5 Areas Where Conversational AI will be a Game Changer

Image Credit: SpaceX

What Problems Does Conversational AI Solve?

Conversational AI is the broad term used for the class of machine learning technologies and products associated with interpreting or emulating conversational dialogs. A big application here is intelligent agents: chatbots or voicebots that aim to generate human-like conversations so that users can interact naturally via text (typing) or by audio (speaking) to interact with the bot/service and accomplish some sort of task.

What’s the Market Opportunity?

The ways in which businesses will adopt conversational AI fit broadly into the following categories:

  • 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.

5 Industries Ready to be Disrupted

Here are five big industries that are actively being reimagined by conversational AI technology today:

1. Contact Centers

One of the biggest market opportunities is to analyze, optimize, supplement, and ultimately replace customer service and call-center agents. This refers to the general voice-based contact center market ($300B globally), web-based customer service support, and also domain specific support such as:

  • 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.

2. Healthcare

Opportunities in healthcare include automating communication around administrative tasks, patient reminders and nudges, bots to handle customer inquiries and perform diagnostics, and even mental health chatbots to help “talk” to patients to combat loneliness, depression, and identify and escalate risk factors to healthcare providers.

3. HR & Recruiting

It seems ironic that in order to recruit and manage humans better we would start using bots …. but here we are. In human resources there are a number of applications including conducting surveys, asking for and delivering feedback, interacting on matters of performance management, timely nudges and reminders, analyzing social media and messaging application conversations, and more.

4. Sales & Marketing

Sales and marketing is an area that has increasingly been infused by technologies (e.g. salesforce, hubspot) to streamline, systematize, and otherwise “processize” sales and marketing.

5. Restaurants

One area that I have a particular knowledge of is restaurant chatbots and voicebots. Opportunities across the industry range from guest-facing to operations management. On the guest side, a number of companies are working to automate drive-through and phone orders, notably McDonalds purchase of an AI company to automate drive-thru ordering and current emerging start-ups Valyant and ConverseNow.

Consumer Adoption

As conversational AI becomes more human-like and can address a broader range of applications, we can expect such technologies to become omnipresent throughout our day-to-day lives — much like we are used to being “always-on” and internet connected today.

References

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Zubair Talib

Zubair Talib

Loves Technology, Startups, and Tacos.