In 2017, AI was everywhere. It seemed like every company added “AI” to their software whether it truly leveraged artificial intelligence or not. So let’s start with a definition of AI. Merriam-Webster defines it as 1) a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers, and 2) the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. Put through that basic filter, I believe we will see a big “AI Shakeout” in 2018.
2018 will expose the imposters as businesses will take a very critical look at anything calling itself AI. Companies will ask whether the technology they’re buying will truly improve human capabilities and could potentially augment the human workforce or not. If it can’t do those things, what’s the point? If it can do those things, then it can help companies deliver real, compelling business results.
While some view the future of AI with fear, I have spent much of the past year encouraging everyone to look at AI with a more open and positive mind. Consumers expect smarter forms of transaction and interaction with businesses, and AI offers a way for businesses to deliver faster and more personalized experiences.
Here are some of the ways I expect AI to shake out in 2018:
I walk into the New Year with great hope for the year ahead. 2018 will be a golden year for AI and customer experience, especially after the great shakeout happens.
PV Kannan is the Co-Founder and CEO of 7.ai. Since 2000, he has been leading the revolution to make customer service easy and enjoyable for consumers. In 1995, PV's first company, Business Evolution Inc., developed the first generation of email and chat solutions. The company was acquired by Kana in 1999 and PV became part of the management team. At 7.ai, PV was a pioneer in integrating customer service technology with business process operations to improve all aspects of the customer experience. PV has been at the forefront of customer experience from creating contact center agent services, developing a big data predictive analytics platform, creating omnichannel solutions for the web, mobile, chat, social, and speech IVR, to innovating mobile-centric applications. Over the years PV has been a thought leader in global customer service and has been featured in the books, The World is Flat and That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, India Inside by Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam, and Reinventing Management: Smarter Choices for Getting Work Done by Julian Birkinshaw. PV is on the Board of Directors for Achievers. He has over 20 patents (issued and pending). PV has degrees in accounting and finance from the Institute of Chartered Accountants and The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India.