Evolving the EBC: How AI and Machine Learning Can Make a Difference
One of the growing trends in the modern business world is the widespread use of AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) to improve processes, functionality, data analytics, and predictive measures. As a technology, AI is quite impressive and understandably complex. You don’t just power-on an AI or machine learning system that’s accurate and effective out of the gate. It takes months, sometimes even years of programming, algorithms, and training.
That restriction means the technology has yet to see its full potential across many industries and various use cases. In some instances, no one has truly found an ideal application or use of the technology and is still very much actively explored and tested for deployment.
That’s exactly the case with the EBC or Executive Briefing Center. Many managers and administrators know about the technology, the benefits it can offer, and varying uses across the business world; however, they don’t know how to implement it within their own strategy.
It’s not considered “mainstream” as of yet, but many understand the implications of AI and why they must remain vigilant and prepared to adopt it. 72% of business leaders deem AI adoption for their company to be a significant business advantage. If and when deployed correctly, it has become clear to many that implementing these technologies can offer a significant advantage over the competition and the rest of your market.
It’s difficult to say just how long it will be until the technology is available to the masses; maybe it will be another five years or maybe it will be ten. One thing is definitely true, however. The rate of innovation and the growth of AI and machine learning, is itself being improved faster thanks to the transparency of information, necessity of data and data-driven systems, and modern experiences as a whole.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to change business forever. It will improve nearly everything in the modern world, from customer service and customer experience to manufacturing and development. In retail and customer service, for instance, it will be able to help business continually learn more and more about their audience, as well as their behaviors and preferences. It does this, simply by ingesting massive amounts of data and comparing the collected information to programmed algorithms and pattern-recognition processes.
By 2025, an estimated 95% of customer interactions will be supported by AI-powered technologies.
In the EBC, AI will also be used to change the modern experience and environment, although we don’t know just yet how exactly it will look. Let’s explore the basics, and see if we can’t at least make a few predictions.
What Is AI? What Is Machine Learning? How Are They Different?
AI or artificial intelligence is a difficult concept to explain and detail. Why? Because there are so many varying opinions and definitions, the exact meaning tends to be remarkably broad.
In the interest of brevity, let’s just say that it’s a machine or computer system that uses standard “intelligence” to accomplish a task or make a decision. This is why varying terms and uses of the technology use similar descriptors, like neural networks and machine learning.
Anything that would require a normal human brain to apply intelligence to solve or complete a task, yet being carried out by a computer or machine, can be considered a form of AI.
In general, artificial intelligence platforms and systems exhibit remarkably similar human behaviors and traits. This includes things like planning, learning, reasoning, problem-solving, perception, knowledge recovery and reference, manipulation, creativity, social and intellectual engagement, and sometimes even motion.
We are incredibly far from the type of AI you see in most sci-fi films, movies, and properties. That is, a system fully-autonomous and capable of powering Android-like robots and human clones. Instead, modern AI platforms are housed within massive data centers and central processing environments.
In theory, AI tends to be autonomous and requires little oversight. Once you have an accurate system in place, it requires little maintenance and can continue doing its work and completing tasks on its own.
Several offsets of AI include machine learning, neural networks, narrow AI, and more. Machine learning, in comparison, is less capable than traditional AI and requires a hefty investment for the most part. It uses data collection, analytics, and algorithmic coding to discern various patterns, insights, and decisions. Over time, it learns to be more efficient through the use of ingested data and application.
Neural networks are similar, except they exist on a larger scale across varying hardware configurations. Often called “deep learning” systems, they use simulated and brain-inspired algorithms to further learning and education. IBM’s Watson is a great example of a modern neural network and is best described as a network or ensemble of heterogeneous experts, as opposed to an automated computer system.
AI In the Enterprise
Without delving too far down the rabbit hole, AI and machine learning can be used in many enterprise settings to streamline and optimize operations. Due to their makeup—the ability to ingest massive and real-time streams of data and analyze it on the fly—they can discern and identify elements or properties that no human could, expert or not.
In this way, the technology can be used to augment and further human capabilities, beyond what is commonly possible. This will effectively change our perception of business, obstacles, and achievements. It’s absolutely game-changing.
When you look at how it can be specifically applied to processes throughout or within an organization, you truly start to get a grasp for just how powerful and influential it can be. By 2021, 40% of new enterprise applications that have been implemented by service providers will include some form of AI and machine learning embedded.
AI In the Executive Briefing Center
AI and machine learning platforms are wholly reliant on data. More importantly, not just random or sparse information, but the appropriate, correct, and right forms of data.
