Today we have four main tech giants working on AI technologies — Google, IBM, Amazon, Microsoft. Each of these companies are trying to promote AI technologies in the market; each of them has a platform where developers and users can get access to AI tools and interact with them.
A high-level overview of the services:
IBM — IBM Watson (Watson Assistant, Discovery, Knowledge Studio, Natural Language Classifier, etc.)
Amazon — Amazon Machine Learning (Lex, Polly, , Transcribe, Translate, etc.)
Google — Google Cloud AI (Dialog flow, Cloud Natural Language, Speech to text, Translation, Vision, etc.)
Microsoft — Microsoft Cognitive Service (Language Understanding (LUIS), Linguistic Analysis, Computer Vision, etc.)
What can you do?
You can easily create chatbots that will understand the natural language (NL) and will provide the answers needed, or will make any action you want to do. You also can easily make integrations with Facebook Messenger, Slack or other communication tool.
Chatbots can bring a huge benefit into the areas where there is a lot of routinary work, in many cases, this links to the business, for example, a small pizza restaurant or a big corporate like Nestle, Volvo, etc. In first case, chatbots can be used for automation of external business processes (communication with clients, pizza orders), in the second case, we can talk about the internal business processes (IT Service Desk, HR, CRM, etc.).
Probably you saw the Google I/O 2018 keynote, it was so amazing to see what AI technologies can do. Google is a good example of the deep integration of AI technologies in our daily life; they are trying to add value to the technologies. Value is a core aspect in attracting more and more people to use their services.
Value is the biggest block in technology evolution. Without the value, technology will not evolve. Corporates in diverse industries (Banking, Travel, Retail, Healthcare, Service) are trying to create this value by themselves, AI technologies can benefit them, create competitive advantages and bring many benefits. They are establishing new departments and hiring new people for adopting new technologies. Technologies themselves are not bringing any value, especially AI technologies, you need to adopt them, train ML models, prepare label data and make many other other steps to transform the technologies into real value. Corporates are trying to do this because there is no solution on the market that can meet their requirements and improve their business immediately without providing additional work.
There is a blue ocean opportunity for building smart machines (adding value) for corporates. Machines that have predefined knowledge, domain, skills or agents - will have a better market position. I will give you a simple example; there was a startup API.AI that was acquired by Google. They had technologies for building conversational bots, and later they took one step further. Together with tools and instruments for building bots, they created predefined agents that can be added to your bot (predefined agents — weather, banking, alarm, flights, events search). This predefined agent brings a lot of value.
Another example is Amazon Alexa. When Amazon launched Alexa, there was a limited amount of Alexa Skills but even those limited amount of skills were enough to create a new market niche. Amazon granted access to each developer, giving them the possibility to create new skills, instead of having many people in Amazon working hard on adding new skills to Alexa. The element that brings value to customers is not Alexa box itself but its' skills. Every year Alexa becomes more valuable to customers because of her new skills and capabilities. It is not enough to have just the device; we need to add new skills and knowledge to the technology and make them more valuable for us.