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Should retailers fear AI or is it now essential?

23rd August 2017

For a long time, I have talked about artificial intelligence as an enabling tool that should help to improve the customer experience. It’s a technology that helps customer service advisors and retail associates do their job better, rather than a tool that removes the need for them to even be part of the customer relationship.

But AI has taken on something of a mythical quality. Leading executives such as Elon Musk of Tesla warn that systems may eventually run out of control and become more intelligent than humans. These warnings have also been echoed by scientists, such as the physicist Stephen Hawking, who once claimed that AI could be the end of mankind as we know it.

But executives in industries like retail don’t need to fear AI. Technology systems at present still focus on specific tasks. Even if they have the ability to learn and improve, a system designed to analyse customer behaviour in a supermarket will not attempt to form a new government!

This interesting article published in Retail Touchpoints analyses some of the areas where retail executives should be exploiting AI systems today:

There is still a lot of noise around the use of AI, but it is a maturing technology that can really help your team interact more effectively with customers. Combined with supply chain management in retail, it can become an essential tool for ensuring that stock levels are always maintained at a level that is just right, rather than too low or high.

What do you think of the potential of AI in customer service? Leave a comment below and let me know, or get in touch on LinkedIn.

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David Turner
Article by: David Turner

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