The Future is Artificial | Understanding AI

It seems the digital world can’t get enough news stories about artificial intelligence (AI). Some technologies seem to masquerade as new types of AI because they’re being promoted as such by their creators.

We found Adelyn Zhou’s recent post on to be a good guidepost for the future. She comments on how business professionals may be unfamiliar with the uses of AI, which aren’t always new. Today’s business owners should be cautious not to fall for this explosive industry’s myths and misconceptions, she warns.

How Much Do You Know About AI?

Without a degree in computer science, would you recognise a technology that claims to be AI? Zhou warns that a company could market a new AI approach when the reality is they’re repackaging older data mining and statistical techniques. If an executive does not understand exactly what an AI algorithm claims to do and how reliable it is, then it’s not worth trying the software solution. However, as an executive, you do need to understand a specific AI’s set of use cases and exactly what business value they can generate. An algorithm may have certain uses some of the time, but it won’t be an end-all, be-all business solution.

How About a ChatBot for Your Website or Mobile App?

There are many ways for businesses of every size to use AI on a scale that fits their budget. Their options are not always about hiring third-party providers peddling the latest solutions or algorithms. Consider how, in the past, some companies invested millions in building their own big data warehouses while others chose to lease space from cloud providers. The same rings true for bots that companies like yours might add to websites and apps in order to enhance customer experiences.

A ChatBot is a graphic image that appears on a website or app and helps a customer with something, such as placing an order for tacos. Zhou points to the example of TacoBot. We investigated why the fast food giant, Taco Bells, claims to be “giving you a peek into the future of ordering tacos.” We know that your world wasn’t complete until this bot was launched.

Don’t Take Our Word for It

Consumers should, of course, experience a few ChatBots for themselves instead of relying on a third-party summary, but Taco Bell explains it this way on their website:

“It’s simple. Tacobot is a new friend and should be treated as such upon a quick install. Start asking it questions about our menu, see how it’s feeling or find out what its favourite movie is. From there connect your account; choose your pickup location and order up your favourite Taco Bell item. Tacobot is ready to serve!”

The Future of AI

We believe that artificial intelligence will have numerous uses now and in the future to enhance interactions between computers and humans. Call these computer programs robots if you will, but machines will not replace some customer experiences. We’ve seen with brands like McDonalds and Starbucks that the drive-through culture is alive and well. In the future, you might just pull up to your favourite restaurant and get served by a robot, but you’ll still have to take a trip in your vehicle (whether it’s operating on auto-pilot or you are driving it). How else will you get a juicy Grand Mac?

Your business can decide if creating a ChatBot will offer your digital and mobile users a better experience, because ultimately, understanding your customers is something you should be doing better than anyone else.

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