Consumer Trends: Artificial Intelligence

3 min read

By: Megan Batykefer

Today, Consumer $ense social media Dream Team member Megan Batykefer is here to bring you another technological trend and its impact on the consumer experience: Artificial Intelligence. During the current pandemic, the demand for AI has already seen a spike in demand and according to International Data Corporation, the number of AI jobs globally could increase by as much as 16%. To say that AI will have an impact on the future of many industries post-pandemic, is an understatement.

Let’s take a closer look into AI on the consumer end:

It’s hard to believe how far our world’s technology advancements have come. Throughout time, technology has been considered something used for entertainment, communication, research, etc. But more recently, it has been seen as a way to enhance our knowledge and make our daily lives less of a hassle. This transformation in technology usage is because of what is known today as Artificial Intelligence or AI. AI is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans. Simply speaking, it mimics humans by learning to think and respond, as well as perform tasks. In this blog, a few products which are the result of AI technology will be discussed, and will demonstrate the positive benefits to consumers.

Amazon Echo

A few years ago, consumers were amazed by the release of the Amazon Echo and “Alexa”. This small device is meant to sit on your counter top and is available whenever you need it by simply calling out a name aloud. She’s a robot of sorts, and here to play your favorite music without picking up your smartphone and doing so yourself. She’s here to turn off the light switch, so you don’t have to get up. She’s even here to find you the top rated restaurants with any style you are craving that day near your residence. The possibilities are endless. 

This gadget was one of the first AI purchases for many consumers. Of course we all know and trust the billion-dollar brand, Amazon, which made it more appealing to consumers’ eyes. Alexa for many has become a trusted friend. Why not purchase a gadget you can simply have a conversation with and get real human-like responses?  This was one of AI’s biggest leaps into consumers’ lives. 

Chat Bots

More and more companies are utilizing an online chat feature to answer questions consumers may have. Chat bots are transforming the way businesses communicate with their customers and prospects, and in a cost-effective manner. This is an AI tool that will be a mainstream customer experience investment in the next couple of years. Top benefits include 24-hour service, speed of responses, and how simple it is to reach out and gain knowledge. Instead of having to research the internet, or maybe call a help number to be put on hold for multiple minutes (or even hours), you now have the option to click a little box on the lower side of the screen you’re looking at and chat instantly.

80% of businesses are expected to have some sort of chat bot automation by the end of 2020 (Singlegrain). These virtual assistants give outstanding customer service to consumers, making it easier for them to purchase, return, or resolve problems.

Crime Fighting Robots

Today, AI is even taking over tasks and jobs humans perform. This can be seen as a positive, but also negative thing. Negative, because it’s taking away job opportunities from humans who could earn a living performing those duties. But on the positive side, it’s creating robots that can perform tasks that humans would not have generally enjoyed or strived for. One example of this are the Knightscope K5 crime fighting robots. These robots are currently being used at headquarter offices at Uber and Microsoft. These robots simply patrol parking lots and inside offices, preventing and dealing with crime.

K5 Robots at Uber and Microsoft patrol the parking lots, scan license plates, and report suspicious activity such as cars that are not registered, and also catch intruders that may be on the premise. These robots are a large expense for a company, but in the long run pay for themselves, because they do not have to pay security guards an hourly wage or benefits.  The AI in these robots could potentially be used to perform other duties so you would not have to do them yourself. In the future, for example, I envision these robots even being purchased for home security, patrolling neighborhoods, and making you feel safe in a home without the worry of someone breaking in.

The future of AI is bright, and the possibilities are endless. But should there be a line drawn between automation making things easier and automation putting too many people at risk of losing their career? Let us know your thoughts below!


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