Powering customer journeys in the age of AI

TechCrunch | 12/13/2018 | Staff
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Anirudh Pandit is head of Solution Engineering, NA-West, office of the CTO, MuleSoft.

Technology has been the cornerstone of economic growth around the world for hundreds of years. It has underpinned the last three industrial revolutions and is now the driving factor in today’s Fourth Industrial Revolution — marked by emerging technologies in a variety of fields.

Intelligence - Technologies - Revolution - Father - Computer

Unsurprisingly, artificial intelligence is one of the key technologies driving this new revolution. As described in the 1950s by the father of modern computer science, Alan Turing, “What we want is a machine that can learn from experience.” His paper, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” is the earliest description of neural networks and how computer intelligence should be measured. While the concept of AI isn’t new, we’re only on the cusp of seeing AI drive real business value in the enterprise.

Businesses today are trying to augment and improve their customer, partner and employee experiences by leveraging AI. However, what many have yet to realize is that AI is only as good as the APIs that support it.

Example - Rise - Commerce - Consumers - Businesses

For example, we’re seeing the rise of conversational commerce, where consumers can interact with businesses and their services via digital voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri. Two very important things occur here. First, the voice assistant uses AI and machine learning technology — or algorithms that are trained using massive amounts of existing data — to understand voice commands. Second, the voice assistant acts on those commands by calling back-end services with APIs that do the actionable work. This can include getting product information from a database or placing an order with the order management system. APIs truly bring AI to life and, without them, the value of AI models cannot be unlocked for the enterprise.

Many businesses are beginning to deploy AI-based systems. According to Gartner’s recent survey of...
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