Bots are going to change our digital behavior

The big topic this year at one of the world’s largest digital conferences, SXSW in Austin, Texas, was the use and development of artificial intelligence, also called AI or Machine Learning. One of the themes, which i.a. took my attention was the rapid use and development of the so-called bots – or also called virtual assistants. Many people probably know it from Siri from the iPhone or from Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, which are small voice-controlled speakers that you can ask about almost anything – from recipes to the weather forecast or get them to call you.

By Martin Brems, Strategic Advisor and Founder, Brems & Co., August 21, 2017

Last year, the use of apps for messaging, such as Messenger, overtook traditional social media such as Facebook and YouTube. And in 2016, Messenger reached 1 billion users. Now you can make your own intelligent bot via Facebook in just 7 minutes. The company Chatfule is behind it.

In business use, chat bots and internal messaging forums like Slack, Facebook Workplace and the brand new Microsoft Teams have gained great popularity. Thus, 65% of all companies use messaging apps for communication – and it is increasing.

"By 2020, 30% of all web browsing will be without a screen"

In 2021 alone, it is estimated that there will be just over DKK 1.8 billion. users of bots. And by 2020, 30% of all web browsing will be without a screen, i.e. voice controlled. It is therefore no longer about where you are, but what you do and when – now and here in real-time. In the near future, there will thus not be as much focus on the development of the traditional websites, but instead on the development of intelligent bots that can service easily and quickly.

Right now one sees a great development within bots to the financial world, including the company Clinc, which has as its vision to build the strongest AI to help humanity, which is something visionary. They are i.a. named one of the most promising financial AI companies in the world, by the acclaimed magazine, Forbes. Initially, they have made a bot that can help you read your spending, your behavior and your bank account, thus guiding you as best you can financially. Like a bank adviser.

"It won't be long before we start to see more examples of tasks being performed by a bot."

And not just replacement through the phone or searches on the web. To take a local example, I used a business travel agency in Denmark to find the perfect trip for me here to Austin in Texas – both at a good price, with good seats and with short travel time. The Momondo portal helped a lot along the way – but it was still too complex. I therefore called a business travel agency who inquired into my needs and found the best trip for me based on my wishes. In the near future – or even today – you will simply be able to ask your bot to find the optimal trip based on your needs, preferences and past behaviors – and even book and pay for it right away. Voila!

My best advice to companies is therefore: Start working on how you could imagine using artificial intelligence to serve your customers better – and even better, could free up resources in your company to spend on development for the future instead. Because it comes rumbling – at high speed.