Technology has always been used to automate and eliminate labour-intensive tasks. It enables humans to lead more convenient, productive and fulfilling lives. And, AI is taking that to a new level. It can, of course, be used to delegate tedious and repetitive tasks to computers. But more than that, the emerging technology is all about efficiency and convenience. It is changing the way that we interact with machines.
With enormous quantities of data and huge computing power, we are only really just touching the surface in terms of what AI can do. It’s fair to say as AI continues to grow, it is going to completely redefine the user interface until such a time as there are no screens left at all.
The Growth of Artificial Intelligence
AI may have started as another buzzword, but today businesses across every industry are investing extensively in the technology. The reason for the trend comes down to the value it brings to interactions making technology more intuitive to use. Virtual assistants are scheduling meetings, chatbots are answering customer queries and voice search is making information more accessible than ever. AI is a route to simple yet satisfying experiences and gives freedom and time back to the user.
As AI enables us to achieve things faster and with more accuracy, it is setting expectations of how future interaction will work. With intuitive, natural interactions at our fingertips with readily available open-source tools, there are big changes in the way for user interfaces. As the way people interact with technology changes, it will be a prime point of competition and distinction. Those who add AI to their designs have an opportunity to enhance critical customer interactions and gain an all-important edge.
How AI-Enabled Interfaces Build Brands
AI is commonly used to enhance customer service. However, it has the potential to be more than that, becoming the brand voice itself. AI helps companies make complicated technologies approachable and unlock new capabilities. It is more than just an interface; it is the potential to deliver enhanced experiences. With AI, each customer interaction becomes more personalised, powerful and natural. In time, AI can become the digital voice of a company, the essence of the brand itself.
In time, people may well spend more time engaged with AI than with a company’s employees. However, that means that their opinions will be based on how AI performs. Customers can be delighted or disappointed but, either way, AI will leave a lasting impression. But while that sounds daunting, AI has a lot to offer businesses as well as customers. Instead of only being able to interact with one person at a time in the way a human can, it can interact with an infinite number. What’s more, it can guarantee to deliver a consistent experience across every one of those interactions. And it can learn; AI has the ability to rapidly evolve, reacting to new data and delivering a more personalised experience or implementing a new strategy based on a business directive.
Integrating AI in Design
AI can be implemented anywhere. However, for it to be used by humans, an interface is needed between them and the machines in the background. What that interface looks like depends on the task at hand and the channel in question. Regardless, to deliver AI-enabled interfaces, businesses need to redesign their systems to support it. In the first instance, this means developing AI capabilities so that toolkits can be used within design and development teams.
AI turns enterprise architecture on its head. In the back end, AI can change business processes and infrastructure. So there is a clear requirement to develop connections between systems and interfaces. Data is needed from every channel not only to train the AI but for it to continuously learn how interactions should evolve over time. AI relationships are different to traditional transactions because they are accumulative, building context with each new interaction. However, this only works if systems are designed to support these long-term relationships from the start, with reinforced feedback loops.
How the Right Design Can Make AI Smarter
In order for AI to learn and deliver enhanced experiences, it needs a huge amount of data. So, designed experiences that incentivise engagement have the potential to improve AI. While user-centred design is crucial in today’s world of rising customer expectations, there needs to be some give and take between AI and users. A user-centric approach helps to engage users, but it also helps to understand what AI needs to learn. The more people and data in the feedback loop, the more ability AI has to get smarter and to be more relevant.
Once designers understand what experiences could enhance key user value, they can review what the AI would need to deliver those experiences. At this point, the design becomes more AI-focused. Designers have the chance to give AI the extra information it needs to be more thoughtful and enhance the user experience. Ultimately, the feedback loop is one of the biggest design challenges that can be used to improve AI. Users are more likely to help something or someone that has already helped them. If users actively interact, they will get more from it.
Incorporating AI in Your Designs
To find where AI can improve interactions, you’ll need to review customer engagement for your most valued products and services. After this, you can identify what information and insights you are lacking that could help you improve the customer experience. You should also try to identify communication channels and platforms, both internal and external, where you can integrate conversational experiences. As you move forward, you’ll be able to implement increasingly sophisticated AI personas for key customer interactions.
With AI in place, interactions will become multidimensional conversations across multiple channels. However, these interactions will also lead to a time of disappearing technology. Customers no longer need to understand complicated technology in order to control it. In the future, if you are going to truly integrate AI into user interactions, the technology it supports should disappear. With seamless integration and invisible technology, you’ll achieve higher user adoption and stronger relationships. And all this will translate to direct business value.