Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not something that we need to look forward to; it is already part of our everyday existence. We notice it when specific products are suggested while we browse an e-commerce site, or an advertisement for a local super market appears on our social media feed. The idea of AI is also not new to the Middle East, however the speed of its recent market breakthroughs is. It’s no surprise then that the UAE was one of the countries ranked in the top 50 countries to push the boundaries of technological innovation by the Global Innovation Index 2017. A PricewaterhouseCoopers Middle East study further suggests that AI is likely to contribute $320 (Dh1,174.4) billion to this economy by 2030, equivalent to 11 per cent of the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In a world gone digital especially for social communication - intelligent, personalised, one-to-one interaction is the way forward. A company has developed a cloud-based engagement platform. The platform is designed to empower businesses with the kind of next-generation experience and innovation that customers demand. Research by the company found that smart automated programs, called chatbots, responded to a whopping majority of questions asked through its platform. Furthermore, chatbots can dramatically improve the quality of exchanges between customers and support agents by first collecting necessary customer data. After studying the current customer experience market, they developed their first social AI entity. The service is built to help businesses automatically understand which messages from Twitter to prioritise and engage with to provide a service. It works by reviewing a company’s entire Twitter feed, understanding and selecting important and relevant tweets. These tweets are then converted into a job ticket for a support agent to answer. Support agents can even refine it to recognise new types of messages and requests at any anytime, thus improving this product’s learning, resolution and decision-making skills. AI solutions alone are not enough to revolutionise customer experience, they need to be blended with the right balance of human input to create a hybrid model - one that combines the ingenuity and efficiency of automated solutions, with the unique empathy of the human touch. As some industry experts predict, AI might completely replace humans in some cases, but the real value of AI is when it is used to amplify human capabilities and minimise human limitations.

- The reader holds a degree in Business Studies and likes to travel.