It wasn’t that long ago that AI was the enemy. In films like Terminator (1984), The Matrix (1999) and as recently as 2015’s Avenger: The Age of Ultron, Artificial Intelligence starts as a simple way of making the world a better place and always goes rogue – often causing major destruction, or worse, human extinction. Artificial Intelligence isn’t a new concept to people living in today’s world, but the perception of it as an ‘other-worldly, humanity destroying monster’ and the sentiment that bringing AI to life is the beginning of the end for humanity is still being played out in popular TV and films.
But the truth is AI is already here. At our conference this year, Professor Matthew Turner from the University of Warwick shared with us his research into AI; what it is, how it works and why we can’t ignore it. His research into AI ‘algorithms’ showed that it is ever changing, moving like a Starling murmuration to give it the best chance of survival and always moving forward. It was pretty interesting stuff, but his assertion that we don’t really know what AI is or how it works was a little terrifying.
His final point was that AI is happening, whether we fully understand it or not. It’s not happening in the form of cyborgs or computer programmes that control how we think, but it is spreading into our everyday lives in a subtle way.
AI is changing consumer behaviour; Smartphone personal assistants, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home (all of which are a form of AI) have become exceptionally popular in homes across the world, giving us instant access to information, entertainment and are helping us to organise our lives on the go. AI is being used for fraud prevention, including fingerprint and voice recognition, and is being rolled out across many industries to make our services more secure. And AI is behind many of the services we come into contact with everyday; Facebook, Twitter, Smart TV and Amazon.
However, AI can only take us so far; it’s the people behind the technology that truly drive a great service. Recent headlines have explored the importance of human moderation behind AI algorithms (monitoring which advertisements are shown with which content online is an example) and how humanity is still at the heart of the customer experience. The reality is that we are using AI to enhance our daily lives; to make things faster, more accessible and more relevant, but it isn’t completely taking over. It is only when AI and technology is coupled with a personal service that is delivered by a human being that we find true customer satisfaction.
As consumers, we embrace AI as the natural progression of technology and services and in the relatively near future, AI will be used in everything that we do. Being at the forefront of innovation in legal services, we’re excited to see how AI can make conveyancing processes and enhance the personal experience of moving home – we hope you are too.