A Sneak Peek Into The Future of AI Chatbots & eCommerce
Plus: Are you hot or not?
Hola my Fringe friends.
Let’s get into it. Today: a peek into the future of AI chatbots & eCommerce, and a few other cool (or not) things. Shall we?
The Future of AI Chatbots & eCommerce
Chatbots are everywhere now. And with OpenAI’s API for ChatGPT, makers are churning them in droves everyday.
But what does that mean for eCommerce?
It means that the majority of online commerce in the very near future (circa 2025) will be powered by conversational AI. And having your own shopping assistant or sales concierge (what we call ours at Rep) will be the sales channel everyone needs to own — maybe even more than having an actual website.
Even Shopify released Shop, powered by ChatGPT. It’s a brand new way for everyday people to shop locally.
But I call it training. Apps like this one are training people to think in a new way. And when you think in new ways, you behave in new ways.
This is just the beginning. Everyone with a smartphone today is already used to chatting via text whether that’s SMS, Messenger, Chat, Telegram, WhatsApp, etc. Because of this, the transition from chatting in this way with real people to an AI chatbot is seamless.
People are now getting advice, and even therapy from our future AI overlords (I kid, but not really).
From Wysa, AI powered therapy
Think about this. We can now use natural language to communicate with machines. You say, “Yeah, but we’ve had voice for awhile now. Remember Alexa, Paul?! Google Home?”
You’re right. But what wasn’t true with those devices was their accessibility because of price barriers or use cases — in other words: practicality. Not everyone likes talking out loud to machines — yet.
What is true about the flurry of AI chat interfaces coming our way is that they’re not only more accessible by a larger majority of the population, but they’re actually useful, too.
In addition to therapy, AI is:
Coding websites and apps
Writing content and copy
Offering advice and strategic perspective
Organizing our work
Matching us with partners (more on that in a moment)
Creating websites & presentations
Designing for us
and the list is too long now
And that’s just the recent developments that affect the workplace. AI has been around for over 50 years, and we’ve hit this inflection point where it’s getting smarter, it’s learning faster, and once again, it’s actually more useful.
It’s useful to the average person. It’s really useful in the workplace — even this CEO bought his entire team a premium license to GPT-4 to make sure they don’t fall behind somehow.
Does it add to the bottom line? Yes, and I’ll be sharing more about this soon, but as for productivity, research was recently completed by MIT and Stanford around live chat agents using ChatGPT (they were free to accept the AI’s suggestions or not), and one of their most important findings is:
AI assistance increases worker productivity, resulting in a 13.8 percent increase in the number of chats that an agent is able to successfully resolve per hour.
That’s kind of bananas. I mean, you saw this coming, right? But what you probably didn’t see coming was that AI helped lower skilled workers immensely, and higher skilled workers realized less gains. From their paper:
We posit that high-skill workers may have less to gain from AI assistance precisely because AI recommendations capture the potentially tacit knowledge embodied in their own behaviors. Rather, low-skill workers are more likely to improve by incorporating these behaviors by adhering to AI suggestions. Consistent with this, we find few positive effects of AI access for the highest-skilled or most-experienced workers.
Granted, this is only one use case, and in one type of working environment. Admittedly, this is a small, yet significant step. But still — talk about the potential to level the playing field for less skilled workers — or maybe it’s just leveling the field of the workforce entirely — doh!
If everyone will eventually get their own AI assistant (and they will), then expect those adopters to raise their expectations of what your level of service should be for them. Because your level of service will have to match or exceed what people are accustomed to.
True, we’re not there yet — but we will be. It’s coming.
AI chatbots and assistants will:
Offer 24/7 service and contextual conversation (think Zappos level of customer experience, but with AI)
Take people through the entire buying cycle within chat — either their personal AI assistant or one found in your online store
Handle ALL customer support requests
In the near future, everyone will have their very own AI assistant doing their bidding. If they want a pair of shoes or want to book some travel, they’ll just ask — and it will surf the web, chatting with other chatbots, and eventually, return with two or three options based on their preferences.
This future is inevitable.
ChatGPT, Bard, or Bing?
Is this really a thing? Well, The Verge digs into this very polarizing discussion. Hint: ChatGPT is at a clear disadvantage because of its pre-2021 only content barrier. Judge for yourself:
Hot or Not?
Is AI really matching people together? Yes, and before Hotchat matches you to anyone, it’s going to rate you based on your looks and find someone with a similar score.
I scored a 4, so you know this thing must be broken 😒
Hotchat thinks it’s so hawt
Wes Anderson’s Star Wars
I’m a fan of Wes Anderson’s distinct style because it’s quirky and memorable. This fake trailer, made with AI, caused quite a stir. Some people loved it, some hated it (‘cause AI), and some don’t care enough to comment.
See for yourself:
Gotta love Adrien Brody as Chewbacca.
Until next time.