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Experimentation with voice-activated assistants and text-triggered chatbots blossomed in 2016, and in less than six months, each of the major tech platforms either launched a chatbot platform or created virtual assistants for their users.

Artificial Intelligence as a broad concept should be something to look after in 2017. The democratization of tools will enable more companies to try AI technologies around robotics, autonomous vehicles and finance, health, security and retail industries –with the last one largely focused on chatbots. I believe that this year will make the cut on the variety of AI products, where a few will proliferate across consumer and enterprise sectors, creating new workflows, operational efficiencies and opportunities for improved customer service.

Amazon’s Alexa for example, is a tool that was firstly positioned as a home product, but has been seen by different companies as a tool that can improve the operational efficiencies. Wynn Hotels plans to equip nearly 5,000 rooms with Alexa for clients to query about room and hotel information. FedEx is also planning to use the assistant so their employees can ship packages by voice-command.

Artificial Intelligence is also taking over CRM, where chatbots are “trained” to be professional and compassionate, backed by cloud software that analyses the tone, pitch and speed of speech. In 2017, the challenge will be to figure out customer intent. Whoever resolves it, will be able to respond to customer in a more emphatic way.

In summary, Artificial Intelligence is a technology that is so close, but yet, so far. That is why Osmii is so excited to attend to Mobile World Congress (MWC 2017) in two weeks, at Barcelona. There will be many talks regarding AI, and we are particularly interested on the conference “Artificial Intelligence: chatbots and artificial assistants” with Gummi Hafsteinsson (Product Management Director, Google Assistant) among other incredible industry leaders.

Another interesting conference is “The future of messaging: engagement, ecommerce and Bots” with Harper Reed (PayPal), Matt Asay (Adobe) and Mitali Dhar (Director of Google) among others. They will talk about how messaging is simple, personal, constantly connected and ubiquitously mobile. Consumers have adopted this new platform, but for most companies the step to messaging and conversational commerce still has to be taken.

Osmii always makes sure to be ahead of the game and understand the trends for 2017 and years to come. To learn more about what we do, please contact our digital consultant Sarah Neeworth via sarah.neeworth@osmii.com and visit our website www.osmii.com