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Amazon’s Alexa platform may be helping users get accustomed to voice-driven interactions, but its underlying purpose isn’t just to help get weather reports or control smart-home devices. As a storefront, first and foremost, Amazon’s original intention with Alexa places a virtual assistant at your fingertips or in your home to help you shop.

Through AI tools like natural language processing, Alexa has led the retail industry in its rise towards conversational commerce. As if a customer was interacting with a clerk in a retail store, conversational commerce makes it possible for users to engage with software to research, purchase, or get customer assistance with products and services across a wide range of industries.

With Alexa, for example, users can ask any Alexa-enabled device to add an item to an Amazon shopping cart, set a purchasing reminder when a product is running low, or carry out a complete purchase without having to access a shopping cart. The result is a seamless conversational experience that enables consumers to carry out transactions as quickly as it takes to speak a sentence.

On other chat-based platforms, conversational commerce makes it easy to engage with brands without the need for human intervention. AI-based chatbot technology gives users a recognizable chat-based interface to ask product questions or purchase items. Chatbots also don’t always require their own separate app download, offering interactions over popular platforms like Apple’s iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and Google Home.

For many common user requests, it’s possible for chatbots to offer better user experiences with more efficiency than a phone call or email to customer support. A product return, for example, could be automatically coordinated through a chatbot instead of having to go through the lengthy process of speaking to a representative for return authorization.

One of the clearest models of the future of conversational commerce is Jetblack, the product of Walmart’s Store №8 tech incubator for the future of retail operations. Jetblack is an entirely chat-driven store currently serving Manhattan, where users can make shopping requests, get customized recommendations, and process returns.

While an exclusively chat- or voice-based shopping experience for all scenarios may never completely replace the in-person experience, conversational commerce will continue to grow as an added method of convenient and efficient communication. As users continue to become more accustomed to engaging with chatbots and voice-driven interfaces, expect more innovations in the space as brands continue to develop their unique conversation-based solutions.

Article originally published on Medium and reposted with permission from Humans for AI.

May 2, 2018, RE•WORK

At the AI in Industrial Automation Summit this June 26 – 27, team Algo will be joining RE•WORK to exhibit and chat to attendees about their current work. In advance of the summit, Ellie Lucy, Global Summit Creator at RE•WORK spoke with Nikki to hear about her current work and their use of AI and deep learning.

Read the full interview over at the ReWork Blog

January 16, 2018, RE•WORK

Algomus is a rapidly growing Detroit area startup that has built Algo the world’s first Analyst Workbot and Enterprise ML powered Big Data Analytics platform for media & entertainment companies, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Algomus, who is partnering with RE•WORK for the AI Assistant Summit in San Francisco this January 25 – 26 have just launched Algo 2.0, making their AI enabled workbot even smarter.

Read the Full Post Here

We would like to thank Clariden Global for hosting the “Einstein AI, Deep Learning & SuperIntelligence Summit” and inviting Nikki to speak at the post-summit seminars about AI Assistants in Business. The conversations with attendees and other speakers were high quality and it was great fun to ponder the future of these cutting-edge technologies.

If you missed the talk and would like to see the slides get in touch!