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Having worked in the technology space for long enough that I remember having to demonstrate how to work a mouse, I have seen technology and ideas rise and fall so I feel confident that I can spot a winner and oh golly, have we got one!

The idea of Artificial Intelligence and all its categories is now consumable largely thanks to the continued result of Moore's law and growth in computing power. What makes ideas and technology successful is the application and in relation to the customer journey and the front office there are many opportunities for AI to deliver tremendous value.

Some of the more popular use cases available today:

Chatbots can be deployed to improve the omnichannel customer journey and are able to handle increasingly complex tasks making interactions and the experience more "human" providing scale and automation so that staff can focus on more complex interactions.

With "computer vision" surpassing human abilities identifying trends such as clothing colours from people walking past a store or the main demographic (age/gender) to make digital signage more appealing ensures that content and store fronts are more relevant.

Computer vision also helps media agencies, broadcasters and brands to gain accurate, timely insights into sponsoring and advertising ROI through tracking automatic logo exposures along side competitor logos.

The ability to market to an audience of one, creating the next level of personalisation is enabled from gains in data analytics applied by providing recommendations for the best product & offers, channel, time to communicate, etc which will drive improvements in marketing ROI moving from predictive analytics (what will happen?) to systems becoming more prescriptive (what should I do?) creating real context for marketing automation.

The above examples still fundamentally face the same challenge as we "humans" do today which is that we still have "know our customer" to truly be effective at delivering a great customer journey so while smarter machines have great potential they need to be combined with a solid foundation of customer data with access to current transactions to be transformative.

What comes next? It won’t be long before machines will be able to interpret emotions too, understanding not only explicit actions, but also implicit signals that come from customers. It’s tremendously exciting to be working with this technology now, where businesses are making bold visions into reality.