Conversational Artificial Intelligence Trends for 2021
In 2021, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging stronger in both the short-term and the long-term. Artificial intelligence (AI) is having a paramount impact on the future of virtually every industry and every human being on the planet.
A few years ago, Artificial Intelligence was already established as the main driver of emerging technologies such as big data, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Moving forward into 2021 and beyond, Artificial Intelligence will continue to act as a main technological innovator for the foreseeable future.
Artificial Intelligence –together with Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), 5G technology, and hyper-automation– is considered one of the main enablers of the Internet of Senses (IoS), a megatrend from 2021 toward 2030.
In 2021, Artificial Intelligence advances toward becoming omnipresent, raising demand for a better use of AI as well as for ethical AI.
AI-powered chatbots is one of the top AI trends to watch in 2021. AI-powered chatbots, also known as Conversational AI, improves reach, responsiveness, and personalization of the customer experience. According to Forrester Research, AI-based conversational chatbots evolve into better customer service automation.
A conversational AI agent uses natural language processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) to better understand what the human says and needs in order to provide a more natural, near human-level of communication. In other words, AI-powered chatbots mimic human conversation.
Conversational AI digital assistants is one of the digital transformation trends for 2021 and beyond. The AI digital agents become more intelligent, more human-like, and more natural. Intelligent virtual assistants have come a long way from when they showed a robotic nature years ago.
With the rise of conversational technology and advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) in the next few years business users will increasingly engage with analytics platforms. An intelligent digital agent will have the ability to maintain a human-like conversation with those it is speaking with, understanding different ways in which the information is being phrased.
Conversational AI platforms maximize business efficiency. One of the trends expected by experts is that AI chatbots are going to join forces with other advanced technologies to enhance user experiences like never before.
Conversational AI chatbots also eliminate long customer wait times for responses and resolutions. By understanding what the customer wants and what they are asking for, conversational AI chatbots are able to provide immediate answers to support requests, making self-serving more streamlined and appealing to impatient customers.
As more and more customers serve themselves, human service agents can focus less on solving repetitive queries and focus more on handling high-priority issues.
What conversational AI can do for the best customer experience
To gain more insight about the world of conversational AI and what this technology can do today, I spoke with Chris Ezekiel, former Software Engineer, Founder and CEO of Creative Virtual, one of the world's leading providers of virtual assistants.
"AI-based conversational chatbots, such as our V-Person™, are able to converse with users in a highly personalized way, even completing transactions, and across all channels such as web, mobile, messenger apps, and voice. They are also implemented within contact centers as virtual contact center agents listening into conversations and advising on the best answer or next best action. The best deployments are where the AI and humans work in harmony to provide the best possible customer experience," says Chris Ezequiel.
Conversational AI trends for 2021: AI and humans collaboration
Companies across industries are rapidly employing AI-based virtual agents -also called chatbots- to handle customer service and IT support calls. These conversational AI agents are able to process thousands of calls annually, learning and adapting as they go. This leads to reduced time and cost per call and improves customer experience.
In some cases, companies think of chatbots as a way to lessen the burden on their human support personnel, who are then freed up to work on higher-value tasks. In other cases, conversational AI agents assist human agents by sifting through thousands of documents and delivering the right information when it is needed.
However, having humans around is still essential. When a conversational AI agent gets stuck facing a complex question from the customer, a human can take over before the caller becomes too frustrated.
Indeed, 93 percent of conversational AI agents have reported that having humans interact with chatbots is important in order to improve chatbot performance.
According to Chris Ezekiel, in 2021 and beyond, as AI-based conversational chatbots and humans become even more integrated, the line between human and machine will become even more blurred.
"AI-based chatbots will become an integral part of all the interactions we have, and the organization and customer will not even have to think about the distinction," says Ezekiel "It will become completely integrated and seamless for the organization, and completely effortless for the customer: The ultimate customer experience at the lowest possible cost."
For Ezekiel, the days of separate channels and disparate conversations are numbered. "It will become one continuous and personalized conversation combining the best attributes of humans and machines"
Organizations need to find a way to apply conversational AI safely, boldly, and ethically in order to emerge stronger both in the short-term and in the long-term in the years to come.