Sooner than you think, voice will become the default user interface (UI) as people use apps at work, at play and every situation in between. Is your company ready for the challenge?
Chatbots have been in the industry for several years in functions that extend beyond customer service. If you think about chat windows that pop up while you’re researching a new product or getting details about your homeowner’s policy, you’ve likely interacted with chatbots. When developed and configured correctly, chatbots can take care of many front-line functions, leaving humans to handle more detailed transactions.
Chatbots and robotic process automation (RPA), which can automate back-office functions, are making their way into companies from the Fortune 500 to startups and smaller firms. Developing apps that harness these emerging technologies require more than a plug-and-play mentality—these apps require a tremendous amount of computing power that most companies cannot host locally.
Pyramid currently is working with a client on a chatbot project. Although the project remains in development, company leaders already are realizing the power and utility that chatbots can bring to their business. Using the insurance industry as an example, if chatbots could divert 70% of the people contacting customer service for help, how much money could a company save and how could it deploy those people to other, value-added functions?
The company is excited about the possibilities for taking orders, sending money and conversing with customers in 14 languages. At this point, the possibilities are endless.
The coming of voice applications
It’s no surprise that we turn to Google to better understand the future of voice-activated UI. Yes, Apple’s Siri may be better known than the Google Assistant, but Google’s development platform is much more open than Apple’s, allowing more cutting-edge innovation.
You’re probably familiar with the Google video from earlier this year where the Google Assistant made a hair salon appointment by talking to the stylist on the phone. That breakthrough brings together natural language understanding, deep learning, text-to-speech and the power of artificial intelligence to help people get more work done. The machine can mimic natural human language, with its “hmmms” and “OKs,” to create a natural flow to conversation.
The video also shows making a restaurant appointment that didn’t go as planned. The Google Assistant adapted, asking logical questions to understand that the restaurant didn’t take reservations for small groups and that a party of four would have no problem getting a table on a Wednesday at 6.
The potential moral and ethical dilemmas of AI interacting with unknowing humans is more problematic than getting this technology to work for your company.
In the near future, it won’t be surprising to find that an app merely open a chat window where a user can speak what needs to be done: make an appointment, make a call, open Facebook, check your email and other tasks.
With technology such as Dialogflow, the Google company that powers the Google Assistant, voice will become the new UI, and probably sooner than you imagine.