You absolutely must know what kind of information you’re feeding into an AI system, and how it can be used or mined for insights. If you feed the system irrelevant information, you’re not going to see the kind of results that can make a difference in what you’re trying to achieve.
In order to succeed, AI must have digital interfaces and data systems in place, within the EBC to capture the relevant information. The data coming in can and will flow from varying platforms and devices, including—but not limited to—smart digital components and sensors, mobile applications, digital signage, floor bots, connected devices, and much more.
You must be able to identify not just the streams coming in, but from whom they are engaging with, and how they relate to your overall mission or goal. For instance, hundreds of people choosing to avoid a particular event or experience within your center can mean several things. With this data, one could infer that the event was inoperational, not interesting, or not relevant to them. Getting to the bottom of said mystery requires the appropriate information and incoming data stream(s).
How AI Can Be Deployed In the EBC
The benefits appear to be vast, the cost-savings of employing an automated system are always welcome, and the insights and experiences you can build will surely help improve your bottom line.
Let’s consider some ways in which you can employ AI.
1. You can use AI to determine who your “customers” are, what their primary goals or are, and what preferences matter most to them. This helps you better serve their needs and provide more positive experiences by analyzing content consumption behaviors or traffic patterns within the EBC.
2. AI can help you pinpoint when your users or audience are officially done for the day. As an EBC manager, you want to have your finger on the pulse of the on-site experience, so to help foster ingress and egress strategies, you can use the system to highlight and trigger accurate notifications based on customer behavior as they come and go through hotspots, offices, or locations within your EBC. An automated notification as they leave the premise and the meetings are concluded can be a nice touch: “Have a nice day, please visit us again”. Or even “Looks like it will take you 20 minutes to reach [hotel name] drive safely!”
3. Through an always-on system or educational tool, you can employ AI to identify and recognize key phrases within the context of a normal conversation. You can use this to identify customer requests and complaints and address them directly. Let’s imagine for a second a conversation within the common area where key phrases like “where is the nearest restroom,” “I need a cup of coffee,” and even “the conversation on cloud and storage was very stimulating; I would like to learn more about ‘xyz’”.
AI can help you track these buzzwords and hot topics to record back to you for actionable insights or even proffer suggestions to the customer through connected devices based on the learned conversational patterns.
4. Moderne your property and event rooms or meeting centers. An AI-driven system can help you optimize capacity, by showing when a room is full, outlining available seats or areas, detailing why a room is being used, and even making suggestions for future clients. Smart meeting rooms will be able to maximize and optimize in-person and on-site experiences by knowing the best rooms to use, which rooms clients have been to before and even auto-configuring A/V needs based on meeting requirements.
5. Humanoid robots or AI assistants can be deployed throughout your property to help visitors find their way, answer queries, or even offer directions. This is a fun one. Large shopping centers, airports, and even some EBCs are getting in on the action. Create a mascot that helps direct, navigate or even deliver goodies based on customer locations within your EBC and learned ‘needs’. Even integrating a digital screen or interface component that customers can interact with through their mobile phones makes for an immersive, connected experience and gets you more data to feedback through your systems.
6. Through IM services and native mobile apps, you can offer a digital concierge or chatbot that offers something similar to an AI assistant, only right when your audience needs it and within their own environment. According to Juniper Research, chatbots will generate a costs savings of over $8 billion annually by 2022. Kiosks, digital signage, robots and even mobile apps enable you to interact with chatbot technology to find answers to your questions.
7. One of the reasons many choose not to attend an event or visit a property is because they don’t have access to the necessary travel resources. AI can handle this entire process by automating the steps, including acquiring ridesharing opportunities, buying tickets and admissions, scheduling appointments, and much more. Think of it as a digital concierge.
Essentially, AI can power automated processes for scheduling briefings, keynotes, one-on-one meetings, and even customer meetups. This would help you, as a business, better optimize conversations and messages, deliver truly cross-platform and connected experiences, and take full advantage of optimal engagement windows. You can also use the system to track and monitor behaviors, activity, and more for future insights.
AI In the EBC Is About Delivering a “Wow” Moment
Look at how AI and similar tools are implemented in your regular, modern life. Consider Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant, for example. They are designed to offer increasing levels of convenience. You can control smart home devices and tech with your voice. You can make simple web queries. You can even use them for entertainment. The “wow” factor they deliver all stems from that modern, streamlined experience that makes your life better and easier.
That’s exactly how AI should be used in the EBC. In the enterprise world, 31% of business executives feel that virtual personal assistants will have a significant impact on their business, more than any other AI-based solution.
If and when you decide to implement the technology, your ultimate goal should be to “wow” your visitors and audience, to not just make their experience better, but the most productive and stress-free possible.
What will your ideal AI setup look like?