In the first part of this article, Futurist Daniel Burrus postulated that Siri, a first generation ultra intelligent electronic agent (UIEA), will change how we interact with technology and could make wading through the gazillion returns from a typical Google search a relic of the past. In part, II, Burrus explains what that brave new world may look like and how your company can capitalize it.
Ultra intelligent electronic agents (UIEAs) provide a new level of competitive advantage to the enterprise because they help create a level of electronic advice and trust between your company and your customers and your employees. Even though the world is more and more technological, human relationships are, somewhat paradoxically, more and more important.
Trust is still something that either earns you business or loses you business. Business, all business, is still about trust and relationships. If deployed thoughtfully, UIEAs can be used to either increase and solidify that bond way beyond anything we are seeing today.
You could, for example, expand upon this trust by offering your customers a plug-in for their UIEA making your company’s information a part of your customer’s intelligent agent so your company is always top of mind for them.
Suppose you regularly use a certain pharmacy in your neighborhood. You trust the pharmacist’s advice and get all your prescriptions there. If they offered a plug-in to your electronic agent that could make sure you had no drug reactions and reminded you to take the medication, you’d probably get it, right?
That way, whenever you have a new medication or medical condition, your UIEA is accessing your pharmacy plug-in, as well as other plug-ins (like your travel schedule) you have, so you don’t have to worry about refills, for example. Likewise, you may want to add a plug-in from your doctor’s office so you can have advice on recommended exercise plans. That, too, would talk to your pharmacy plug-in so you’d know not to operate any machinery while taking a certain medication.
Maybe your financial planner will offer an agent plug-in to help you manage your investments. Your child’s school might offer a plug-in giving you information about your child’s progress. And your bank might offer a plug-in to help maintain your account balances and other financial information.
The list of possible plug-ins is endless. Essentially, you’ll build your agent based on the relationships with the different companies and organizations you work with and have a trusting relationship with.
Currently, Siri and its competitors represent a general, early intelligent agent, which means it’s intelligent, but not that intelligent. In the near future, though, it will get a lot more intelligent. Not only will it get more intelligent, but it will also get more personalized.
For example, let’s say you and I both have iPhones and we both use AT&T as our carrier. Even though we have the same phone, if I bet you $1,000 that my phone is still much different than your phone I’d win. Why? Because I have hundreds of thousands of apps to choose from and download and the chances of us choosing and downloading the exact same group of apps is pretty remote. So it’s not an iPhone, it’s a myPhone; customized by me to serve my need best. The same holds true for tablets.
In that same way, we’re going to create a customized UIEA by adding little components to it from the most trusted providers. That’s why business needs to wake up to this and take part -- you want your company’s plug-in a part of every customer’s intelligent agent.
Additionally, we’ll have B2B intelligent agents. Now it’s not just about interacting with customers, it’s also about selling to businesses that service or sell to other businesses, to suppliers, to distributors, etc. Various levels of this selling, servicing, and advising will be done using intelligent agents to save us time.
Finally, we know that over 70 percent of Apple’s revenue and 48 percent of IBM’s revenue comes from products that were impossible to do just a little over two years ago. Looking forward, what does that mean? Well, how much of your future profitability will come from things that are impossible to do right now? What if you knew about those things now? How would that help your company’s future?