If you have been as glued as we are in the Mysoft office to the new series of Channel 4’s ‘Humans’ then you will be fascinated by the vision of a future that relies on AI technology.
The concept of code going to this next level, where it is able to write and develop itself into thoughts, feelings and actions, feels like science fiction but has some eerie roots in reality. Will a similar plethora of new AI technology soon become main stream? And what could it mean for the advancement of ERP and Sage X3 solutions?
We are already seeing a wave of products that use AI technology to enhance the user experience. We are talking to Siri on our IPhones and Amazon Alexa
can now keep your whole home in sync through verbal commands. Obviously, none of these machines think and feel as the ‘Synths’ do in ‘Humans’, but the advances in technology are clearly heading down a similar road. We expect Google to be able to predict what we are thinking and deliver us the correct results in an instance, we should be able to listen to a song and then instantly have a relevant personalised playlist and we no longer have the patience to sit and learn technology. We expect technology to be user intuitive and function how we want it to at the click of a button.
Present Day AI
This level of personalised software is nothing new. Salesforce recently launched ‘Einstein- AI for everyone’
which aims to remove the complexity of AI. It allows any business to create personalised and predictive customer experiences. Powered by data and using predictive analytics Einstein automatically personalises the user journey depending on the data it knows about that specific customer; it can predict that user’s future behaviour and even automate tasks based on this.
The customer experience benefits are clear and the ‘personalised’ consumer journey is one that e-commerce shoppers already take for granted. When we shop for clothes or home furnishings we expect to see a list of similar products suggested to match and complement our purchase. Some e-commerce websites are even introducing the ability to search by an image in order to find similar products, so you could "like" an outfit a celeb is wearing on Instagram, search on an e-commerce site using this picture, and be presented with a page of results that link to that image. The marketing and e-commerce potential is infinite!
ERP and AI
Accenture Interactive took this a step further in 2014 with their prototype humanoid robot Pepper
that is able to read human emotions and deliver a humanised customer service experience. These type of ‘humanoids’ are already being programmed to perform routine tasks, such as data entry, in order to improve efficiency in back-office areas of business. Is it really that big of a leap to imagine an ERP solution that links to a team of humanoids that pick and pack your lorries ready for distribution? Or are able to automatically unload and restock the shelves in your warehouse?
There is a certain element of this whole discussion that is simply taking the ability to analyse big data one step further. Look at SEI in Sage X3
for instance, with the power already to analyse your past sales data and predict when you are likely to need more stock to cater for a peak in demand. CRM software analyses everything it knows about a user in order to define a personalised customer journey. It’s all based on data and it is easy to see how this intelligent level of data analysis could soon go to the next level.
Mr Sage X3...?
We don’t imagine that you will be sitting across your desk from a ‘Mr Sage X3’ humanoid any time soon. But logging in and being presented with a dashboard that highlights areas of new business opportunity, proactively suggests steps to reduce costs and automatically manufacture increased levels of stock through predicted demand, all without any human input at all? Now, that version of an ‘Artificial Intelligent’ future doesn’t seem very far off at all…
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