By Deon Newman, IBM (Original post here)
At IBM, we’ve built a business by asking the big “what ifs”. And in my role, I spend most of my time thinking about the connectedness of things, and how AI and IoT are truly changing everything.
With those two thoughts in mind, today I’m pleased to bring you a world of unlimited – and very connected – “what ifs” with the introduction of Watson Assistant.
What is Watson Assistant?
Watson Assistant is a new AI assistant designed for business. It puts smart to work for you and your customers because:
- it is customized to your brand,
- it uses AI to learn and deliver proactive experiences, and,
- it keeps data private between you and your customers.
With this assistant, businesses use valuable customer knowledge to proactively anticipate customer needs and learn from those interactions, to deliver relevant and personalized experiences to customers. This knowledge can come from multiple sources, too: profiles, loyalty programs, previous exchanges and expressed preferences.
The result? An assistant that builds brand loyalty with your customers and delivers new revenue opportunities for your business, all while keeping your data private and secure.
Why another assistant?
As the physical world becomes more digital and more things can connect, we expect the “things” we interact with on a daily basis to be smart and customized with our personal preferences. We also want to interact in a natural way.
If you’re a company, you’re probably focused on how you can use AI and IoT to your advantage to offer more to your customers. That’s why a digital solution like Watson Assistant – which can be integrated into products like cars, or spaces like hotel rooms and accessed via voice or text – works for both consumers and businesses. With it, companies can achieve a whole new level of engagement with their customers. And as a marketer myself, this might be what excites me the most about our new solution.
How Watson Assistant is unlike any other assistant
- It’s proactive. With Watson AI, this assistant it turns commands into conversations, the way your customer naturally speak. And your customers have solutions before they even knew there was a problem. The result: deeper involvement with your brand, and interactions that become essential to your customers.
- It increases loyalty and conversions. When you brand is conversing directly to your customers, you gain a wealth of insights to better understand their behavior and intent. And you can draw on that knowledge to create personalized experiences that differentiate your brand. The more you understand your customers, the more you can offer them the services they desire.
- It provides the best data stewardship. With Watson Assistant, your business maintains full control of the customer experience. Your customer data – and the value gained from it – are yours and yours alone.
Unlimited possibilities to connect
In addition to bringing Watson Assistant to businesses, we’re partnering with IFTTT, a free, open platform that helps users create, access and automate a nearly limitless number of tasks. They do this by connecting apps, services and devices. And with Watson Assistant and IFTTT, a business can bridge the enterprise-to-consumer experience for one true Internet of Things. This gives companies the chance to more seamlessly blend into a customer’s daily life, in their own brand voice.
What if a car could help drivers navigate more than just the road? Not only can Watson Assistant learn the inner workings of the car, it can also use sensor information both in- and outside the car to alert drivers to critical events and potential problems. And for everyday convenience, the driver can rely on their in-car assistant to help with daily schedules and on-the-go meal planning. It can even help create a smooth transition from car to home by opening the garage door, warming up the house and turning on the lights. All with the voice designed by the brand.
Or, what if a hotel leverage its customer information to create truly personalized experiences for guests, from check-in to check-out? With Watson Assistant, a hotel brand could engage with guests the minute they enter the room. It could implement their preferences, make personalized recommendations using in-depth property information, and serve up the right merchandizing options at the right time.
Today’s news also gives the IoT thinkers free rein to imagine, innovate and invent the most integrated and truly connected products and services we’ve ever seen. Considering that there will be more than 75 billion connected devices in the next three years, now is the time to conceive the big “what ifs.”
I invite you to learn more about Watson Assistant and what this means for your business.