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The application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has seen an upsurge in adoption across various industries in recent times, in which most consumers got a taste of this phenomenon in its most popular forms: chatbots and virtual assistants. If you own any kind of smart device, you have probably interacted with them: Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon Alexa, to name a few. The more tech-savvy of businesses and enterprises are implementing AI-based assistants in a bid to raise more revenue, augment core operations and further innovate their offerings.

Through machine learning and deep learning, this extensive technologies have been trained to understand voice commands and recognize keywords with which to converse with users, conduct research through search engines and detect emotions, among other things. As such, AI-based virtual assistants and chatbots are fast becoming far more crucial in everyone’s lives as it takes on a new prevalence.

Developers are steadily moving away from creating cool AI buddies for regular users as they are now looking to create enterprise-level virtual assistant that will enable companies to tap into its potential to drive real business values. This is why organizations are eyeing means of stronger consumer engagement as this is one of the most important assets for any company. With the application of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing, digital assistants and chatbots will stop sounding like robots while taking on a more conversational tone. This in turn, humanizes a brand’s relationship with their customers, especially with the implementation of Natural Language Generation to convey meaningful, custom-tailored experiences that go above and beyond pre-scripted replies and responses.

Such innovation marks the dawn of conversational commerce that is set to change the way in which consumers interact and make purchases. This technology can assist customers in a completely natural manner through their journey from browsing to procurement. At the same time, technology is not intrusive as customers detest being distracted whenever a pre-programmed robot pops up every time they load a page. Moreover, the added benefits of such technology come in the form of round-the-clock accessibility, monitoring consumer data and providing a steady engagement experience – making the implementation of a virtual assistant one of the most intelligent decisions a business can enact.

In a regular working environment, software tools are being more frequently used to increase the efficiency of collaboration between colleagues in the digital space. However, all the pros of an advanced tool cannot solve the issue of relieving workload. Instead, employees are being bombarded by tons of information that can blur their main priorities in a project. Virtual assistants are combating this concern by acting as mediator between man and machine. As an alternative to being a mere tool, they are fast becoming the face of the interface in order to reduce complexities while providing more accurate insights.

With each passing quarter, virtual assistants and chatbots are getting increasingly flexible but recognizing voices and performing simple tasks are not their only end-all, be-all function. Users will continue to see this utility in other existing technology such as Augmented Reality (AR) and sensors employed in the Internet of Things. Besides just “talking” to them, you get to interact with them in a completely new dimension before making your purchasing decision. Just imagine asking an AI-powered virtual assistant to show you a house and the AR technology will allow you to visualize what the house will look in real time.

In the end, virtual assistants and chatbots are moving away from being simple trendy technological add-ons as they are fast becoming the value drivers for businesses that implement them. They are able to help various industries grow and scale without sacrificing tailored experiences. Right now, all the signs indicate that organizations and consumers are ready to or have already embraced the role virtual assistants play in business operations and daily lives. Essentially, the marriage of voice assistants and chatbots with innovative techniques will help organizations meet consumer and professional expectations.