We are in midst of Artificial intelligence boom. There have been strings of AI startup acquisitions in past few years by large web companies and the pace is only accelerating. It makes one wonder why there is a sudden surge in interest and what opportunities are the giants after.
In order to understand the connection we have to look at the evolution of human computer interaction (HCI). For decades we have been interacting with computers and recent advancements in mobile has further made it personal and pushed the reach of computing.
In spite of all the advancements, the interaction still requires lot of effort on the human side and to be honest, applications are still dumb.
While we have lived with the limitations for long it will be unacceptable very soon.
How irritating it is to see a product you just bought online appearing everywhere. It is stupid to show the same product again. Can’t they see i have already bought it!!
How it feels when you are recommended a hotel which you rated worst somewhere else.
How it feels when there are million pages recommended by Google for a simple question.
The time has come for us to expect and demand our experiences to be intelligent.
There are 3 high level trends that extols the value of intelligent experiences.
Future of Mass Scale Interface.
The first two generation of interfaces is well understood but with the falling cost and miniaturization of computing we know that next version of interface is not a single device. In fact the physical world around us is the new interface.
The old school experience design rules no longer are sufficient and will need to be overhauled to make it apt for the new medium.
It would be crazy if your mobile app is encouraging you to go for a run whereas your IOT enabled umbrella is predicting a rain. If it was intelligent, app could have recommended an in-house exercise session.
Intelligence helps in enchanting the experience by taking the context into consideration and offering natural ways for interaction.The benefits are visible immediately — Simply ask the thermostat to change the temperature rather launching an app and then figuring out how to change the temperature. Who would not love this functionality! The Apple siri, Google now and Microsoft cortana have already started offering this natural interactions on phone and no doubt will be extended fully to other products.
Taking the intelligence further, the system should be able to auto calibrate based on past behavior, choices and other relevant conditions.
We cannot imagine an automated home without intelligence and that’s why product like Google Nest represents an evolution of IoT offering a intelligent platform for hardware to connect and collaborate to provide a natural and meaningful experience to users.
The New Social
The future of social media is all about creating personalized immersive experiences and building richer relationship with people we care about. Mark Zuckerberg vision of Facebook is full of AI, virtual reality and telepathy. This make sense as well. We rely on our social circles and knowledge of the world to make decisions about our jobs and lives.
In order to create the true personalized experience, platforms will have to get intelligent and recognize everything that is there in the shared content. This includes people, objects scenes and the context.
If i am not feeling well then i would prefer seeing more information around it and not some random movie recommendation just because i liked one of my friend watching a movie.
Today we apply this intelligence manually. On twitter we create list interest wise. On Facebook we have started following people we care about so that their information appears first on our timelines.
Facebook has already started leveraging albeit at small scale to deliberately influence or respond to user emotions in a way that is consistent with platform goals.
Whosoever is able to marry intelligence with content will be the winner in social media space.
The Rise of API
With democratization of computing we are producing data and exposing commercial services like never before. API (Application programming interface) is no longer just a technical term but becoming a must have for the business to extend their customer engagements and revenue. Salesforce generates more than half of its $2.3 billion in revenue through its APIs, not its user interface. Twitter is said to process 13 billion transactions a day through its APIs. Google is around 5 billion transactions a day. The app culture is one of the strong outcomes of API proliferation.
APIs no doubt have fueled the innovations and creativity but now slowly leading to app hell. There are more than million apps on Google play and Apple app store. We are already facing the heat of app hell — one app for banks, another app for cabs, another for hotels and this list goes on.
The first level of intelligence in this arena is being baked by few folks who are trying to aggregate the services into a single interface simplifying the user experience. Tour apps are good examples of single interfaces which tries to commoditize the underlying services.
Single interface are mostly manual at the moment. They are pre-aggregated services. Aggregation will reach new heights when it will be done programmatically using machine learning algorithms. This is an ultimate form of intelligent experiences driven by natural language processing freeing users from downloading all those apps. Imagine where you just have to open your chat box and express your need or wish. This in fact is being seen as future of all chat based systems like whatsapp, wechat etc.
The purpose of intelligent experiences is to enable computers to adjust to human needs and not the other way round.
If the digital experience in future is contextual and complimentary then intelligence is the means to achieve it.