5 Areas Where Conversational AI will be a Game Changer

Market size and opportunity for conversational AI technology.

Image Credit: SpaceX

What Problems Does Conversational AI Solve?

Specific applications range from customer support chatbots you’ve used on websites, intelligent virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa, or industry specific applications like personal finance chatbots, recruiting chatbots, restaurant ordering voicebots, and more.

And while chatbots are a big part of conversational AI, conversation intelligence or analytics solutions are also included in the space; for example, those technologies that transcribe and analyzing meeting conversations or sales calls.

Conversational AI is a fast-growing field and generally associated with the incredible progress in machine learning and specifically natural language processing.

What’s the Market Opportunity?

  • Augmenting digital interactions with voice-friendly and text-accessible interfaces to improve the experience and offer new services.
  • Understanding and improving human behavior through analysis and conversational intelligence.
  • Supplementing human behavior by improving quality of service (e.g. timely, available bots).
  • Reduction of human labor costs by fully automating certain activities.

There are a range of estimates, but the market size for conversational AI and intelligent virtual agents appears to be growing from $4B today to more than $20B by 2027 ($18B$45B per year). Some estimates indicate that just the chatbot market alone will grow to $9B by 2024.

5 Industries Ready to be Disrupted

1. Contact Centers

  • Insurance — helping customers fill-out or check on the status of an insurance claim.
  • Banking — retrieving account information, reporting fraudulent activities, asking about credit options, promoting new products.
  • General Commerce — taking orders, answering support questions, etc.

One interesting example is how online gaming companies have incorporated chatbots to automate and improve help and support for gamers. By not having to leave the game, and making it easier and natural for gamers to interact through chat, gaming companies improve the success rate and reduce the frustration for new gamers.

There are many companies working in this space, but Ada, Observe.ai, and Aivo are examples of interesting companies.

2. Healthcare

Interesting examples include Woebot, a CBT chatbot, or Sensely a virtual nurse.

3. HR & Recruiting

Recruiting has also substantially benefited from automating screening questions, interviews, following-up with applicants in a timely fashion, timely nudges and prompts, and otherwise automating the interactions and activities of human recruiters.

Recruiting bots include Mya, Paradox, and JobBot.ai.

4. Sales & Marketing

I’m sure you’ve interacted with chatbots on websites and in social media that attempt to answer your questions and work to get you to sign-up for more information or to encourage you to make an immediate purchase. These bots have the advantages of being 24x7, responding immediately, and providing additional “top of the funnel” activities to draw in prospects. The ongoing back-and-forth, marketing nudges, and clever followups in email or text message also increasingly benefit from automation and conversational AI.

There is also a growing opportunity to analyze human-human conversations in a sales setting to provide sales intelligence — whether that’s transactional sales that take place in a contact center or more complex sales that take place between an enterprise software salesperson and a prospect — both can benefit from the AI analysis, analytics, and subsequent intelligence and recommendations.

Gong, for example, has raised over $300M to tackle sales intelligence.

5. Restaurants

On the enterprise side, there are an increasing number of applications to make the job of managers easier. Qu, for example, has built an analytics app that operators can speak to directly asking questions like “what were my online sales yesterday?”.

Consumer Adoption

Beyond the 5 industries identified, we will see impacts in areas such as education (teaching bots and teaching assistants like Duolingo employs), productivity tools (transcribing and analyzing zoom meetings and conference calls), and, of course, the intelligent virtual assistants like Google and Siri that may become the gateway to the internet connected world through smartphones, smart speakers, smart home appliances, smart offices and more.

Personally, I’m looking forward to a Jarvis-like experience in the not too distant future!

This article is part of a series on conversational AI and includes contributions from Leonardo Cordoba. Please check out the start of the series here.

The next article will describe the ecosystem of interesting companies and technologies in the field.

References

Loves Technology, Startups, and Tacos.

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