How is AI/AR Benefitting Our Online Lives
A few years ago, the thought of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) were considered rather scary. If machines could think, would they take over? What was wrong with the world around us that meant that we needed to augment the reality we already had? Similar to cloning creating fears of awful people being reproduced, the truth is nowhere near what a dark imagination conjured up. Most of us work alongside AI every day as we navigate our way around the online world. AI allows computers to undertake tasks much faster than a human can. AI algorithms can trawl through vast amounts of data that might have previously taken a person days or even years. Algorithms and machine intelligence can spot patterns that offer answers at a lightning-fast speed.
The most obvious place where AI is used is in our relationship with the customer service interface when we transact online. In the past, we used to trawl through a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to find out if our query was listed. Now chatbots that appear in a separate window do the sifting for us. Sometimes it can be frustrating that we seem just to be going around in a loop. However, on a well-run customer service site, once the algorithm cannot answer the question, the user is hooked up with a real person to help solve the problem. The advantage for the web user is being routed to the correct department where someone can help solve the issue. For the retailer or service provider, the chatbot screens straightforward queries and avoids unnecessarily tying operators up.
Security and Predicting Future Actions
AI is also keeping us safer online. For example, banks and other financial institutions use machine intelligence to monitor any unusual activity on our accounts and to block login attempts from unknown browsers or unusual locations. Similarly, online casinos use AI and algorithms to understand their customers better and provide them with online protection.
As well as safeguarding customer accounts and deposits in the way in which the banks do, AI can also see what games a player has previously enjoyed and tailor what they will see next. So, for example, if someone has previously enjoyed a game of Blackjack, the algorithm might tell them about another classic casino game. Likewise, players who enjoy a spin on the slots will be told about the top new slots when they next visit the site. This means that rather than having to navigate from the start all over again, AI has built up a profile for each individual player.
Shopping online has always been a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. Unless the shopper is very familiar with the fit of a particular brand’s clothing, it is possible to receive a whole consignment of clothes where nothing fits. Furthermore, even if the clothes fit, when tried on at home, the purchaser can find that the style does not work for them. For the retailer, this meant processing vast amounts of returns after customers order additional sizes and styles just in case. Clearly, this is hugely wasteful.
The industry is working hard to use AI and AR to allow people to try on the clothes in a virtual changing room. Several apps emulate a real changing room and allow customers to try on a range of clothing from many different retailers. Vogue magazine has recently published an article saying that they believe that the ability to try on clothes using AR is almost here. With AR, the digital outfit would move on the screen in the same way that Snapchat filters move with someone’s face on that app.
We really are only at the beginning of the changes AI and AR will bring to our online lives.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.