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January 30, 2017
Technology Trends for People: AI is the new UI
By: Nicola Morini Bianzino

What could your company accomplish if every customer and employee interaction with technology was an intelligent one?

The Accenture Technology Vision 2017 delves into a fascinating trend that’s at the heart of my daily responsibilities—and I know of substantial interest to our clients. The AI Is the New UI chapter looks at how artificial intelligence (AI) will quickly become more than an underlying technology capability; it will permeate intelligent enterprises and advance to a fundamental tool for daily engagement with people—both customers and employees.

We also describe in the Tech Vision how AI will, in time, become the digital spokesperson for leading enterprises. Customers will experience a company’s brand through personalized, 100 percent consistent and natural interactions with AI service agents—and even engage with the brand through other companies’ AI interfaces. This post highlights how we see this tech trend unfolding.

Changing relationship with technology Twitter
AI technology is already taking a larger role in user experiences across various interfaces. Think of people’s conversations with chat bots on the web, their mobile phone queries to Google Now, and their requests to Alexa on an Amazon Echo speaker at home. In each of these examples, people are interacting with technology through an AI intermediator.

This is a much more natural, intuitive way to relate to technology. In fact, we’re starting to treat technology like we treat each other. So instead of accessing a website to find information or a mobile app to complete tasks, we’re talking to the AI, making decisions with it, and getting what we need and want through it.

This is an absolute game-changer. The slew of artificial intelligence technologies—natural language processing, computer vision, machine learning, intelligent automation, robotic process automation, deep learning and more—will fundamentally alter our relationship with technology. 

This changing relationship will have major ramifications for how digital businesses build systems. And it will unlock many new opportunities to help customers and employees accomplish their personal and professional goals in their lives and at work.

Evolving role of AI Twitter
Natural, more human-like interactions with technology are becoming the new normal. Think about your satisfaction when an AI intermediator understands a request…and your frustration when it doesn’t. As intelligent enterprises integrate AI technologies into their systems, customers and employees will expect even more from these interactions.

People are already relying on AI as a curator (see Figure 1), collecting and interpreting large amounts of data and then presenting it in a relevant way. Executives, for example, might depend on AI for a dashboard for up-to-the-minute manufacturing productivity; individuals are increasingly seeing AI deliver weather updates for a pending travel schedule or reminders tied to a specific location.

In a more significant role, AI applies machine learning to guide actions toward the best outcome, thus working in the role of advisor. In the auto insurance industry, for example, adjusters use Tractable’s deep learning systems to simplify the triage process after a car accident. Instead of manually scanning pictures, they use machine-trained estimates for repair costs, enabling agents to accelerate a claim past triage and into repair, salvage, or appraisal.1

At the height of sophistication, AI works as an orchestrator. It collaborates across experiences and channels, often behind the scenes, to accomplish tasks—and learns from interactions to help suggest and complete new tasks. 

Roles Thumbnail

Figure 1: AI roles

Building responsible AI Twitter

As artificial intelligence becomes people’s “go-to” technology, it will require enterprises to step up to a new challenge: creating responsible AI. This not only has business implications, but also individual and societal implications. AI will be successful only if it’s adopted by people, and it will only be successful it if helps provide better outcomes for people and society. 

In a separate report, Accenture discusses how AI will increasingly become the predominant way to create new business, economic and societal value. In the 12 developed economies that we analyzed, AI has the potential to double growth rates by 2035. But this growth will only be realized through a people-first approach using AI solutions that are both business-oriented and technology-rich.

Our theme for Tech Vision 2017 is Technology for People. Companies are more reliant on their employees than ever before and more susceptible to what customers think. Therefore, companies must be extremely smart about how they implement AI. 

In addition, they should make AI technologies highly accessible and transparent. Giving customers and employees opportunities to interact with the AI (via a machine, robot, device, etc.) will help them to better understand what the technology is doing and how it’s enabling them to reach their goals. 

How will your company empower people to achieve their goals using responsible, AI-driven interfaces?

To learn more about this IT trend, I encourage you to:

  • Read the Accenture Technology Vision 2017 overview and trend highlights

  • View the essential slide shares, videos and infographics

  • Share your thoughts at #techvision2017

  • Reach out to us to put these innovation-led ideas to work in your enterprise.

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