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How will AI tools affect the future of contact centers?

While artificial intelligence and chatbots are finding their way into contact centers, the industry has yet to feel the full effect of AI tools, according to one analyst.

Artificial intelligence and chatbots are major themes now for contact centers, and there's much to consider. The...

technology is also part of a broader mix of related topics, such as machine learning, internet of things and cognitive computing.

When discussing AI tools, the conversation can quickly turn to high-end data science instead of what contact centers can do to improve customer engagement. In terms of how soon AI tools will affect contact centers, AI and chatbots need to be considered separately.

The field of AI has existed for decades, and we're experiencing another wave of innovation now. However, AI tools remain nascent in the contact center. While IBM Watson can beat the best Jeopardy! players, customer engagement involves more emotion than reason, and that's much harder for AI tools to achieve.

Chatbots, on the other hand, are very much part of today's customer experience. They are primarily used to automate simple tasks and free up agents for more complex needs where human interaction is required. AI is involved here to some extent, and it's just one way that AI tools can be applied in the contact center.

The main takeaway should be: Chatbots address two important needs, and this opportunity will drive future adoption. Automating simple tasks makes agents more productive and, by extension, drives down costs. Chatbots are always on and can scale easily, allowing the contact center to support customers 24/7, even on a global basis.

Do you have a question for Jon Arnold or any other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! (All questions are treated anonymously.)

Next Steps

How AI tools can converge with UC to streamline workflows

Chatbots make their way into enterprises, business apps

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This was last published in April 2017

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How could your organization's contact center use AI and chatbots?
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Interesting read. I think AI is not future, it's already in our lives more than we realise. we are increasingly adopting these experiences into our day-to-day lives. For example, from Siri and self-driving cars to connected devices like Amazon Echo and customer service chatbots, all these experiences are powered by artificial intelligence and this will soon be the norm.

And it is very interesting to see how tech giants including Google, IBM, Yahoo, Intel, Apple and Salesforce are all competing in the race to acquire private AI companies. 
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