Artificial intelligence (AI) is often in the news these days. It is, after all, the technological age so it should come as no surprise that scientists are looking into the possibility of having cyborgs and robots doing certain jobs that people currently do.
New research from market research firm Forrester has found that in the US robots will have done away with six per cent of all jobs by the year 2021, which will certainly help companies keep costs down but it’s perhaps less attractive as an idea for people who actually hold these jobs right now.
The company’s Brian Hopkins was quoted by the Guardian as saying: “By 2021 a disruptive tidal wave will begin. Solutions powered by AI/cognitive technology will displace jobs, with the biggest impact felt in transportation, logistics, customer service and consumer services.”
Earlier this year at the ITB Travel Fair staged in Berlin, a communication android from Toshiba – known as Chihira Kanae – put in an appearance, one of three sister robots designed to work in the travel industry and help companies in the sector in the future.
According to project leader of humanoid development at Toshiba Hitoshi Tokuda, Chihira will cost approximately the same amount as a Lamborghini. And Toshiba isn’t the only company to be looking into droids at this time. According to Motherboard, Hilton Hotels has just teamed up with IBM to create a concierge robot, while there’s already a cyborg that can mix your martini for you on certain flights – which has actually been in operation since way back when in 2012.
So what does this all mean for customer experience strategies? There are some key things to bear in mind, focusing on establishing a balance between quality and speed:
- Make sure that however robots/artificial intelligence is used, it’s with customer experience in mind, rather than cost
- Before implementing, their role and impact on your customer journey should be examined from every angle.
No doubt this is just the tip of the iceberg and we’ll increasingly start seeing robots more and more often in train stations, airports and shopping centres… who knows where it’ll all lead? One thing’s for sure: “The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.”