology of Artificial Intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, is a concept that's long been imagined by futuristic books, television shows and movies. From classic examples like The Matrix to the recent HBO show Westworld (based on the 1973 film of the same name), the technology is depicted as a limitless, fantastical solution not unlike magic.
What was once a figment of science fiction, however, is now becoming reality – and it's making headlines. On October 9, it was the subject of a 60 Minutes Overtime report, which focused on the creation of robotic structures at Carnegie Mellon University. Solutions seemingly ripped from the pages of a futuristic sci-fi novel – like self-driving cars and pizza-delivering robots - are being tested by mainstream brands.
There's no doubt about it – AI is here, and the future is now. But it's not the dystopia-inducing, civilization-destroying technology of the silver screen. Today, AI-driven products enhance productivity in fields like CRM, and in industries like health care and telecommunications. AI isn't taking over the world and absorbing jobs. It's becoming a supplementary, complimentary solution to enhance and support human productivity throughout all aspects of personal and professional life.
Although many companies are only in the early stages of experimentation with AI, Pega has been a leader in the field for over 30 years. As a pioneer in the development and application of Artificial Intelligence, we've seen firsthand the many ways this innovative and assistive technology can have a positive effect in a variety of environments, and are committed to expanding its impact down the line.
Integrating AI into the way we live
What will a world with integrated AI look like? According to the Gartner report "Top Ten Strategic Technology Trends for 2017," it will likely involve profound logistical restructurings of personal, business and IT realms. The study describes this comprehensive weaving of intelligent digital solutions into all aspects of life in the "digital mesh."
"Technology will be embedded in everything in the digital business of the future. Rich digital services will be delivered to everything, and intelligence will be embedded in everything behind the scenes. We call this mesh of people, devices, content and services the intelligent digital mesh. It's enabled by digital models, business platforms and a rich intelligent set of services to support digital business," stated the report.
Businesses looking to stay competitive in this new era of technological evolution need to adapt to this changing landscape, or risk being left behind.
"As an enterprise architecture or technology innovation leader seeking to exploit the intelligent digital mesh, you must respond to the disruptive technology trends enabling this future," the study explained.
AI's powerful – almost limitless – methods of recognizing and engaging with consumers is helping it become the next gold standard of marketing, customer service and business management.
"Applied AI and advanced machine learning give rise to a range of intelligent implementations. These include physical devices (such as robots, autonomous vehicles and consumer electronics), as well as apps and services (such as VPAs and smart advisors). These implementations will be delivered as a new class of obviously intelligent apps and things, and provide embedded intelligence for a wide range of mesh devices, and existing software and service solutions," said the report.
Real applications inspire real change
Pega's AI products are already enabling businesses to be leaders in this tech-driven future. As I stated in my eBook "What's Inside the Always-On Brain," our incremental advancements in AI and its applications are supporting companies' operations in numerous ways. AI has emerged as a particularly helpful solution in all aspects of CRM – for industries across the board.
"Customers today expect companies to either 'just get it' or get lost. The new normal for consumers is being able to do business on their terms, with companies that have products that are easy to discover, easy to use, and are personalized and relevant to them," I explained in the eBook.
Artificial Intelligence allows Pega's Customer Decision Hub to revolutionize the customer journey from start to finish. AI can remember details about each consumer, including various email addresses, phone numbers and physical addresses, and package them into one comprehensive "customer identity."
Once these identities are established, AI can pull key facts about each consumer and use them to further enhance the customer experience through engagement strategies and recommendations. When consumers have complaints, questions, or changes to their profiles, AI is able to analyze them in context and support resolving them in a seamless manner that enhances the agent's role and requires less effort on the part of the customer.
Another real life implementation of AI is in the automotive industry with the connected car. The Pega Customer Decision Hub is helping GM OnStar enhance their customer experiences by helping to provide intelligent routing, diagnostic, and other value-added driving services.
For more information on how you can lead the way and apply Pega's Artificial Intelligence so your customers have exceptional experiences, check out these resources on the Pega Customer Decision Hub.
Vince Jeffs is Director of Product Marketing for Pegasystems