Businesses are scrambling to use artificial intelligence and trying to work out how best to put digital assistants to work. Consumers are wondering what impact these new technologies will have on their everyday lives.
AI spans the breadth of our activities. From business to leisure, we interact with AI when we use an app to turn on a light bulb, talk to Google Home or Amazon Alexa, or write better emails.
Google, IBM, Yahoo, Apple, Salesforce, and Intel have been acquiring start-ups. Even Twitter, eBay and Microsoft are racing to acquire the top players in AI.
Inbound marketing company HubSpot has been looking at consumer sentiment towards AI and chatbots. It has released its Global AI survey for Q4 2016.
In its survey of more than 1,400 people from Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Colombia, UK, and the US, HubSpot found that many respondents did not know that they were already using AI.
37 percent of respondents said they have used an AI tool. However, of the respondents who said they have not used AI, 63 percent were actually using it. They just were not aware that they were.
74 percent of respondents have used voice search in the past month. They have noticed that responses from Siri, Cortana, Home, and Alexa have improved. Daily use of voice search is up by 27 percent compared to last year.
People are very comfortable asking questions out loud to voice assistants. 84 percent of respondents said they were comfortable using it at home.
However, only 17 percent were comfortable using it in public. High earning men are more likely to use voice commands in public.
47 percent of respondents said that they are open to buying items through a chatbot. Chatbots sit natively on messaging applications, such as Slack, WhatsApp, Line, and Facebook Messenger.
Chatbots can perform a variety of shopping-related tasks, such as suggesting the top-rated items on the site. As machine learning programs get smarter, e-commerce bots will probably deal with more complicated questions from potential buyers.
As long as they can get help quickly and easily, 40 percent of respondents do not care whether a chatbot or a person answers their customer service questions. 57 percent of respondents still prefer to get help from a person.
AI is already impacting many parts of our lives, and although you may wonder how we will cope with the AI chatbot takeover, it does promise to streamline many parts of our online personal and business lives. We just have to get used to it.