There’s been a lot of talk lately about virtual assistants, chatbots and conversational interfaces taking over the next wave of commerce, and how people search and interact with their smartphones and the Internet.
Although we are certainly in the hype phase, I would not brush it to the side just yet as a fad. Pay attention and follow what is going on, because the largest tech companies in the world today, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Google are all investing heavily and building the future we will simply adopt when it is presented to us. And it is already happening.
I would strongly advise you take some time to understand this “conversation as a platform” space and how it could affect the future of commerce and search.
Google is building a Google for every person on this planet. A personal Google just for you.
The last 10 years have been about building a world that is mobile-first, turning our phones into remote controls for our lives. But in the next 10 years, we will shift to a world that is AI-first, a world where computing becomes universally available — be it at home, at work, in the car, or on the go — and interacting with all of these surfaces becomes much more natural and intuitive, and above all, more intelligent.
The Google Assistant is an artificial intelligent driven assistant that has access to your data because you will have to give it access in order to use it. The first version appeared in the Google Allo App available on your smartphone but it will spread and follow you wherever you call on it in time. All Google devices will be fitted with your Google assistant and you will likely in time be able to call it from any messenger platform or 3rd party smart device that allows the Google assistant to be activated.
Watch this small demo of the Google Assistant:
Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. Plan and interact with your agenda and other apps or even your favorite brands. It’s your own personal Google, always ready to help. Nameless, because its your assistant, tailored to your with your personal data. Who do you trust more? And furthermore, its an all in or all out relationship. For your assistant to help you, you need to give it your data. Read this post I made.
Of course this helps Google to target more meaningful ads to you in turn driving up the quality of their data for targeting purposed to the advertisers that pay them (>90% of their revenue). I made a post on this as well.
Google in building a ton of hardware that will have the Google assistant integrated into it so that your behavior on all these “Google” devices will be tracked and recorded in order to help you across the entire digital ecosystem in time (they are not building self-driving cars for nothing).
The Pixel is the first phone with the Google Assistant built in. It will be interesting to see how competitors react to this and if there will be possibility to activate your Google assistant across other phones like the iPhone, which of course favors Siri and windows phones which favor Cortana. Its probably going to become a very competitive space.
But what will happen is adoption of virtual assistants will increase and this will create a need for smart chatbots to be present in these messenger chat environments and this is a huge opportunity for brands to help their consumers access information, get things done, buy products and have meaningful discussions with the brands they consume directly from their messenger platform of choice.
And Google is sprinting full speed ahead. They are now an AI-first company and everything they build must now be AI first. They understand that the future is about data, and when it comes to data it is the machines that are way better at extraction the value then we are. Artificial intelligence, driven by machine learning and deep neutral networks will drive the extraction of value from data in order to help us live our lives and of course. get us to click more “meaningful” ads. This is the new “Data” economy we are already in. It is the new “Oil”.
As the range of devices in our lives expands, we’re seeing unprecedented advances in software as a result of investing in technologies like search, machine learning and AI, which benefits things like translation, voice recognition, image recognition and natural language processing. It’s still early days, but when all of that works together, the Google Assistant allows you to get things done, bringing you the information you need, when you need it, wherever you are.
But Google needs businesses and developers on board if they are to be successful with this endeavor. They are making it easy for developers, publishers and businesses to connect with their software and take a part in this artificial intelligent revolution, which is coming to us in the form of assistants and bots.
You can get started today by visiting the Actions on Google website for developers. Also make sure to check out API.AI which is a conversational user experience platform for build brand-unique, natural language interactions for bots, applications, services, and devices.
Watch this video which nicely illustrates how it works. And read this blog post by Google.
As a brand with a popular website like an eCommerce platform, its a good idea to start understanding the possibilities that are becoming available through this messenger as a platform revolution. It may just be the next wave in commerce, called conversational commerce. It will move very fast as technology and artificial intelligence are moving fast.
The bottle necks like ubiquitous always on connections, connection speed, powerfully devices, intelligent applications and technology adoption rates by consumers are behind us as we will see an exponential growth in this technology sector. Expect it to come sooner rather than later. To do otherwise may just result in you missing the boat. What is the potential risk of you not paying attention to this conversational revolution, which we are clearly in
As always, any questions, let me know.