How to use AI to create more human services, not less

How to use AI to create more human services, not less

Technologist, Futurist, Entrepreneur, Investor, Co-founder and CEO of smart automation company Rainbird Technologies.

Thanks to science fiction, AI is often perceived as a threat to humans, a destroyer of jobs, and an unsympathetic overlord working in the cloud. But AI’s greatest strength is its ability to augment, rather than replace, the capabilities of humans. Rather than seeing AI as an all-powerful machine, it is better to think of it as creating narrow tools that can augment and extend human capabilities.

In business, AI is being used to create a more humane service experience. It can help companies address the demand for customer engagement across all channels, while freeing up employees to do so with empathy and understanding. It’s an opportunity for employees to work smarter.

AI is not the enemy of human services

Many fears around AI are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what AI really is and how it works. The word AI has become synonymous with machine learning, but not all AI is predictive data science.

We are also seeing the resurgence of a new generation of expert systems technology. It is now proving that it is possible to make systems based on human experience and therefore more human. This allows organizations to enjoy significant efficiencies, but also deliver better results, allowing human workers to engage more with customers than before automation.

AI has become not a human competitor, but an essential tool to help us be more productive, raise standards and generate new customer value.

Don’t worry; AI is here to make your team stronger

AI can be a powerful force in customer service. For example, AI can quickly and accurately analyze data to identify correlations and patterns. Humans are best positioned to invest in relationships with others, dealing with ambiguities, and building coalitions in situations where there is no single right answer.

A recent McKinsey report found that 58% of all occupations have at least 30% of constituent activities that can be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies. This means organizations have enormous potential to reduce costs by doing more with less and allowing less skilled workers to perform more skilled tasks, backed by intelligence.

let them be human

Machines are undeniably better than humans at crunching numbers because they can do it quickly and accurately.

This ongoing evolution of informatization is an unstoppable train, and while AI always seems to be on the horizon, the field of AI has created a long series of uniquely identifiable technologies that have blended into the way we work, including workflow, robot process automation (RPA) and now features like natural language processing (NLP) and intelligent document processing (IDP). We’re even seeing a new generation of non-linear rule engines that are able to reason in the same way we do.

Humans have empathy, creativity and other powerful tools that machines will never be able to achieve anytime soon, if ever. By focusing our efforts on those aspects of our jobs that demand our unique humanity and leaving what can be automated to technology, we can become more impactful and provide better service to clients.

Machines are efficient and consistent, driven by the absence of the noise that affects human decision-making, and humans have strengths that machines simply cannot imitate, which is why balanced human-machine partnerships are so effective. For every “human weakness” we have (short attention span, inability to juggle probabilities, susceptibility to bias), there is a technological strength to balance it (processing speed, memory capacity, accurate inference).

Using AI to deliver effective personalized marketing campaigns

AI is also able to bring the human element into automated customer service.

When it comes to marketing, personalization is key. We know from experience that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work today. But how do you effectively deliver personalized campaigns at scale? The answer: A combination of AI prediction and human expertise allows brands to learn more about their customers and create compelling content tailored to their individual needs on an unprecedented scale.

With the help of AI, marketers identify customer preferences, behaviors and trends to deliver personalized content based on their unique and individual interests. It can also help identify areas where content is not being consumed and make suggestions for changes. AI allows us to understand what resonates with our customers and to deliver that content as effectively as possible.

Making the customer experience smart

According to a Gartner study, 70% of customer service interactions will involve employees leveraging some form of AI automation technology.

Customers want to feel like they are being served with the benefits of automation (on-the-fly service available 24/7) and human service (with all its tribal knowledge and nuances). While a bad experience can mean a business loses customers forever, providing exceptional service by combining these attributes can increase loyalty and spur long-term growth.

With the right approach, AI can grow your human customer service agents, enabling them to provide better customer experiences and help your business stay competitive. AI is not designed to replace human interaction in customer service, except in the most restricted domains. It is designed to automate repetitive tasks and increase the team by focusing on more complex interactions that require empathy and problem-solving skills. This combined approach has a high success rate for customer satisfaction.

So instead of focusing on replacing humans with machines, we need to think about how AI makes humans better at their jobs.

In the age of AI, leaders need to learn to leverage technology in ways that make humans more productive and help them achieve more, not less. Developing such intelligent automation systems to perform guaranteed tasks efficiently can free up skilled workers to take on higher-level tasks and focus on more strategic goals. Automation is already having a huge impact on how we live, but there is also a brighter future for employees and businesses if we use AI to drive the next generation of automation solutions right.

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