Earlier this week, Opus Research hosted the first ever Intelligent Assistants Conference. Like all first-time events, you have to take a leap of faith that everything will go off smoothly. In fact, the 1-day conference was a huge success, bringing together customers of enterprise intelligent assistants, technology providers, and companies eager to learn more about the business value of intelligent assistants. I was extremely impressed with the company case studies presented by representatives from Hyatt Hotels, Coca-Cola, Domino’s, Schlage, and Windstream Communications. I wrote a guest post for the Opus Research blog that summarizes how each company is employing intelligent assistants / virtual agent technology to both drive down costs and improve customer experience.
The day was also filled with lively panel discussions on topics ranging from the history of artificially intelligent chatter bots to the future of mobile personal assistants in the image of Spike Jonze’s Her. Dan Miller of Opus was able to attract a stellar group of panelists to the event and the conversations were fabulously entertaining for people interested in this space. The room at the Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco stayed packed all day and the audience was never stumped for questions.
I came away from the event firmly convinced that enterprise intelligent assistants aren’t just for early adopters anymore. There are powerful use cases where this technology can be applied today and companies that take the leap stand to gain a competitive advantage over their competition. In terms of how personal intelligent assistants will impact the consumer market, so much is happening so quickly that it’s hard to guess where the market will be in a year or two. The growing adoption of wearables, where the form factor aligns better with speech-based communication than with text / typing, may push more usage of intelligent assistants. Or a completely new user interface might emerge.
Regardless of how things evolve, it seems certain that people will always want to engage in conversation. Intelligent assistants can satisfy that desire, while at the same time helping people solve problems and more easily navigate their way through life. I look forward to Opus Research’s 2nd Annual Intelligent Assistants Conference next year. With the pace at which this technology is evolving, there’s bound to be a lot to talk about.